Ayzenberg’s Ashley Otah looks at three major cultural trends this week and what they mean for brands.
Teens & Tech
Tech talk. The next generation of tech users is here. Research compiled by Pew Research Center shows how this shift in technology use by those 13-17 years of age is different than their predecessors. They’re not just using technology differently; they also live differently in a digital world. The research shows most teens have access to digital devices, such as smartphones, desktop or laptop computers, and gaming consoles. Teens state that YouTube stands out as the most common online platform, with 95 percent using this site or app, followed by TikTok and Instagram. About six-in-ten participants ages 15 to 17 say giving up social media would be at least somewhat challenging to do. Their younger counterparts, aged 13-14, think this would be less difficult. Understanding the technology behaviors of the next generation can be valuable information for examining the past and writing the future. Brands can ready themselves for the next generation by keeping a pulse on data and culture.
Gotta blast. Not your typical workout shoe, the new HySpeed looks more like a luxury car than a piece of athletic equipment. The Bay Area-based startup Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) debuted the design with Formula One auto manufacturer McLaren—a partnership that will test the limits of two different industries. While McLaren focuses on performance and APL is known for its high-tech and aesthetically pleasing focus on design, the partnership shows how fashion brands are moving away from strict aesthetics into functionality. Additionally, they continue to partner with myriad industries outside their wheelhouse. Although not the first fashion brand to find inspiration in car design, the partnership showcases how brands can make a long-lasting impact with mutually beneficial success in mind.
Alo x Roblox
Mindful moments. What do virtual reality, imagination and avatars have to do with yoga pants? Alo and Roblox. In January, athleisure brand Alo made headlines after it partnered with game developer Roblox to create ‘Alo Sanctuary,’ an online destination focused on yoga, meditation, and breath work. In June, it allowed customers of the brand to make purchases using cryptocurrency and employees to receive paychecks in the same form. Although the future of cryptocurrency, web3 and more fluctuate, the brand stands firm on its decision to keep exploring the space. As holistic living, wellness and well-being continue to hopefully become center stage, it is crucial to understand the implications of that and how brands can be a positive force in the space.