28 Jul

Trendswatch | New Business Insight From The Past Week

Well, the heatwave is over for the time being however freedom (just about) is upon us! So, unless you’ve been pinged, you can hit a club this weekend (Infernos anyone?!)   

 Now for the trends. Today I will be talking luxury bargain hunting, the Olympics, and the return of the space race.   

 Luxury bargain hunting 

It is evident that 2020 reset the world’s luxury market, as travel stopped, shops were closed, and luxury brands were forced to embrace e-commerce as the only viable way to keep sales going. This shift has since created a whole new luxury consumer segment - the luxury bargain hunter.   

The phenomenon is not entirely new. The motivation behind travellers flocking to Paris, Milan and other international shopping destinations pre-COVID-19 was primarily to save money on luxury purchases while enjoying foreign travel destinations.   

However, luxury brands now face the looming dilemma of how to navigate the discounting explosion. With leading brands fighting back against the trend, the theory is that discounting is not part of luxury experience.   

In fact, media reports suggest that top-tier luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior are increasing their prices in order to elevate brand status and control consumer demand. So, get those discounts while you still can!   

 The Olympics  

The Tokyo Olympics officially started last week and team GB are flying ahead! While fans can’t go to most of the games, many will be watching from home, which is good news for advertisers!  

Several brands have already released campaigns related to the games , including:  

  • Samsung – its commercial plugs that people can use phones to stay connected to the games when the usual hoopla isn’t happening.  
  • Nike envisions a “tomorrow” when a woman runs a marathon on Mars, and society respects athletes mental health.  
  • MilkPep, a marketing org funded by milk companies, rolled out an ad that stars two Olympians, Kristen Armstrong and Ariel Torres, working out in a gym behind a dairy section.  

However, as Covid-19 cases rise in Tokyo and athletes get sick, some advertisers have already got cold feet. Last Wednesday, Toyota said it was pulling Olympics-themed advertising from Japanese TV. 

 The return of the space race  

Space has become highly commercial. Last Sunday Richard Branson flew to the edge of space in his Virgin Galactic passenger rocket. Then on the Tuesday, his fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos travelled in his own reusable craft built by the Amazon founder’s company Blue Origin.   

Additionally, Elon Musk’s SpaceX vehicles have made numerous flights to the International Space Station, and since last year they have transported people as well as cargo.  

But how does this relate to the world of marketing? Well, it may seem far-fetched, but space marketing is an emerging trend that is offering companies a unique opportunity to re-imagine themselves and promote their products and services outside the physical boundaries of planet earth.  

Since the 80’s, space marketing has been an effective tool in helping to create an image that a product is ‘out of this world’. In 1986, Pepsi paid $5 million to hover a replica of an oversized Pepsi can outside the Russian Space Station. 

 This trend looks set to remerge with the launch of the billionaire space race. Morgan Stanley recently estimated that by 2040 over $1 trillion revenue could be generated through the global space industry.  

Commercial companies and forward-thinking brands will recognise the opportunity and explore legitimate ways to lift off into space. 

Going back to Elon Musk, he has already been proactive and productive in Space Marketing’s early stages. On February 6, 2018, a Tesla Roadster blasted off into orbit, an unprecedented event immersing an electric car with outer space.  

 Many advertising leaders agree that space marketing can captivate pop culture and spawn a new form of product placement and it may just be in the next year that we start to see brands partnering with the likes of NASA…  

 Come back next week for further trends and brand news!