17 January 2020
Author: The Future Laboratory
UK – First Direct, the UK’s original challenger bank, has launched a new campaign to highlight the anxiety some people feel when it comes to finance.
The #moneywellness campaign and brand platform aims to normalise the conversation about money and its links to wellbeing. Created by The Brooklyn Brothers, it demonstrates how to tackle customers’ financial concerns, such as the culture of comparisons with friends or where their parents were with money at the same age. ‘Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and start understanding our own relationship with money better. After all, there is no right way to money,’ reads its microsite.
As part of the campaign, First Direct teamed up with YouGov to conduct a survey of 4,000 UK consumers, with results revealing people to believe money is more important to their overall wellbeing than other more traditional areas of wellness, such as diet and exercise.
Around the world, finance brands are recognising that mental and physical health can be improved through money advice and services focused on wellbeing. For more, read our Financial Wellness microtrend.
Japan – Presented at CES 2020 as the brainchild of Toyota and Bjarke Ingels Architects, the Woven City will experiment with human-robot cohabitation.
Located at the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan, the design is positioned as a city-scale laboratory. Toyota plans to use the site to test a number of innovations, from autonomous vehicles to hydrogen-powered infrastructure and human-robot cohabitation, in which service robots assist human households. These tests will take place across the smart city while humans live and work as normal.
To achieve this multi-functional space, Woven City’s roads will be organised into three lanes – autonomous vehicles in one, micro-mobility options like e-bikes and scooters in another, with pedestrians having a plant-filled pathway for walking and running. Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corporation said: ‘We have decided to build a prototype town of the future where people live, work, play and participate in a living laboratory.’
As cities continue to evolve and challenge traditional government-led structures, brands are stepping in to create their own future metropolises. Examine three possible future scenarios – from the ideal to dystopian – in our Branded Cities Big Idea.
Finland – Developed by interior architects at Fyra and commissioned by Finnish postal company Posti, Box symbolises the future of click-and-collect counters.
In a bid to uplift the usually dull aesthetic and functional design of parcel collection services, Box aims to make the collection process a more appealing part of retail logistics. The resulting space takes inspiration from boutique stores, with neon signage, private, curtained spaces to try purchases on, and a counter where customers can make returns or send their own packages. The space uses different colours to signify each service area, including spaces for unpacking and recycling.
Envisaged as an experiential space that goes further than traditional post rooms, Box employs staff to help with customer queries, has a lounge area and even features a Spotlight space where online retailers can present their latest products.
With an increasing number of customers opting to buy products online, brands are exploring new ways to connect with shoppers in physical spaces. Discover how this is taking shape in our Click and Connect microtrend.
UK – The Blindlee dating app is positioning video calling as a way to break the ice – while cutting through swipe fatigue.
Designed to stand out from competitors such as Bumble and Hinge, the app randomly matches singles with other users who match their search criteria, age or location. Blindlee initially suggests chat topics, such as ‘Pineapple on pizza, yay or nay?’, as a way to prompt conversation. Once users have matched, they are connected by a video call that is initially blurred – created as a safety function for female users – with the option for both users to unblur the screen if they feel comfortable.
Sacha Nasan, the app’s co-founder, says: ‘Blindee makes for a fun three-minute blurred video experience with a random person matching your criteria. It’s kind of like a short, pre-date ice-breaker before you potentially match and decide to meet in real life.’
As we explore in our opinion piece on modern dating, brands are having to innovate to make dating both safer and more appealing, with solutions that go beyond the Tinder swipe model.
Global – Adidas is tackling outdated fitness stereotypes with its latest campaign, Reimagine Sport, which coincides with the launch of its new women’s collection.
Featuring performance and streetwear, the collection is designed to be diverse and inclusive. It has been created to inspire women to move in whatever way suits them, with high-performance tights and bras suitable for a variety of activities. Placing a spotlight on inspirational women in sport, the upbeat campaign features body-positive yoga expert and wellness entrepreneur and author Jessamyn Stanley, world champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin and world champion Paralympic medallist and motivational speaker Denise Schindler.
‘Women today are redefining what sport means to them, from dance, skiing and aerial yoga to skateboarding, women are doing it all. Movement is sport and it is about getting out and enjoying what sport can do for your body and mind,' explains Aimee Arana, general manager of global training at adidas.
With a wave of new fitness influencers and gyms showing how staying healthy shouldn’t be exclusive to privileged individuals, people are waking up to the importance of Inclusive Fitness.
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