Happy Thursday! After delivering a bespoke consulting project for General Mills this week, our iQ researchers still managed to track the positive patterns around uplifting and engaging BIPOC communities, reflections on intentional mental health resets, and the physical store as online brand discovery platform.
Thoughtfully Celebrating BIPOC & LBGTQA+ Communities
We live and operate within an imperfect world. Top brands and organizations can find success by creating opportunities for the disadvantaged with thoughtfully designed products and store experiences; and by leveraging operational strengths and local partnerships to address inequalities with initiatives for communal good. In fact, new research suggests brands and organizations can explore new opportunities when they empower consumer audiences to be seen, heard, and represented.
Trader Joe’s creates inclusive experiences for neurodiverse shoppers
Trader Joe’s is creating more accessible shopping journeys for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities by providing neurodiverse shoppers with step-by-step instructions, visual cues, and even guided audio how-to's for in-store tasks that are traditionally challenging or overwhelming for certain consumer communities. Read More
CVS brings huge investment to underserved communities
CVS Health has invested $185 million in creating permanent supportive housing (PSH) units for underserved communities. PSH residents tend to be individuals with disabilities, as well as youth aging out of foster care, victims of domestic violence, people in need of behavioral health or addiction treatment and individuals challenged by similar life situations. Community residents will gain access to services provided by CVS to help stabilize and improve their wellbeing. PSFK
Twitch’s internal guilds give its employees a voice in client decisions
The video live streaming service Twitch doesn’t just serve communities, it works as one too by building strong and diverse employee “guilds” where every team member and employee community is represented by having a voice. Read More
Download Today: A PSFK Playbook for Inclusive Engagements
Discover 6 intentional strategies to enact positive communal change by holistically championing equity and inclusion both inside the organization and out. Details
IRL Storytelling As Discovery Platform For Online Brands
Online brands are increasingly choosing brick-and-mortar retail channels, not for sales, but as a platform for discovery. As brands grapple with high costs of customer acquisition, physical stores and pop ups have become additional marketing vehicles for even the most traditional of tech giants and e-commerce platforms. By centering in-store experiences around brand initiatives and missions, and placing those stores in locations and geographies people trust, brands can create what are essentially billboards consumers can walk into.
Amazon’s first clothing store reminds shoppers the giant sells fashion
The Amazon Style store in Los Angeles is a retail first for the tech company, and meant to burnish Amazon’s brand among consumers shopping for fashion and apparel, while simultaneously reminding them of the depth and breadth of offerings that can be found on the e-commerce giant's platform. Amazon Style
DTC brand Mosaic Foods uses new store to market its vegan products
Meal delivery subscription company Mosaic Foods is opening a storefront to give consumers an opportunity to try the brand's vegan and vegetarian food offerings without the longer-term commitment of the online subscription it's primarily known for. The new location in Brooklyn, NY will sell individually pre-prepared vegan and vegetarian meals, and hopefully hook shoppers onto a longer-term relationship with both veganism and the food brand's products. Mosaic Foods
Google's Brooklyn retail store offers locally-branded experience
The Google Store Williamsburg is the first of the tech giant’s planned “neighborhood stores” which will celebrate their local setting and its unique creatives. The new Google Store offers a similar hands-on experience as the company’s flagship, but in a more intimate setting with a localized design that differs from, say, Apple’s more uniform approach. Google
Duolingo's innovative taqueria helps diners practice Spanish
Duolingo is opening up a new brand concept called “Duo’s Taqueria” in their hometown of Pittsburgh. The language-focused restaurant will offer visitors discounts on their food if they successfully test their Spanish skills, as well as offer other initiatives that prove Duolingo really is “the world's best way to learn a language.” TripSavvy
eBay opens retail pop-up targeting sneakerheads
An upcoming eBay pop-up store in Los Angeles looks to remind shoppers of the platform's position as a top destination for sneaker resale, not just knick-knacks from your aunt's attic. The activation will feature popular and collectible sneakers at discounts of up to 70% off, with even lower prices for shoppers who literally “wear their purchases out the door.” Press Release
Learn how your organization can leverage the potential of NFT's underlying token technology to drive loyalty and sales, plus optimistically unpack what it all means for the future of retail Marketing & Advertising.
Intentional Reflections Resetting Mental Health
As the world evolves at lightning speed, it can sometimes be difficult for consumers to keep up with the pace of their daily existence, much less feel comfortably grounded. There is a growing mental health crisis in America among all ages of the population. Consumers see slowing down, taking a break, and living reflectively and intentionally, as an antidote to the ever changing situations and myriad doom and gloom double-binds of modern life.
BMW iX Flow body color responds to drivers’ mental states
The BMW iX Flow is an innovative new vehicle with an E Ink body coat capable of changing its color on demand. By hooking up the car’s color suite to an EEG attached to volunteers, BMW was able to harness consumer brain activity to change the color patterns on the car depending on their mental state. As participants calmed and relaxed their brains, a special patterned E Ink animation across the car was unlocked. The activation was meant to show which strategies work best to relax consumer’s brain activity. BMW
What if we simply didn’t follow the news?
The Guardian reports on a growing percentage of the population who are stepping away from the 24/7 news cycle of doom and gloom overload, replacing political and geopolitical dialogue with things like baby animals and live-feeds from zoos on their social media to boost mental health. These individuals are increasingly asking themselves, “Will my knowledge, or lack thereof, of this event be able to actually change anything?” when they decide what content to consume. The Guardian
A sabbatical may not fix your job, but it can nurture life outside of it
The Atlantic writes on the growing prevalence of workers taking sabbaticals, and the valuable opportunity they provide for resting and reflecting on an identity outside of work. Giving workers extended time off also allows them to detach from work’s value system, and refocus on simple but essential, humane activities. Many companies find sabbaticals to be a powerful tool for attracting, and keeping, talented employees who return to the office more engaged and efficient. The Atlantic
Using vocal “biomarkers” to detect signs of depression and anxiety
Mindful talk therapy app Kintsugi’s AI software analyzes short clips of the human voice to detect depression and anxiety in patients. The mental health software is being integrated into clinical call centers, telehealth services and remote monitoring apps to provide a “more well-rounded, 360-view” of patients during virtual screenings. Kintsugi
Also In The News & Opinions This Week