Youth

From Gen Z and beyond, explore emerging markets and micro shifts in youth consumer behaviour

Need to Know
16 : 11 : 22

A campaign in support of stammering, femtech brand Emm turns the tide on menstrual care and consumers boycott Kanye West after anti-Semitic allegations.

These billboards challenge preconceptions about stammering

It's How We Talk by Stamma, UK

UK – People who speak with a stammer frequently face abusive comments and misunderstandings. A new campaign created by the British Stammering Society, Stamma, aims to change preconceptions and improve representation for this community.

The campaign’s posters and video capture people who speak with a stammer mid-sentence, celebrating these slightly awkward in-between moments and challenging comments many have endured. While academics estimate that 1% of the population speak with a stammer, a YouGov poll in Britain from 2018 to 2021 found that 2–4% say they stammer, suggesting that many people hide it.

In the It’s How We Talk campaign, created by agency VMLY&R London, 17 members of the community were captured mid-flow, bringing out very human moments. ‘Some people see stammering as beautiful, others as something ugly and worth fixing. Regardless of what you think about this campaign, the fact remains – it's just how some people talk. Deal with it,’ says Daniel Liakh, director and creative at VMLY&R London.

The campaign continues to challenge the narrative around neurodivergence from a design perspective, a subject we’ve previously explored in Divergent Design.

Strategic opportunity

With many people hiding neurodivergencies rather than face reactions to them, how can your brand help celebrate differences and improve representation?

Femtech brand Emm is turning the tide on menstrual care

Emm identity by How&How, UK Emm identity by How&How, UK
Emm identity by How&How, UK Emm identity by How&How, UK

UK – Emm, a disruptor in the femtech sector and creator of the first smart menstrual cup, has unveiled a new punchy branding designed by creative studio How&How.

The brand’s visual identity is inspired by phases of the menstrual cycle and the accompanying symptoms. The logo reflects the patterns and waves of data, female cycles and health, a combination of strength and fluidity.

Emm’s line, set to be commercialised in early 2023, empowers women with data and insights about their menstrual cycle. The bio-wearable technology automatically monitors flow volume, rate and regularity via smart sensors in the cup which connect to an app on the wearer’s phone. ‘Emm gives those who menstruate the chance to understand their bodies like never before. Smart sensor tech used in the cup will be able to benefit female health. It could change the way female health research is conducted and help close the gender health gap,’ explains founder Jenny Button.

Whether it’s Tech-powered Perimenopause, fertility solutions or menstruation support, the femtech sector is booming and catering for women’s needs at all life stages.

Strategic opportunity

Emm’s tech-driven menstrual product, complemented with a bold and symbolic visual identity, is a good example of a compelling femtech brand enhancing female health outcomes with strong commercial viability

Meet the first Gen Z member of US Congress

US – In the mid-term elections, Democrat Maxwell Frost has won Florida’s 10th Congressional District, becoming the first member of Gen Z to serve in the US Congress. The 25-year-old was heavily favoured to win the Orlando seat, defeating Republican Calvin Wimbish by 19 percentage points.

The victory marks a historic occasion for progressive activists, signalling the rise of a generation who have reached voting age and are exercising their political voice on divisive issues including gun violence.

Frost began ‘organising’ aged 15 in response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and was previously national organising director for anti-gun movement March For Our Lives. While halting gun violence was a key theme in his campaign, Frost also supports other progressive policies including Medicare for all and the Green New Deal.

The Reformation Generation is now coming of age and stepping into positions of power for the first time, leading change from the front.

Maxwell Frost, US

Strategic opportunity

As activist Gen Z begin to exercise their voting power, ensure that your brand values align with theirs

Stat: Following anti-Semitic allegations, consumers are boycotting Kanye West

Yeezy Gap engineered by Balenciaga for Kanye West, US Yeezy Gap engineered by Balenciaga for Kanye West, US

US – Following a recent stream of invectives by Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, market research firm Morning Consult conducted a survey that revealed that the share of US consumers with a negative opinion of the rapper has risen to 60%.

The poll quantifies how Ye’s problematic behaviour has hit the likelihood of consumers to engage with his music, merchandise or brand collaborations. Almost two in three consumers are no longer interested in streaming his music or in purchasing his clothing. Nearly half (46%) think that ending a partnership immediately if a celebrity does or says something hateful is the appropriate response, referring to Ye’s many brand collaborations.

‘The saga of Ye, not just with Adidas but with brands like Gap and Balenciaga, underlines the importance of vetting celebrities thoroughly and avoiding those who are overly controversial or unstable,’ says Neil Saunders, an analyst at GlobalData.

In our macrotrend, The Paralysis Paradox, we touched on how Polarised Populations are dividing public opinion, and the controversy surrounding Ye’s problematic statements highlights how brands have a role in wider society on divisive topics, whether it be in participating in debates or in this case, boycotting a proponent of hate speech.

Strategic opportunity

Celebrity collaborations are high-opportunity, but also high-risk. In the case of misconduct, consumers will expect swift action from businesses to cut ties and re-affirm their position

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