18 : 06 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

type - need to know
Need To Know

This week: Hyundai launches next-gen retail, by-product wool packaging for spirits, H&M’s Pride campaign, a finance app for home-buyers and more inclusive urban futures.

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18 June 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Addition Studio marble weights


Uncommon Store, Korea

1. Hyundai's QR code store teases next-gen retail

Seoul – Retail conglomerate Hyundai is exploring the future of shopping with the launch of a hyper-connected and data-driven store, designed to test and inspire the future shopping behaviours of young consumers.

Uncommon Store is a contactless retail experience which operates using QR codes instead of cards or cash. The space, which doesn’t feature any staff, invites shoppers to scan a QR code on entry to receive a customised experience informed by stored consumer data. Designed by architectural group Atelier Archi@mosphere and powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the store employs a cloud-based system to track buying habits and monitor stock levels and payments.

‘The system targets customers from the ‘MZ’ [Millennials and Gen Z] generation, a Korean buzzword for those who are most familiar with the idea of the unmanned payment system at a very early age,’ explains Uncommon Store in a press release. ‘These young consumers will drive the dominant commerce system in the next few years. They can adapt to the new payment system as the new norm in commerce and exchange.’

This innovative retail approach showcases an evolution from the frictionless experiences we previously identified in the supermarket sector.

Black Cow Vodka X Bill Amberg Studio, UK

2. By-product wool packaging keeps spirits cool

UK – Leather maker Bill Amberg is teaming up with vodka distillery Black Cow to create a sustainable bottle sleeve for transporting spirits, showcasing a greener form of drinks packaging.

Made using natural wool felt and vegetable tanned leather, the sleeve provides a durable casing to protect spirits and keep them cool. Crafted in line with Black Cow’s sustainable approach to sourcing ingredients, the sleeve makes use of waste wool from the fashion industry and remnant leather from shoemakers. The choice of wool felt provides an alternative to the commonly used insulator neoprene, which has a non-biodegradable composition that uses petrol during manufacturing.

‘We have always striven to produce with purpose, in a way that represents us and what we stand for, particularly with our ethos around reducing waste,’ comments Paul Archard, co-founder of Black Cow. ‘Bill Amberg has created exactly that, a beautiful cooler for our vodka and cheese which can be reused in multiple ways, time and time again.’

To discover more sustainable packaging alternatives in the premium drinks market, delve into our dedicated big idea.

Beyond The Rainbow, H&M, Global

3. H&M’s pride campaign unlocks LGBT+ history

US & Global – The fashion retailer is highlighting the meaning behind the universal LGBT+ rainbow symbol through an awareness-building, history-led campaign.

Its interactive experience, Beyond the Rainbow, includes a web app for people to scan rainbows that appear on any item – including flags, clothing, packaging and foods. This in turn unlocks videos of personal accounts from celebrities and everyday people across the LGBT+ community. Designed in collaboration with creative agency B-Reel, the app allows people to share the stories of recognisable faces such as actress Mj Rodriguez. In turn, the campaign ‘reclaims and recharges [the] rainbows with deep meaning,’ comments B-Reel.

By focusing on real stories, H&M seeks to communicate the importance of Pride month in a way that goes beyond novelty celebrations or products. While many brands fail to engage with Pride beyond applying tokenistic rainbow flags, take note from the long-term strategies that Tag Warner, CEO of Gay Times, shares in our recent interview.

4. Finance app Nude motivates aspiring home-buyers

UK – Recognising that saving for a house deposit can feel like an overwhelming task, money-saving app Nude is stepping in to motivate aspiring homeowners.

Designed to help people save for a house deposit, the app uses time as a motivator – featuring an in-app countdown for tracking financial progress. Once users input how much they need to save for a deposit, Nude will give them a time estimate of how long it will take to raise that amount. To incentivise users, the app also provides personalised ideas and habit-building challenges to help reduce their predicted saving time.

‘By transforming ‘how much you need’ into ‘when you’ll buy your home’ we’re making it real,’ explains Crawford Taylor, co-founder of Nude. ‘The design of the app also creates a more accessible approach to mortgage saving, avoiding conventional fintech cues and instead taking inspiration from lifestyle brands.’

Fintech brands are increasingly borrowing cues from the lifestyle industries to engage consumers. Previously, we identified how mortgage broker Habito is using unexpected branding to reframe the home-buying experience.

Nude app, UK
Your Future London, Centre For London, UK

5. An open platform that makes urban futures inclusive

London – Your Future London is an online platform welcoming input from city dwellers about the future of the UK capital.

Created by Studio Cronica for think tank Centre of London, the project hopes to create a shared vision for London to 2050 and beyond by welcoming ideas from residents about environmental and economic factors such as public transport and minimum wages. ‘Your Future London is an extraordinary opportunity for Londoners from all walks of life – from business owners to young professionals to community groups,' says Rob Whitehead, director of strategic projects at Centre for London.

The platform is organised into three main parts: a quiz about what Londoners would like to happen in the city, data about London as it is today and future scenarios for the city. After completing the quiz, users will be presented with a personalised illustration reflective of the future they envision for London.

By inviting input from citizens, the platform echoes ideas we explore in our Equilibrium Cities macrotrend – considering the importance of including diverse viewpoints in future urban spaces.



To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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