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16 August 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: The Jewellery Oracle

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This week: Wine gets personal, Helsinki encourages sustainable choices, inside the minds of Gen Z, reinventing e-commerce, and tackling acne stigma.

Good Pair Days. Branding by Universal Favourite, Australia

1. Good Pair Days matches wine to shopper' palates

Sydney – The digital-first, direct-to-consumer wine service has been relaunched and rebranded with a new focus on personalisation.

Good Pair Days calls itself ‘a wine retail experience built for the Netflix generation’. Specialising in product discovery, the company aims to engage novice wine drinkers and long-time aficionados by mixing expert curation with personal recommendations. Its range of wines are chosen by a team of sommeliers and sourced directly from independent winemakers in a variety of countries.

To identify wines matched to their individual tastes, customers take an initial palate quiz online before choosing three bottles from a list of suggested wines. These are then delivered directly to buyers throughout Australia along with tasting cards, food pairings and recipes. ‘For every bottle we calculate the chances you’ll love it,’ says Beto de Castro Moreira, co-founder and CTO of Good Pair Days. ‘This allows a level of personalisation and customisation for our customers’ tastes that can only be matched in the current market by having a personal sommelier.’

For more changes taking place in the alcohol sector, explore our Food & Drink vertical.

Think Sustainably: Your Local Guide for Sustainable Helsinki

2. Helsinki develops a city-wide sustainability app

Finland – Think Sustainably is an app guide that helps citizens and tourists experience the sustainable side of Helsinki.

The app ranks local hotels, restaurants, attractions and transport against sustainability criteria, sharing how many of these criteria have been met. Users are also shown the CO2 emissions they have incurred using different modes of transport as a way to encourage lower- or emission-free transport. The app was launched as part of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative, whereby the city aims to be carbon-neutral by 2035.

‘The city is able to effect change in this way because of its compact size, well-functioning infrastructure and well-developed knowledge-economy cluster,’ says Laura Aalto, CEO of Helsinki Marketing. ‘We hope that others can also learn from our experiments.’

With both tourists and city residents wanting to live more sustainable urban lives, platforms such as Think Sustainably, and London's zero-waste directory Useless are making this quest easier and simpler to navigate.

Streaming Consciousness by Pitch Portal

3. A time capsule of Generation Z's digital musings

Melbourne – Pitch Portal has launched Streaming Consciousness, an interactive visual experience to unearth the innermost thoughts of young people.

The creative lab’s project aims to be a time capsule of Generation Z and young Millennials’ passing thoughts, reflecting the nature of growing up immersed in the digital world. Visitors to the online platform can browse musings such as ‘sometimes I get concerned that I use my friends to pass time’ and ‘I just deleted IG for the second time this week and it’s only Tuesday lol’.

The confessions, desires and realisations of 47 young people were collected earlier in 2019 through a private Slack group, where participants could share their thoughts anonymously, void of likes or comments. ‘We were inspired by mindfulness techniques that encourage free-flowing thoughts,’ reads the Pitch Portal site. ‘We wanted to trial an alternative communication style... where sharing our thoughts wasn’t centralised in maintaining social identity or encouraging reactions.’

As young people turn to online spaces to deal with their rising anxiety, Pitch Portal is exploring how digital platforms can encourage the release of people’s most unapologetic thoughts and feelings.

4. Obsess wants to refresh the e-commerce experience

New York – The fashion software company has launched a new e-commerce platform that re-invents product discovery online.

Shop Obsess comprises a collection of virtual stores, which collectively provide a unique, immersive and contextual 360-degree shopping experience. Rendered in CGI, the stores contain a range of products spanning fitness, travel and wellness, with each designed to move online shopping beyond the traditional grid of thumbnails.

Previously, Obsess used augmented and virtual reality to create engaging e-commerce experiences for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Levi’s, but Shop Obsess is the company’s first own e-commerce destination. ‘We aim to be a shopping destination bringing together the values important to the new generation of consumers and new generation of brands, all in the context of beautiful, inspiring, visual discovery experiences,’ says founder Neha Singh.

As the lines between e-commerce, entertainment and socialising continue to blur, retailers need to continue exploring ways to make online shopping more engaging.

Obsess
Squish

5. Squish is tackling acne stigma

New York – Body positivity activist Charli Howard has created a beauty line aimed at young women.

Squish Beauty is founded on the principle of celebrating diversity and beauty quirks. The brand, launched by Howard, an author, model and activist, features a range of playful beauty products including a cherry-shaped eye and cheek mask, floral acne patches and jelly lip gloss.

The eye and cheek mask contains collagen, hyaluronic acid, lavender oil and aloe vera to de-puff the under-eye and cheek areas. In the shape of a cherry, the mask offers a kitsch take on typically clinical-looking skincare products. The acne patches are disguised as flowers, designed to be worn overnight to gently absorb the fluid. The campaign features a diverse range of models including those with acne to encourage girls to make light of their blemishes.

Young people and brands such as Squish are leading a movement towards the acceptance of acne, a skin condition that has long been steeped in stigma.

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