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need to know
product design
health & wellness
category - fashion
category - female futures
sector - food & drink
type - need to know
Need To Know
category - design
category - mobility
category - sustainability
sector - health & wellness
sector - youth

This week: Dieline Forum 2023, revisiting Cognac's history through Virtual Reality, the future of branding, Adidas celebrates iconic trainers, a London Fashion Week Airbnb stay, Estée Lauder partners with Google Cloud, and Home States Futures.

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22 September 2023

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: House of Sunny


Refill by Goods, Norway

1. Sustainability Packaged : Dieline Forum 2023

Held on 11 - 12 September 2023 at Labelexpo Europe in Brussels, the latest Dieline Forum centred on two critical areas: sustainability and branding. Industry leaders in the branding, packaging and regenerative design fields addressed how the changing consumer landscape is dominated by Gen Z and Millennials.

The conference focused on waste normalisation, regenerative design practices, elevating sustainable craftsmanship, and the search for materials that are both durable and degradable.

Under the collective goal of contributing to an ecology-first society, the event offered practical insights into how brands can adapt and thrive in a market that demands both innovation and responsibility, as sustainability becomes more than an added benefit but a branding necessity in the eyes of younger audiences.

Read the full article on LS:N Global.

‘We are not in competition with other brands, but in a competition with our planet’
Hennessy Mobilis, France

2. Hennessy brings its cognac-making history to life in virtual reality

France – LVMH-owned spirit brand Hennessy has opened an exhibition in its home town of Cognac, revisiting the Maison’s rich heritage and history, with a little help from virtual reality technology.

The result is Mobilis, an immersive VR experience created by French designers Olivier Kuntzel and Florence Deygas. The initiative is part of celebrations of the 40th anniversary of European Heritage Days, a series of cultural events held across Europe every September. The multi-sensory digital art installation takes visitors on a voyage exploring Hennessy’s savoir-faire, guided by sketches drawn by the Maison’s founder, Richard Hennessy. It seamlessly merges craftsmanship and technology, using latest-generation VR headsets and special effects for wind and vibrations to showcase the Maison’s many crafts – from grape-growing and distillation to assemblage and calligraphy.

‘At Hennessy, we are very passionate about preserving, enriching and passing on our heritage – blending history with poetic licence,’ emphasised the brand’s CEO and president Laurent Boillot. With this venture, Hennessy cements its commitment to fusing tradition with innovation, embracing VR as a means to preserve and transmit its legacy.

3. House of Sunny transforms showroom into Airbnb stay for London Fashion Week

UK – House of Sunny, known for its playful textiles and designs, is offering fashion enthusiasts a unique opportunity during London Fashion Week in September 2023. Founder Sunny Williams has transformed the brand’s Hackney showroom in East London into an immersive Airbnb stay, allowing guests to experience fashion in a whole new way.

This stylish oasis features decor inspired by House of Sunny’s iconic pieces, including exclusive designs from its latest collection. The immersive space joins Airbnb’s Design Category, adding a new dimension to the platform’s stylish listings.

Only two lucky guests will win a free stay at Sunny’s House. They will enjoy a one-to-one design session with Sunny and experience themed rooms that include an entrance inspired by the Hockney Dress, a luxurious bed surrounded by waves reminiscent of the Sundown Cardigan, the Wardrobe of Dreams, featuring the latest House of Sunny collection and a stunning rouge bathroom paying homage to the brand’s La Belle dress.

As explored in our upcoming Home States Futures: Residential Retail macrotrend – RSVP to attend our exclusive webinar now – immersive brand experiences in the home will take consumers to new brand awareness, satisfaction and retention levels.

House of Sunny and Airbnb, UK
Homecoming and Browns, UK

4. Stat : Tackling societal issues on social media does not make brands memorable

UK, US – In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, a new study underlines its significance in establishing brand-consumer trust.

The 2023 Sprout Social Index, Edition XIX: Breakthrough reveals that consumers increasingly value timely and authentic interactions with brands on social media platforms. The survey, conducted by social media management software Sprout Social, involved over 1,800 consumers and 900 marketers in the US and the UK. It highlights a shift in consumer expectations, with 68% of respondents stating that they follow brands on social media primarily to keep updated on products and services. More surprisingly, one in four consumers still find it memorable when brands speak out about social issues and causes, despite this becoming a more common practice.

The research further emphasises the growing importance of personalised care and engagement for brands on social media. These findings emphasise why brands need to tap into their significant societal power to establish stronger connections with consumers, as we have previously suggested in our piece exploring why essentialism is the future of branding.

5. Adidas Originals celebrates iconic trainers in new campaign

Global – Adidas Originals has launched a brand campaign celebrating three of the brand’s iconic trainer styles: Samba, Gazelle and Superstar.

Directed by Will Dohrn, Justyna Obasi and Daniel Wolfe, We Gave the World an Original. You Gave Us a Thousand Back comprises three films, each focusing on one sneaker. The nostalgic clips spotlight the blend of sport stars and everyday people who have contributed to the brand’s legacy. Alongside the campaign videos, still visuals feature brand-associated A-listers photographed by Chadwick Tyler and collated in triptychs that hint at Adidas’s signature three stripes. The campaign coincides with the subtle branding updates. The trefoil, which has symbolised Adidas Originals since 2000, now stands alone, with the brand name no longer part of the logo.

Adidas is a streetwear giant, especially with the recent return of Samba as the most popular sneaker of 2023. But in a shifting streetwear sector, such campaigns are integral for brands like Adidas to stay relevant and remind consumers about legacy, a topic we explore further in our forthcoming Streetwear Market.

Estée Lauder, US

6. Estée Lauder partners with Google Cloud on AI-powered consumer experience

US – Beauty group Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has partnered with Google Cloud to pioneer new uses of generative AI, as part of its mission to transform the luxury digital experience.

Google Cloud’s generative AI systems will power real-time monitoring of customer sentiment and feedback for the conglomerate, allowing ELC to rapidly address customer concerns, identify relevant external trends and improve customer service. The beauty group is also implementing Google’s PaLM 2, an AI language computer learning model, to monitor mentions of itself on social media and in call centre operations.

‘At The Estée Lauder Companies, we aim to delight consumers with transformative products and services,’ said Gibu Thomas, executive vice-president online at The Estée Lauder Companies, in a press release.

In our EQ-Commerce macrotrend report, we examined how consumer expectations, particularly in luxury, are higher than ever when it comes to the retail experience. Generative AI will be invaluable in helping brands foster hyper-personalised services and customer care.

7. Macrotrend Preview
Home States Futures : Residential Retail

With hybrid working becoming the new normal, global retail footfall in decline, and the evanescence of third spaces, there truly is no place like home for brands.

As our offices become more social, intimate and personal, our homes are becoming more collaborative, corporate, commercial and hybrid.
But our living spaces are also becoming the real battleground for brands – with consumers demanding new kinds of intimacy, service and regenerative practices, and brands delivering these through transformative experience and superlative service. 

Our Home States Futures macrotrend will highlight a new approach to viewing the home as an active and concentrated retail and lifestyle eco-system. It will become a hub that brands must target, woo and win over in precise and interconnected ways. To conquer this home-centric market, brands may appoint chief household officers and businesses will need to coordinate conversations, find synergies and create clear cross-selling strategies.

Join our in-house team, invited experts and global panellists at our Home States Futures online event on 19 October 2023 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm BST as we examine the future home – in terms of how we broker time, maximise wellbeing, re-assess usage, reduce waste, embrace data and develop new ways to side-hustle revenues from our sitting rooms.

Ketut Subiyanto

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