In Selling Cyclical Beauty, we highlight the shrewd brands tapping into body, time, and environmental cycles to maximise the benefits of beauty product. New retail treatment opportunities – such as the new Bodyclock facial – are showcasing how to further boost skin health and wellbeing, while also spreading brand awareness.
British brand This Works’ Bodyclock facial combines masking, massage, fragrance and light therapy in a multisensorial skincare treatment synched to the time of day. Clients can choose between five facials that align with the company’s time-oriented skincare and aromatherapeutic blends: Wake Up, Daytime, Evening, Night and 24hrs.
The Wake Up facial is billed as a ‘rise and shine’ treatment to replace overnight water loss, calm irritation, and prepare skin and mind for the day ahead. Daytime tackles skin that may have become dull, tired or shiny. Evening focuses on deep cleansing and is best experienced after 6pm, while Night offers a plumping, smoothing facial for the twilight hours (after 9pm). This is the optimal time for natural actives to aid nightly cell repair, and boost hydration in anticipation of overnight water loss.
The newest addition to the line-up is the 24hrs facial, which the brand views as a power nap for lacklustre skin at any time of day. It mimics overnight revitalisation in just 20 minutes for a smoother, clearer, more refreshed complexion.
Each facial is elevated by a corresponding This Works aromatherapeutic fragrance, which is diffused nearby to either invigorate or relax the client. The skincare and fragrance elements are also complemented with light therapy, in the form of either Lumie SAD lighting to lift mood, productivity and energy levels; or amber glasses to block out stimulating blue light and aid relaxation.
The facial is priced competitively at £20 ($26), which is redeemable against product – another enticing benefit that will inspire repeat purchase and gifting (the retail sweet spot). Currently, the Bodyclock facial is only available in UK department store John Lewis’s Kingston branch – presenting lucrative roll-out opportunities to other retailers.
For more on aromatherapy and mood-balancing beauty strategies, see Lush’s Spa-Inspired Range, Experimental Scent and Skinjay’s Nespresso-Style Capsules. For more on cyclical beauty, see Menstruation-Targeted Beauty and Circadian Rhythms Drive Beauty Innovations.
Retailers are transforming into media entities and turning to broadcasting to reach those four out of five millennials who consider video content when researching a purchase decision (SMT, 2017). Ntwrk – dubbed “QVC meets Comic-Con” – is a new player that wants to redefine commerce’s modus operandi by melding TV, retail and the gloriously nerdy enthusiasm of convention culture.
The app-based concept was launched by US streetwear visionary Aaron Levant, founder of street culture convention ComplexCon and streetwear trade show turned marketing festival Agenda (for more, see our blog). Ntwrk sells goods via bite-sized video broadcasts, celebrity-packed episodic content (think game shows featuring prime-time chefs and hardcore rappers), and shoppable, physical pop-up theme parks.
Setting Ntwrk apart from its traditional counterparts (including QVC), shopping will be frictionless, with users able to save their credit card details and make purchases without leaving the entertainment environment. Categories include gaming, music, streetwear and art, and everything sold is a Ntwrk exclusive, with prices ranging from $45-$300. However, limited editions or collectable items exceed this in some cases.
Broadcasts come in two formats that are both relatively short but focused, appealing to Gen Z and Y’s desire for high-quality content in short bursts. Supermarket is a celebrity-hosted 15-minute themed show (Monday is about selling games, Wednesday about fashion etc), which currently runs three days a week but aims to increase to seven in 2019. The Meltdown is a weekly late-night Q&A show hosted by US comedian Eric Andre.
Ntwrk benefits from heavyweight funding from investors including Warner Bros’ digital content division Digital Networks, US basketball icon LeBron James, and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ntwrk plans to open ticketed 30-day-long theme parks in 2019. “They’ll be like Instagram factories and shoppable via e-commerce,” says Levant.
See also Live Commerce is Impacting Retail.
With demand for face masks growing exponentially in global markets – forecast to reach $337m by 2024 (Transparency Market Research, 2017) – smart brands are now creating diverse and nuanced offerings in this category. US skincare brand Patchology is targeting a new audience with the launch of its Moodmasks, a range that specifically caters to younger skin types.
Patchology’s evolving product line includes three face masks that have been designed to work with teens’ ever-changing “skin moods”, ranging from inflamed and acne-prone, to dull and dehydrated. For example, Just Let It Glow is aimed at those with lacklustre skin, guarding against harsh environmental factors like pollution and debris. Together, pear fruit and seaberry extracts moisturise and deliver antioxidants to the skin.
In the past, Patchology has targeted older millennials, but with the launch of Moodmasks, the brand is tapping into the lucrative teen market. Its latest venture feeds into Gen Z’s enthusiasm for effective and targeted skincare products: US teens’ spending in this category has increased by 18% year-on-year (Piper Jaffray, 2018).
In addition, the brand has simplified lengthy skincare routines, a move that appeals to Gen Zers – time-saving innovations that deliver quick results are key when targeting this consumer group. Each mask boasts multifunctional properties – for instance, The Good Fight treats redness and breakouts while exfoliating and brightening the skin. The masks will be priced accessibly at $6.55 each.
To read more about beauty innovations for Gen Z, see our reports Teen Beauty 2018, Tweens: An Expanding Make-Up Category and Teen-Targeted Beauty: Retail. For deeper cross-category insights into Gen Z, see our reports 10 Youth Trends to Watch and Teen Media Trends.
Following a boom in innovation in the cannabis drinks space, Coca-Cola has confirmed that it's exploring the possibility of using CBD oil in some of its drinks in the future.
Coca-Cola has embraced the massive financial potential of the cannabis space, which is set to be worth $22bn by 2022 (Brightfield Group, 2018). The global brand is in talks with Canadian medicinal cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis with the aim of developing a range of drinks infused with non-psychoactive CBD. The drinks will take advantage of the medicinal effects of the compound, which is said to ease pain, inflammation and anxiety.
For more on cannabis as a multipurpose elixir, see our report 10 Wellbeing Trends to Watch.
Michael Christopher, head of Californian cannabis drinks brand Mood33, is enthusiastic about this new development. As he stated at Advertising Week New York (October 1-3 2018), "It's a huge validator of our category for CPG [consumer-packaged goods] to be using [CBD] as a hero ingredient."
It appears, then, that Christopher doesn't see Coca-Cola as a threat. Instead, he is welcoming it as a potential investor in regional brands like Mood33, should cannabis eventually become fully legal across the US – as many expect it will do.
See our Spotlight Trend Commercialising Cannabis to learn more about this fast-growing industry. You might also want to take a look at The Beverage Buzz: Alcohol-Style THC Drinks for examples of how North American drinks brands are currently tapping into the cannabis space. Additionally, Fluid Flavours offers insights into innovations in the beverage industry.
Facebook is aiming to make video chat a more natural, seamless experience with the release of its first hardware device, Portal.
Facebook's Portal combines a video screen with an artificial intelligence-powered camera that tracks users' movements, keeping them in the frame throughout the chat. The device also features four integrated microphones that pick up speech, regardless of where the user is in the room. These features mean that, unlike smartphone and computer video-chat apps, Portal allows the user to move and speak freely, as if their conversation were happening face to face.
With Portal, Facebook is tapping into a global trend of dynamic, borderless living, facilitating a realistic communication experience through technology (for more on this, see our report Being Borderless). Facebook also appears to be targeting family relationships: Portal's Story Time, an augmented reality application, allows users to read stories to loved ones using a teleprompter while smart visuals and audio illustrate the story. For more on how technology is supporting new family dynamics, see Crafting Modern Connections, part of our latest Macro Trend The Kinship Economy.
Facebook is wise to capitalise on the popularity of video chat: in 2017, it hosted 17 billion video chats on its Messenger platform (Facebook, 2017). However, reaction to Portal has been mixed; reviewers have found the camera tracking effective, but are concerned about privacy in light of Facebook's recent data breaches and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Facebook describes Portal as "private by design", fitting it with features such as a camera cover and a button to completely disable the visual and audio recording functions, with the aim of increasing the product's privacy credentials. For more on how to preserve consumer privacy, see our Safeguarding Security report.
As food continues to dominate Instagram feeds, consumers expect restaurants and food brands to help them curate their own Insta-worthy images via beautifully presented dishes, backdrops and props. Looking to meet this need from an at-home perspective, London-based chef Skye Gyngell has partnered with Italian pasta brand La Famiglia Rana on a meal kit specifically designed to be Instagram-ready.
Each tortellini meal kit includes a plate, 'restaurant-quality' plating instructions and a wooden spoon in addition to the filled pasta, assisting consumers in creating pictures to be posted online. The kits are available in six different varieties, including spinach and ricotta tortellini with datterini, mint, and olives; chicken and smoked pancetta tortellini with radicchio and Parmigiano Reggiano; and prosciutto cotto and mozzarella tortellini with girolles and marjoram.
Gyngell says: "The world's obsession with photographing our food has fuelled a rise in all sorts of odd-but-edible inventions, turned humble vegetables into mega-trends, transformed restaurant diners into paparazzi and inspired home chefs to spread their wings. Anything that inspires people to be adventurous and creative – and proud of what they've prepared – is a wonderful thing."
It is an undeniable fact that over the past couple of years, Instagram has had a huge impact on how we consume our food. According to UK-based Italian restaurant chain Zizzi,18- to 25-year-olds spend an average of five days per year browsing food images on social media platforms.
The Forma kit allows buyers to build an articulated fish, complete with a hand-crank to simulate realistic swimming movement. The model comes in four different prototypes – each of which has the same fish 'skeleton' but can be decorated with different shark or fish 'skins'.
Lego's new release taps into the growing kidult market: in 2017, 11% of toy purchases were made by over-18s for their own use (NPD, 2018). As discussed in Playful Escapists, consumers are turning to nostalgic activities such as Lego model-building as a reprieve from today's high-pressure, digital-heavy world.
The Lego Forma kit has launched on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, to test the demand for such a product. The target of 500 units sold quickly, and now over 3,500 sets have already been purchased. This sales tactic is wise, following Lego's 8% revenue decline in 2017 due to a surplus of stock that prevented the release of new products (Lego, 2018). The kits are expected to be delivered in January 2019.
With its new model kit, Lego is catering to demand for tactile play opportunities for adults. For more on the benefits of experiences that engage the senses, see our Sensory Opportunity Spotlight Trend.
An insatiable, social-media-fuelled appetite for everything new is driving the value of store concepts that resemble micro exhibitions of hyper-curated edits. Along these lines, Amazon is re-entering the physical retail space with a 370 sq m Manhattan store that makes high online ratings a key selling point – keeping consumers ‘in the know’.
Using its vast database on what’s trending and what shoppers are buying (and liking) recently, Amazon 4-star only sells merchandise that’s rated four stars or more, is a top seller, or has been added to its e-commerce site in the past three months.
Arranged as a sort of expo store showcasing the trendiest things on Amazon (see also Beta Blends), the 2,000-piece product range includes books, games, household goods and toys, as well as its own range of Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers. A dedicated section titled Trending showcases a rotating mix of products, while a table of Most Wished-For items aims to offer inspiration for the upcoming Christmas season.
A digital price tag in front of the items displays consumers’ online reviews, with prices mirroring those on the website (Amazon operates a fluid pricing model, so prices change constantly). The tags also often include both a listed price and a cheaper one for Amazon Prime users – an incentive to sign up for membership on-site.
Amazon has been experimenting a lot with physical retail lately, with storefronts allowing the e-tail giant to get a bit more hands-on with consumers. Concepts include its Amazon Book stores, its innovative automated self-checkout concept Amazon Go, and click-and-collect centres on university campuses. The heavyweight also bought Whole Foods in 2017, and now operates 460 Whole Foods supermarkets, in which it has also added Amazon Fresh grocery pick-up stations. See also Last Mile: Retail Delivery Focus.
For more on how brands are helping consumers find the right products for them, see Solving the Search Conundrums.
Answering the ever-rising call for convenient groceries, US start-up Applestone Meat Co. has opened a 24-hour butcher's shop: a vending machine for all your meaty needs.
The brand has installed a row of vending machines in two locations in New York that are organised by meat type: beef, lamb, pork, sausages and ground meat. They're restocked multiple times a day with fresh, ethically sourced meats sold at an affordable price point. Between 11am and 6pm, customers can also purchase meat from a service window, offering the option to interact with a member of staff.
With plans to launch the concept in cities across the US in 2019, founder Joshua Applestone hopes the venture will tackle the country's issue of food deserts by offering everyone the opportunity to buy fresh meat 24/7. "We're not in the 1950s anymore, where everyone works nine to five and eats at the same time every night," he said. "Life is chaotic. At best."
This is a great example of how the meat industry is finding ways to adapt to contemporary society, where convenience is key. Read Dairy 3.0 to see how the dairy industry is responding to shifts in consumer attitudes. Meanwhile, New Food Covetables explores how high-quality meat is becoming more of a luxury commodity.
As beauty tech continues to be a lucrative opportunity for brands (the global beauty devices market is projected to be worth over $94bn by 2023 – P&S Market Research, 2017), products that hack everyday routines are resonating with consumers. A new British beauty device aims to tackle the time-consuming process of applying a flawless full face of make-up.
Two UK-based entrepreneurs, Catherine Gardner and Orson Mack, are launching Contour 8000 – a precision-engineered printer device that can apply a base of make-up in 30 seconds.
The pair have developed an artificial intelligence-powered smartphone app that pairs with the device. Once users have selected their desired look on the app, it analyses the their features and cleverly aligns the biometric data so that the products can be applied accurately. This personalised technology ensures different make-up looks fit the user’s unique features.
Each make-up look is pre-packaged into a cartridge that contains powder-based products – including foundation, contour, highlighter, eyeshadow and brow powder. For the make-up to be applied, the user connects the smartphone app to the printer via wi-fi and then positions their face over the device, which sits on a surface and sprays upwards.
In Rethinking Beauty: Digital Worlds, we highlighted Mink, an at-home 3D make-up printer concept that never came to fruition. This was followed by Swedish beauty device brand Foreo’s Moda digital make-up artist, which also never materialised. Is Contour 8000 the closest the beauty industry has got to delivering workable digital make-up application?
In 2018, the popularity of Asian-style food halls is booming in the West. Far from the outdated mall food courts of the 90s, these hubs house independent vendors and communal eating spaces. Tapping into this trend, US digital media giant Vice is opening a food hall in New Jersey next year.
The Munchies will be one of two food halls in the new 3m sq ft American Dream shopping and entertainment complex. It will house space for 18 independent vendors, as well as a stage area for chef demos and video shoots.
This is the latest in a series of non-digital food ventures for the media brand, which have included a meal-kit partnership with US brand Chef'd and its first cookbook, which launched in July. For more on how digital brands are stretching their foodie remit, see BuzzFeed's Bluetooth Cooktop and Brand Stretch: Elastic Food & Drink Development.
Food halls are set to be the next move on from street-food concepts – giving the idea a more structured, luxe angle while retaining its independent edge. Other notable developments include London's Market Hall, located inside a disused tube station building (the first three are set to open in the next year), and the Big Apple's Fête New York, a 12,000 sq ft space dedicated to nine up-and-coming chefs, set to open in spring 2019.
Kaja Beauty is set to debut in cult American beauty retailer Sephora’s stores from September 2018. The brand’s aim is to introduce Korean make-up offerings to people of colour via a total of 47 shade-inclusive products, including brow gels, blushers and highlighters.
“This is an innovative initiative – it takes learnings from Korean beauty while disregarding elements such as ‘whitening’ effects that have made much of this beauty market inaccessible to consumers of colour, until now,” said Stylus’ senior Beauty editor Lisa Payne.
The launch also feeds into millennials and Gen Zers’ enthusiasm for time-saving solutions: 18% of US personal care users wish their routine was less time consuming (Mintel, 2016). For example, Kaja’s Bento product offers a simple approach to eye make-up for users on the go. The curated eyeshadow trio is housed in a compact container and can be applied with fingers to create an array of daytime and evening looks in a few swipes.
In addition, the formulas’ textures deliver a unique sensorial experience for Western consumers – a key learning from Asian beauty. Mochi Pop, for instance, is a buildable cream-to-powder blush. When applied to the desired area, the smooth, velvety consistency of the product dries instantly.
For deeper cross-category insights into Asian beauty, see our Spotlight Trend Asian Beauty Now. To read more about sensorial beauty innovations, see Selling Sensorial Beauty and Revamped & Reclassified: Shiseido’s Bold New Make-Up Range.
The launch also taps into the beauty industry’s need for more diverse and inclusive offerings. For more on this, see Revlon’s Inclusive Beauty Brand Targets Millennials and Women of Colour: Breaking Beauty Barriers.
As urban dwellers become ever more space-deprived, kitchen brands and designers are finding creative ways to develop multifunctional and compact space-saving devices. The latest to adopt this thinking is London's Royal College of Art graduate Yu Li, with her portable kitchen.
The designer's seven-in-one Assembly set includes an induction hob, a chopping board, a pot, a pan, a wrap for utensils and cutlery and a dish rack – all of which fits neatly inside a compact box.
According to Li, it's designed for students and young people sharing limited kitchen space, and also offers an alternative to the standard kitchen set-up for nuclear families. "The idea is to trim the original kitchen space down to a few minimal elements so the space can be simpler, neater, and transformed [for] other purposes to increase the space utilisation," she explained.
The nifty, kitchenless kitchen has great potential beyond the student house share. It offers those in co-living spaces a personal option for when they want to cook alone, as well as flexibility for those living in larger abodes, where residents may want to play with space and have a convenient appliance to hand away from the kitchen. For more on this thinking, see New Food Roles & Rituals.
We highlight a slew of fresh retail concepts that merge physical and digital commerce in highly personalised ways, offering consumers speedy product try-on and tailored recommendations.
To read more about how retailers are redefining personalisation for the modern cross-channel consumer and combining the best of the e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar worlds, see Service-Only Stores in Brand Spaces, 2018/19, Tech Flex and Omni-Interactive.
Luxury food and beverage brands at this year's Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London pushed the boat out in terms of flavour, format and health credentials. Carefully considered left-field thinking delivered creative and fully-rounded products – from tea-whisky to CBD-infused honey.