And what are they craving?
Decision making is largely constructed of two main components, logic and emotion. Impulse buying has traditionally capitalized on the latter of the two, tapping into the consumers’ emotional desires and moods to make purchases that don’t involve much thought.In this model logic follows emotion as consumers rationalize or justify their reason for making the purchase, whether it be big or small. As brands continually deepen their understanding of the consumer experience they will not only increase their revenue through impulse purchases, but open new In 2011, US$7.5 billion of US consumers’ money went towards individual impulse sized chocolate confectionary.opportunities to strengthen their brand with the consumers – creating long-term, profitable relationships.The Core ‘Impulse’ CategoriesWithin the food and beverage industry, the most common impulse purchase is confectionary; an affordable indulgence that brightens the day. In 2011, US$7.5 billion of US consumers’ money went towards individual impulse sized chocolate confectionary. Manufacturers like Mars, Kraft and Ferrero all plan marketing and distribution strategies around impulse purchasing. But with changes in disposable income has led to changes in impulse purchasing patterns. The question is what long lasting impact will this have.Shrinking Size and Lower Unit PricesChocolate and sugar confectionary along with chewing gum retail sales were up 3.4% in 2011. Brands like Kraft and Wrigley are hoping to make their impulse appeal even stronger with consumers by releasing gum packs with fewer sticks at a much lower cost. Trident and Stride currently offer 5-stick packs for 50 cents and Wrigley plans to launch a similar pack format this year. The goal is to land more pocket-change purchases, mainly from Gen Y and Gen Z targets.While these are small, inexpensive items they are enough to help consumers relieve stress and anger. With the added frugal mindset brought on by the economic downturn, these examples do not cost enough to give the consumer spending guilt. There is a sweet spot between spending guilt and buying something that gives the consumer a short but sweet delight. Brands need to understand where that opportunity lies, and importantly, which can be specific to their category.New Media Outlets for Impulse PurchasingImpulse buying could see a substantial increase as Smart TVs become more mainstream in the marketplace – and they are well on their way. In 2011, 17% of all TVs shipped in the US had Internet connection capabilities. The market is expected to continue to expand and reach approximately 123 A better understanding of consumers and their emotions can open up new channels for brands to build long-term profitable relationships with consumersmillion shipments by 2014. As these devices become more common and advertising media becomes more sophisticated it could open a new channel for brands to capitalize on a consumer’s emotional state influenced by a show to prompt them into an impulse purchase directly from their TV.A better understanding of consumers and their emotions can open up new channels for brands to build long-term profitable relationships with consumers based on emotional, impulse purchases that bring revenue in for the brand and delight to the consumer.
From individual purchasing and consumption to shared experiences
The prevalence of social networks containing photos of every social event, and open to being viewed and discussed by all of our friends and more, is creating a pressure to look at ones best at all times. As a result, the beauty category remains buoyant despite the economic climate in developed markets.Social networks are not only influencing behaviors, but also the specific products we consume – 90% of all purchases have some sort of social influence (Econsultancy), making Facebook, Twitter and other sites new and exciting places to play for brands.A growth marketWomen between the ages of 30 and 39 are expected to be among the fastest growing demographic groups in the US, and the consumers in that group are nearing their peak earning and spending years. As a result the beauty market is set to continue booming. Further, this group is highly-engaged in social media and we can expect beauty brands to leverage the medium to engage with consumers and maximize their profits.Outside of the US, in emerging economies, we will see huge increases in the numbers of young and increasingly affluent people. Brazil, Russia, China, and India alone will contribute over half of the total $43 billion absolute growth in the global beauty industry from now to 2014 (Euromonitor), offering organic growth potential.And it’s not just the women’s market that is booming – the men’s beauty market is now worth over €5 billion in Europe and is overtaking the women’s sector on the growth front. As men are staying single for longer, they are taking more care of their appearance – they have become more confident in taking care of themselves. Young men in their 20s and 30s are realizing there’s something cool about being well-groomed. In China, this trend is even more acute, as the lack of marriageable women means Chinese men are more aware of grooming. As a result the market for men’s skincare products in the country rose by 27% last year and has been rising at a rate of 40% this year – about five times the rate for women’s skincare products (L’Oreal).The young, and men in particular, are the precise demographic that suit social commerce, and the growth of smartphones and the delivery of new services are connecting them with brands in ways never possible before. This is particularly prevalent in the beauty market, where brands not only sell a product, but also expertise and even lifestyle.2011 – the year of the appThis year a number of brands have brought new services to market, including P&G whose ‘My Beauty Advisor’ app for Apple and Android provides a holistic approach to beauty, combining brands, like Clairol, Covergirl, Olay, and Pantene to address head to toe beauty issues and simplify purchase decisions.Another app that is proving hugely popular is Snapette, which enables users to share and discover the latest fashion accessories from anywhere in the world by taking photos of their favorite bags, shoes and accessories and post them.Social networks and consumptionAs well as apps, brands are investing in digital solutions for social networks. L’Oreal, for example, has over 800,000 ‘Likes’ on its Facebook page, which also contains tips and tricks, information on new product releases and even questionnaires on what consumers look for in their hair color.This year we also witnessed the creation of a number of new websites that offer new services within the social domain. One of the most predominant is Blippy – a free membership site that allows users to share their purchases with the network and see what their friends are buying online and in real life. Blippy encourages users to comment on items shared, allowing them to earn social capital from their peers through the validation of their purchases. This is a feature that has gained the most traction from consumers, as they see it as a better way of expressing their values and interests, than a standard profile page.The website Go Try It On allows people to share photos of clothes and outfits with each other, giving feedback as to what they think works and what belongs in the wardrobe. The unbiased opinion of fellow users and friends is of huge value and consumers have been quick to sign up, with the website having thousands of subscribers across the globe and adding more all the time. Clothing brand Diesel has even added the ability for consumers to take photos of their outfit in the store changing rooms, and upload it directly to their Facebook account for peer review.Using social networks to leverage new product releases has found more traction in developing economies, however. Peer recommendations have a different importance around the world, finding those with higher recommendation values are the key to social platform success for CPG manufacturers.Technology will play a dominant roleTechnology will increasingly play a dominant role in how beauty brands connect with their consumersTechnology will increasingly play a dominant role in how beauty brands connect with their consumers, and the rise of social media gives brands the opportunity to introduce new products to consumers through peer-to-peer recommendation, the most persuasive form of marketing there is.We are set to see more services that utilize the utilitarianism of smart phones to engage with consumers, and additionally plug brands into the growing social communities.
The products that are making washing less of a chore
Tending to the laundry can often be time consuming and frustrating, particularly when dealing with a variety of fabrics or taking on the duty for the whole family. In addition the process is energy intensive. Laundry brands are working hard to deliver new innovations that makes a joyless chore easier and more efficient.Increased efficacyFollowing the market successes of ‘cold wash’ solutions by Persil and Tide / Ariel, earlier this year Persil updated the formula for their Small & Mighty product, giving high quality results with just 30 minute washing cycles, while also at a low temperature. This gives consumers precious time to help them get to the bottom of the laundry pile, while also having the added bonus of saving them energy costs. In addition, the shorter wash cycles will significantly decrease the environmental footprint of washing your clothes. With the average family washing five times per week, this will save over ten days of time each year and even with the most efficient washing machines over 10,000 liters of water a year, saving enough water for the whole family to drink for three years (Channel 4). Key innovations focus on reducing both the time and money spent on laundry.While laundry detergent brands have been developing new solutions to make washing easier and more efficient, so too have appliance manufacturers. Gorenje recently presented the WashEXPERT concept which incorporates a touch screen control panel, which allows consumers to just select the images that closest match the laundry, making the process more intuitive. The consumer also has the option of putting it onto a MYwash cycle, which stores all your favorite programs, tailored to your individual needs and habits.Making the process even easier, Bosch’s i-DOS system autonomously analyzes your laundry and calculates the perfect amount of liquid detergent to dispense from an integrated tank, taking into account the type of textile, the degree of soiling, the exact load weight, and the degree of water hardness. This eliminates under and over-dosing with the potential savings of up to 7,062 liters of water per year and several liters of liquid detergent, while simultaneously making washing easier for consumers who tend to find the multiple settings and functions on a machine too complicated.Increased clothing careLooking to be kinder on the environment and your clothes, Samsung’s EcoBubble machines use 70% less energy then standard machines – ‘letting bubbles do the rest’. The machine mixes air with water and detergent to generate bubbles that penetrate the clothes rapidly – up to 40 times faster than a high concentration liquid, while using only 30% the energy of a normal wash cycle. Furthermore, the bubbles mean that less mechanical action is required, and therefore resulting in less wear and tear on clothes.Meanwhile, Philips has developed an innovative iron that also helps to care for your clothes. It has no dials or settings as it can be used on any fabric, on the same setting and its cool base won’t burn material, even if you leave it sitting on the fabric for five minutes. This gives consumers reassurance that their garments will be safe from damage. This also means that they will save time, as there is no need to pre-sort clothes or to change temperature settings, with the ability to go from linen to silk to cotton to cashmere without waiting.Beyond washingIn the future, however, cleaning our clothes may be much simpler. In September, Adrian Mankovecký, student at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia, was awarded first place in the 2011 Electrolux Design Lab competition. His design concept is an instant laundry device that refreshes clothing and removes stains where and whenever you need to.Powered with a sugar crystal battery, the portable device has two components, which the consumer separates and places either side of the garment. Negative ions and steam refresh the clothing, removing stains.There are multiple lucrative opportunities to develop solutions in the clothing and clothing care industry that make our lives betterAnd it may get even simpler with the development of new textiles that self-clean that would make the whole laundry industry redundant. In a time-starved world, people have less time or want to clean, whilst paradoxically their increasingly active lives are resulting in dirtier clothing. Coupled with an increasing lack of resources there are multiple lucrative opportunities to develop solutions in the clothing and clothing care industry that make our lives better.
At the end of September, Adidas unveiled their new F50 adiZero boots that feature miCoach technology, so that footballers’ speed, distance, sprints and intensity can be measured.Designed for both professional and amateur footballers the boots are available at retail from November. The system allows wearers to compare their performance to Adidas professional players including Lionel Messi, teammates and friends, allowing them to analyze their performance in more detail.Players will be able to download their stats to their smartphone and directly into a newly created platform that will take personal performance stats and build them into a gaming experience. Players will also be able to download their data to the miCoach online training hub. Users will be able to see graphical representations of their performance, relevant training programs from the best clubs in the world to help improve performance, and ways of sharing and comparing their performance to other footballers around the world.Adidas product manager Andreas Konrads, described the new f50 as “the world’s first boot with a brain”. Data streams are now everywhere, and they are helping us understand the world around us, and gain greater knowledge of what is going on with ourselves. New smart technologies are helping us gain professional advice to look after ourselves more effectively. In the future, data will become a key part of our lives as we become constantly connected.
The world of science is transforming the materials we use
With technological advancements we are seeing electronics and sensors being incorporated into a number of everyday items. Smart clothing has been predicted as the future for a long time, but now the future may finally be here. Antennae explores developments in textiles and technology that point to a new dawn in clothing.Impact on the worldBack in 2009 the Climate Dress was developed by the Copenhagen design studio DIFFUS. The haute-tech dress incorporates a carbon dioxide detector and uses conductive embroidery to transmit information to hand-stitched lights, resulting in patterns that range from slow pulses to rapid flashes depending on the concentration of the greenhouse gas. It was designed to generate awareness of environmental issues through an aesthetic representation of environmental data.With increasing levels of air pollution around the world reaching dangerously high levels, it has become necessary to not only create awareness of pollution or even try to reduce the pollution at source, but to develop new technologies that improve the quality of the air around us. A unique collaboration between the worlds of fashion and science, led by the University of Sheffield and London College of Fashion, has seen the exploration of developing clothing that can purify the air we breathe. They have created a product that can be added to fabric enhancer, which when washed into clothing purifies the air in a catalytic process by removing nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, both of which are emitted by industry and motor vehicles. As a result clothing’s role will expand further into protecting the wearer from the surrounding environment, with brands like North Face and Salomon presented with new opportunties to drive innovation in outdoor-wear.Impact on the wearerThe future inclusion of smart textiles has the potential to go beyond the environment and towards building a relationship between textiles and the wearer. Modern manufacturing technologies like different lamination, laser cutting and ultrasonic welding, as well as conductive fibers, enable implementation of new textile sensor systems. The creation of smart textiles will go beyond the capabilities of products such as Adidas’ miCoach or Under Armor’s E39. The potential features of future smart clothing are numerous, with the implementation of comfortable and unobtrusive sensor systems for application in sports, baby wear, workwear, healthcare and wellbeing, and could become part of the everyday fabric of life.Ubiquitous technologyThe development of vibration energy-harvesting generators, as well as small sensors that are washable and don’t need batteries, mean that technology can be integrated into clothing. This will dawn a new world where we are constantly connected to ourselves and the world around us – technology will become ubiquitous and will go unnoticed.This will dawn a new world where we are constantly connected to ourselves and the world around us – technology will become ubiquitous and will go unnoticedCuteCircuit believe that wearables will be the future tool for personal communication. The most used communication tool is the mobile phone, and they believe that “the wearable technology and the telecommunication market will merge in a not very distant future”. Their current product line includes the Hug Shirt that allows people to send hugs to each other over the mobile communication network. The shirt incorporates sensors that feel the strength of the touch, skin temperature, heartbeat rate, and actuators that recreate the ‘emotion’ of the hug. A second product is the Kinetic Dress that reacts to the wearer’s activities and moods, relating the information through electroluminescent embroidery.Smart fabrics will lead to many new applications being integrated into our clothing that were historically only in the realm of expensive and complicated medical or industrial systems.A new opportunityTextiles are the most common material that we come into contact with, wearing them, sitting on them, sleeping on them – representing 70% of the material we come into contact with each day (Textronics). The integration of electronics with textiles brings a new frontier in functionality to one of the most common materials in our daily lives. Imagine a carpet that tells you when it’s time to vacuum, a chair that activates a warming function when you sit down, and clothing that tells you that your baby is getting ill or that you’ve pushed yourself to your physical limit during a run.Technology, apparel and textile companies need to collaborate with each other to develop industry-leading applications that break new ground.
September 2011 saw Adidas unveil the adiPURE trainer – the first barefoot trainer designed specifically for the gym. The shoe mimics exercising barefoot, but with the protection, traction and durability of wearing shoes. Barefoot training strengthens muscles, builds balance and promotes dexterity.Although they provide a better workout by strengthening foot muscles, they lack initial comfort and are only likely to prove popular amongst hardcore athletes – not for the average gym goer amongst us. Until consumers’ mindsets change regarding the purpose and function of sports shoes the opportunity will be limited. Will the barefoot trend prove to be just a craze, or the future of sports training?In the meantime, the shoe is proving very popular, with sales more than doubling in the past year. But they still make up only a fraction of the $22 billion US athletic shoe industry (SportsOneSource).The strong growth from a small base may be inevitable. However, the overall size of the prize may be limited if the product proves to be a fad.
Developments of nanoparticles in textiles
The use of nanoparticles in textiles, from high-end fashion to biological warfare, has become a huge area of interest for researchers and multinationals alike. Antennae analyzes the small particle that has the potential to make a big impact on our lives.The emerging applications: ProtectionThe main challenge for any incorporation of nano particles is to provide functionality to cotton fabrics, without compromising the aesthetic appearance of the garment or the inherent comfort.Scientists from Cornell University have taken up the challenge and are currently using several approaches, including atomic layer deposition of inorganic materials and electrostatic self-assembly procedures, to create new so-called smart fabrics. Such processes enable textiles to protect against UV irradiation, create novel fibers with catalytic and electrical properties to potentially provide filtration against bacteria. The aim was simple, to create clothing that prevented colds, protect the wearer from air pollution and potentially reduce need the need for washing.In response to the challenge they designed two garments. Firstly a dress coated with silver nanoparticles using electrostatic interactions that created cationic charges on the surface of a cotton substrate by covalently binding one functional end of a compound to the hydroxyl groups on the cellulose molecules of cotton. In turn, silver nanoparticles, carrying an anionic charge were produced by coating with polymers. The anionic silver nanoparticles were then assembled over the surface of the cationic cotton fibers, which imparted antibacterial properties inherent to silver to the cotton garment. Secondly they designed a jacket with platinum and palladium nanoparticles to allow for decomposition of toxic chemicals.Importantly, in both of these cases the cotton remained relatively unchanged to the touch after it was covered with nanoparticles.The emerging applications: Color changesInnovations have also focused on potential applications in high-end fashion. The aim is to control color by altering the interaction of light and nanocoated material. However, cost is a significant barrier to advances of nanotechnology in the fashion world, as one square yard of cotton treated with a nanoparticle costs US$10,000.The emerging applications: Self-cleaningDevelopment of self-cleaning textiles is seen as a driving force of sustainable living as it has the potential to save water resources, reduce our reliance on detergents and increase the lifetime of fabrics. There is also a potential saving to consumer’s wallets, last year alone we spent over US$53 billion globally on laundry detergents, with Asia Pacific and Western Europe the two leading value regions.Several innovative approaches were developed to create self-cleaning fabric by employing hydrophilic coatings with photocatalytic properties that can break down dirt particles, microorganisms and pollutants. Currently, the most promising photocatalytic material is nano titanium dioxide (TiO2) that exhibits the high photocatalytic activity due to the large surface area of nanoparticles and the high sensitivity to UV light.In addition to the self-cleaning effect, TiO2 can provide multifunctional benefits, including UV-blocking, and anti-bacterial functionality. In order for this technology to viably enter consumer or B2B markets, several important issues have to be resolved, but one that stands out. The technology needs to immobilize TiO2 nanoparticles on the fabric to reduce hazardous effects on human skin by generating free radicals under UV exposure. One of the more promising solutions is the incorporation of nanoparticles with polymer nanofibers using electrospinning and electrospraying techniques.An alternative approach to create self-cleaning fabrics is to utilize hydrophobic coatings that can repel dirt particles. The technology imitates the surface of a lotus leaf, which creates superhydrophobicity and allows the leaf to repel and remove dirt. The generation of additional nano-scale structures by incorporating nanoparticles or nanotubes allows researchers to create an artificial lotus effect with superhydrophobic properties. Multiple nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes, silica particles, ZnO nanorods, and copper nanocrystallites have been deposited via controlled assembly to create superhydrophobic surfaces on highly hydrophilic textiles such as cotton.Hong Kong University was one of the pioneers that demonstrate the fabrication of artificial lotus leaf structures using carbon nanotubes as building blocks. As there is research underway into carbon nanotubes-coated cotton fibers use in sensing, in all likelihood the cost of production will eventually mean that this will be viable for mass production.The emerging applications: The arms raceiFyber LLC intends to commercialize its technology for depositing nanocoating onto the surface of fabric. One property of these nanoparticles is that they can make the fabric repellent to water and oil. The US Department of Defense has funded the company with the express aim to develop a material to identify leaks in suits used for chemical warfare, and to create antibacterial wound dressing.Nanoparticles also will have applications in the use of protective clothing for the military as nanoparticles can chemically degrade toxins sometimes used in chemical and biological warfare. For example, metal oxide nanoparticles (e.g TiO2, MgO, CaO, ZnO, Al2O3, and Fe2O3), can be used to decompose organic material such as bacteria and viruses, as well as degrade many toxic chemicals, including air pollutants, chemical warfare agents, acidic gasses and pesticides.The future is bright, but needs tighter regulationDespite the rapid advance of nanotextiles, potential deleterious environmental and health effects should be considered, even though long term exposure to engineered nanomaterials and bioaccumulation are unknown, and there appears to be a lack of regulation regarding these materials. For example, nanomaterials released from geotextiles will most likely enter the soil, while, nanoparticles released from T-shirts could contact human skin, enter the gastrointestinal tract, or be taken up by lungs.
Antennae looks into wearable technologies
The fusion of electronics and textiles holds promise to create intelligent, innovative products for numerous apparel applications. The future holds the potential for wearable health monitoring, performance-mapping sport wear, wearable displays and controls, electronic protective clothing, and also new fashion alternatives. Antennae assesses the emerging technologies, their potential, and likely short to medium term success.The pioneers and the opportunityThere are pioneering industries that have already commercialized a limited product range. The entertainment industry sells clothing with integrated players, radios, and speakers. The problem is that the overall “size of the prize” is limited in this space.But, there is an emerging opportunity in health-orientated sports products. While monitoring devices for apparel are still in early development; the space potentially offers a big return on investment. Just look at the US$16 billion revenue stream generated by one of the world’s leading companies, the Adidas Group (includes the Adidas, Reebok, Taylor Made and Rockport brands) last year.There is an emerging opportunity in health-orientated sports productsThe development of personalized health monitoring devices is a major driver for advancements in wearable electronics and smart clothing. Health monitoring can detect and track many different environmental and physiological parameters, such as temperature, local humidity, relative motion, heart and respiration rates, blood pressure; the list goes on.Embedded components could include sensors, actuators, energy management systems, and human-machine interfaces. The challenge is to make the components small, light, flexible, washable, and robust enough to operate in a wide range of ambient conditions.The current technology driving smart textilesMultiple electronics companies, research organizations, and textile multinationals are investing in wearable electronics. Innovation focuses across a wide range of technological development that includes sensors, nanotechnology, flexible electronic devices and chip designs, organic semiconductors and conductive polymers.To make all this possible it is crucial to develop two new materials — Flexible sensors and novel weave structures, with polymers a key component of both.Polymers that alter their properties due to changes in environment - temperature, pressure, humidity, or the presence of specific molecules - are important for flexible sensors. Conductive polymers such as polypyrrole, polyaniline and polythiophene are popular emerging sensing materials that can be a solution coated on conformable surfaces or spun and incorporated into other woven and non-woven goods. However, their slow response rate and instability over time require further development for use in practical applications.R&D pioneers: BiosensorsResearches from the Indian Institute of Technology have demonstrated a novel biosensor fabricated from unsaturated polymer resin based on esterification of dimethyl terephthalate and ethylene glycol. This biosensor outperforms the existing foam-based and metallic sensors in both durability and stability, with testing for radial pulse sensing showing 87% accuracy. Novelty of the proposed technology is in the fabrication of the biosensor as textile treads that can be easily processed and dyed and incorporated as regular textiles.R&D pioneers: StretchableGrowing attention is being paid to stretchable electronics for large-area sensors that can be employed for electronic artificial skin. It can be used for robotic applications or distributed on potentially unconventional surfaces. University of Tokyo has developed novel stretchable elastic conductors based on carbon nanotube/rubber composites that can be integrated into sensing and actuating devices. Researchers have demonstrated that organic field-effect transistors for sensing applications can remain fully functional even when stretched by 25%. High elasticity of these transistors will broaden the choice of fabric materials for wearable applications.Stretchable silicon will continue to compete with organic semiconductors and may offer a paradigm shift from rigid chips to conformable electronics if silicon chips can be incorporated into stretchable substrates. But organic semiconductors are faster and require less power than silicon chips. MC10, a US start-up company, has developed a high performance chip based on CMOS technology with proprietary interconnects to sensors and packaging suitable for conformable electronics that can be easily incorporated inside a garment. Currently, in collaboration with Reebok, the company is developing chips for stretchable materials for health monitoring applications.R&D pioneers: NanotubesCarbon nanotubes offer the potential for wearable power conversion to support garment-embedded electronics. Their high conductivity, large surface area, and porous structure make it promising for use in supercapacitor applications. But importantly their performance combined with simple, scalable fabrication process makes it a practical solution to the question of power supply.Stanford University has demonstrated the technical feasibility of such supercapacitors based on conformal coating single-walled carbon nanotubes on cotton fabric. The devices exhibited excellent charge retention, significant cycling rate, and high specific capacitance.Short-term barriers to jumpDespite the significant progress in the development of flexible electronics and electronic textiles, there remain challenges to electronic consumer textile goods. Problems arise from the lack of involvement of the fashion industry in new product development. At present pioneers are within sports apparel. As a result, many prototypes have a very technical appearance and lack aesthetic appeal. Successful commercialization of smart clothing requires joint development by both electronics and fashion players to address the consumer market drivers and yield goods that show novelty, differentiation and high functionality.The longer-term opportunitySeveral different consumer and demographic trends will drive the continued merging of clothing and electronics. The aging population will fuel demand for functional apparel that can continuously monitor the wearer’s well being. High performance and professional athletes will need active monitoring during competition and training. Finally, the overarching macro health and wellness consumer trend will likely mean the mass market entry of health monitoring clothing and other wearable systems. The future will bring technological advancements providing new materials combined with better performance. They will need to focus on sensing devices with improved reliability, sensitivity, miniaturization, integration, lifespan, better data acquisition and communication and the overall system cost reduction.Wherever you stand, the future of electronic integration into clothing appears bright.
Snapette is a new location-based fashion app enabling users to share and discover the latest fashion accessories from anywhere in the world – now you can window-shop the world from the comfort of your own home.Users take photos of their favorite bags, shoes and accessories and post them to Snapette, along with comments and where they found them. Users can then search by brand, store, description and by what’s new, near or trending (with the most likes and comments), as well as comment on photos, share tips and recommendations.Snapette’s aim is to create a community of stylish techies. With shoppers turning to peers and review sites for inspiration and guidance on purchase decisions, this app is set to become hugely popular amongst young fashionistas.With apps increasingly helping consumers make purchasing decisions before they visit a store, retailers must look at making apps part of their digital strategy.Retailers have to ensure that their products are being seen in the new digital spaces consumers are looking, and make it as easy as possible for consumers to find them and then buy them.
Clothing, people, and the planet
Clothing brands are working hard to ensure they are as sustainable and as socially responsible as possible, from material selection, to retail and to recovery. The industry’s problems of the 1990’s - related to employment of workers in developing nations - seem to be well behind it, as consumers see their favorite apparel brands doing their best to improve the world.Industry leading sustainabilityFollowing the design of the Clever Little Bag last year, Puma is determined to lead the industry toward sustainable consumerism. In April, the Puma Boulevard de Sébastopol flagship store in Paris was remodeled as an eco-concept store. The store combines high-tech interactive features and numerous joyful elements, with eco-friendly materials, setting a high value on sustainability. Materials include energy-efficient lighting and FSC-certified sustainable wood, certified floor finishes and low-emitting paint, while clothes hangers are made from cornstarch. Puma has successfully brought a sense of joy into their retail environments while delivering a sustainable and innovative retail design. If successful, features of the store will be rolled out to other markets as well.Puma has also set itself the target of producing half its collection from sustainable materials by 2015. In September, Puma introduced Re-Suede, a redesign of the classic shoe from the 70s using recycled materials. The sole of the Re-Suede sneakers are made with a rice-husk filler – a by-product of the food industry, while the rest of the shoe is made from 100% recycled material. It is also 140 grams lighter than the original, reducing carbon emission by up to fifteen tons for every 1,000 pairs shipped.Bringing causes to the forePuma’s competitor, Nike, has also been adapting new green processes – they are setting up a venture-capital offshoot called the Sustainable Business and Innovation Lab to foster a new generation of green-technology businesses. By pursuing new sources of energy and sustainable production, Nike may be able to cut costs, whilst also helping to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.Nike is also leveraging their brand and reach to help communities and charity groups. Last month a video campaign from Nike went viral, presenting a ‘lost scene’ from the original Back to the Future movies, capturing Doc Brown’s efforts to buy a shoe for Marty McFly. The video was a precursor to Nike selling 1,500 pairs of Nike’s MAG shoe - the shoe made famous by Marty McFly wearing the futuristic footwear in Back to the Future II – on eBay. The auction raised nearly $5.7 million, with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox’s (the actor who played Marty) Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.The auction attracted the attention of celebrities and Back to the Future fans alike, with British hip-hop artist Tinie Tempah spending nearly $40,000 to own the first available pair. The campaign not only helped to raise millions of dollars, but also the profile of the charity, bringing the cause to the attention of many more consumers.In retail, Uniqlo has launched an All Products Recycling initiative in all of its UK stores, following the models already used in Korea and Japan. Customers can now hand over old Uniqlo products they no longer wear, which Uniqlo will sort and then donate to young people trying to get back on their feet after a period of homelessness.Wearing your eco-consciousness on your sleeveAs well as on the high-street, ethics is also a major trend on the catwalk. Inspired by the challenge of creating recycled clothing, Christopher Raeburn’s designs would have been unimaginable only a decade ago. Their uniqueness precisely comes from the fact that he limits himself to the utilization of re-appropriated military fabrics, constraining his choice of materials, sources and as a consequence also of styles due to the material at hand. As a result his collections have personality, giving consumers the individual look they desire. With more consumers looking to express themselves through the clothes they wear, coupled with an increased environmental consciousness re-appropriation is a growing trend in the industry.Sustainability and successBrands that connect with social issues tend to be more personable and more human than their counterparts. This provides something that consumers can relate and connect with.To illustrate this point we can look at the rising success of TOMS, who in their ten years have sold over one million pairs of shoes, and have now expanded into glasses, as consumers relate to their ‘One for One’ philosophy and transparency of business operations.Today’s consumers care increasingly about issues of business ethics and environmental stability, with more consumers wanting their brands to drive change. The sheer volume of the industry and the number of people it interacts with means that it can make a massive difference. As a result many mainstream companies are increasingly addressing the modern ethical buyer. Brands with an ethical conscience are now outperforming their rivals, as sustainability becomes a central growth platform.
Puma’s Clever Little Bag - vision.puma.com
Earlier this year Puma announced that in 2011 they are going to abolish the shoebox, as they have completely reinvented its design in order to not only make it more sustainable, but also more pleasing.
Nike football kits - www.nike.com
This year we have seen the continued move towards sustainability. Increasingly, it has become core to both the product and packaging a company produces - we have finally moved beyond greenwashing, to solutions that are essentially eco.
Levi’s revenues are rising - growing 17%, (Reuters) - in no small part to their investment in their retail strategy.
At the end of last year Chanel launched their 2010 Sports Collection.
At this summer’s World Cup a number of teams, including Brazil, will take to the field wearing shirts made of recycled plastic bottles. The Nike shirts, made from 100% recycled polyester, are made with up to eight plastic bottles each. This move is expected to save 13 million plastic bottles going to landfill this year alone, and will save 30% of the energy used in production.
Filtering down technology from the sporting elite
Technologies developed at the pinnacle of sports have been filtering down into the products that we use everyday. Nowhere is this more visible than the technological relationship between Formula One and road cars.
In line with their mission statement to be ‘the most desirable and sustainable sports lifestyle brand’, Puma have revisited the design of the humble shoebox and developed a reusable bag which uses 65% less paper.
Nike’s flagship Japanese store opened in Tokyo last year. The store exemplifies Nike’s brand, incorporating a unique design that makes it more like a playing field than a conventional store.
Increasing demand for luxury in developing nations
With the future of the global economy still uncertain, more brands are looking to developing markets, specifically to the Chinese consumer – who might be able to lift the global economy out of recession.
How do you transfer luxury online?
What makes luxury products such a luxury? Beyond materials and craftsmanship, the retail experience is key to consumer’s perceptions of how luxurious and desirable a product is. The interiors of luxury brand retail stores are filled with a myriad of sensory experiences that relate the values of the brand to the consumer.
Driving growth through brand cooperation
Although co-branding is nothing new, it is on the up and many industry experts have highlighted it as a growing trend for 2010, as consumers want brands to be more experimental, and more open – a reflection of our changing society.
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A better understanding of consumers and their emotions can open up new channels for brands to build long-term profitable relationships with consumers based on emotional, impulse purchases that bring revenue in for the brand and delight to the consumer.
We explore the rapidly changing world of laundry - how it is becoming more effortless and sustainable through innovations in appliances, chemistry, and textiles. In the future will our clothes need to be cleaned at all?
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This week TOMS announced a significant repositioning of their brand – from TOMS shoes to TOMS 'one for one'. With this shift, they have moved from being merely a shoe company, or even a fashion-ware brand, to an initiative based business built around the one-for-one model.