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28 June 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Humble pizza restaurant by Child Studio, London

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This week: A sci-fi rebrand for Placebo pharmacy, ethical e-commerce, peak brand activism, Dame derails sexism and a one-stop affordable luxury platform.

Placebo Pharmacy branding by Luminous Design Group, Athens

1. A futuristic brand identity for a Greek pharmacy

Athens – Placebo is a modern pharmacy that has recently undergone a sci-fi-inspired rebranding by the agency Luminous Design Group.

The pharmacy’s building has become iconic for KLab Architecture’s circular design, perforated metal details and celebration of natural light, which give it a contemporary feel. In this vein, Luminous Design Group’s new visual identity plays on the idea of modernity through optical illusions.

The monochrome design features circular shapes and bold, graphic logos, deviating from the warm, welcoming and wellness-focused aesthetic healthcare practitioners have typically gravitated towards. With metallic colours and foil textures, the branding brings playful elements of science fiction to the pharmacy sector, helping to ensure that the industry remains relevant in the future.

As more pharmaceutical brands choose to bypass the pharmacy completely and go direct to consumer (DTC), pharmacies are becoming more creative in their aesthetics in a bid to reach modern consumers.

Goodee, Canada

2. Goodee is a marketplace for purpose-driven brands

Montreal – Spearheaded by the designers Byron and Dexter Peart, Goodee is an e-commerce platform that combines aspirational design with ethical values.

All of the brands included on the site have been hand-picked by the duo for their commitment to making a social or environmental impact. Featured brands include: EcoBirdy, which recycles plastic toys into children’s furniture; Haeckels, a grooming brand that creates its all-natural products from sustainable resources; and Skagerak, a sustainable design company from Denmark.

‘Our viewpoint is that conspicuous consumption has reached an unsustainable point,’ says Dexter Peart. ‘We believe that many people, especially younger generations, are searching for better tools to consume ‘less but better’ products.’

In line with the launch, the twins are also creating a series of pop-up events that will allow customers to interact with the brands in a bricks-and-mortar environment. As explored in our macrotrend Uneasy Affluence, there is now a desire among luxury consumers to spend their money in a more meaningful manner, devoid of conspicuous consumption.

Cannes U Not? by M/H VCCP

3. Cannes U Not? pokes fun at ridiculous brand activism

Cannes – The card game uses humour to highlight the fact we’ve reached peak brand activism.

Launched by agency M/H VCCP at the annual festival of creativity, Cannes U Not? asks players to solve social issues with ludicrous pitches. Players draw a card from a deck of brands – such as Axe Body Spray, Tinder and ‘a bougie athleisure brand’ – and pair it with a social issue card – including bee extinction, adult acne and the gender pay gap.

Players must then come up with a pitch on the spot to either solve, promote or raise awareness of the social issue. ‘Have you ever seen a brand get involved with a cause it has absolutely nothing to do with? Fast food chains, luxury cars, even toilet paper? It feels like we’ve reached peak-brand activism—and not in a good way,’ reads a press release by M/H VCCP.

Brand activism campaigns are becoming increasingly questionable, leaving consumers distrustful. Read our Opinion piece to see why it’s time for brands to relinquish ‘woke-washing’ and instead convert their words into real action.

4. Sex care brand Dame wants to derail sexism

New York – The brand is suing the New York subway for double standards when it comes to advertising sex products for women.

In July 2018, New York's MTA transport system initially approved Dame’s request to run an ad campaign on the subway. However, once the campaign was created, the transport body rejected the images on the grounds that it prevents sexually orientated businesses from advertising. ‘This made us wonder: why are pharmaceutical and supplement companies like Hims, Hers and Welleco allowed to advertise on the subway?’ reads a statement from Dame.

In response, the brand created consumer-facing campaign #DerailSexism to encourage customers to support the legal action it is taking against the MTA. To back the advertisement of female sex care products, Dame is asking individuals to share the images of the banned ads and tag the MTA to ensure the images receive the exposure they missed out on.

Following the success of Greenpeace’s banned Iceland ad, brands are capitalising on the power of consumers, using social media to take a stand against misguided regulations.

#DerailSexism, Dame
Verishop

5. Verishop is a one-stop affordable luxury platform

California – The new e-commerce platform is tapping into the retail opportunity presented by Generation Z and Millennial luxurians on the hunt for niche yet accessible luxury.

Created by former Snap executive Imran Khan, Verishop is positioning itself somewhere between Amazon and premium e-commerce platforms – a one-stop shop for what are largely direct-to-consumer (DTC) or nascent luxury brands, and in particular those targeting younger shoppers.

It will stock items from more than 160 brands, among them Ksubi, 7 for all Mankind and Young Frankk, with curated edits by Instagram influencers. Through such edits, Verishop hopes to better connect shoppers with brands and styles in what can be a confusing marketplace. ‘This is one of the problems we’re trying to solve… We think it will make shopping easier and less overwhelming for customers while helping brands get discovered,’ Khan told Vogue Business.

Verishop also responds to growing demand among shoppers for genuine luxury goods – an issue that Amazon Marketplace has faced with counterfeit luxury items being sold through its channels. For more on brands using technology to fight back against fakes, read our microtrend Blockchain Fashion.

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