- Sebastien Van Laere
Future Digest - October 27th
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
This week's Future Digest sees politicians playing games and gamers becoming influencers. Barbie discusses racism on her YouTube channel. Localism in China could hinder the success of Western brands looking at China for recovery from the pandemic and future growth. Brian Chesky from Air BnB believes the short term future for travel will be local and PayPal will support cryptocurrencies in the USA. Finally a Swedish shipping company is leading the way in sustainable transport and the World Economic forum predicts half of employees will need reskilling by 2025.
AOC made her first appearance on Twitch attracting 435,000 people making her Twitch session the third most watched. Meanwhile Rock The Vote uses Minecraft to teach young audiences about voting and the Biden Campaign created an island in animal crossing.
Gaming continues to draw in people as a form of entertainment - either playing themelves or watching people play - and as a result professional gamers are emerging as the new influencers. The likes of Ninja, El Rubius and Pewdiepie have millions of followers who frequently tune in to their gaming live streams and are now scoring contracts with the likes of Adidas or Red Bull.
Barbie addresses white privilege on her YouTube channel.
Already before the pandemic, many global brands had made China a big part of their growth strategy. Now that the country is one of the only major economies showing a V-shaped recovery, many businesses are doubling down on their expansion into China. However, Euromonitor research found an increasing strong preference for local brands. Over 76% of Chinese consumers increased their consumption of locally branded products in the last year, and 90% of them have a positive perception of local brands. This means global (Western) brands will need to localise their strategy to win over the Chinese consumer.
The Business of Fashion and McKinsey shared a preview from their State of Fashion 2021 report (paywall) , due to be released in early December. In the best case scenario, they anticipate that global fashion sales will return to pre-pandemic levels as of of the thirs quarter in 2022.
According to Brian Chesky, the future of travel will see "a redistribution of where people travel". He foresees travel to become a lot more local in the near future and believes people might work from a rented home more as well.
Paypal anounced it will now also support cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. Paypal has over 346 million active accounts, meaning this could bring cryptocurrencies further into the mainstream.
Swedish shipping company Wallenius Marine is developing a ship, which could transport 7,000 cars and trucks across the Atlantic propelled only by wind. According to Wallenius Marine, the ship would emit 90 per cent less CO2 in the process and would only take four days more compared to a ship powered by fossil fuels.
According to the World Economic Forum, half of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as adoption of new technologies increases.
As gaming continues to grow in influence, brands should explore how they can become a part of this eco-system - which gaming audience fits best with their brand, how will they show up and which e-sport influencers should they partner with?
The difficult period ahead for fashion means businesses will need to experiment with new business models (e.g. pre-order, rental), trial new channel strategies (Amazon Fashion, Instagram), understand shifting consumer needs (less trend-driven, quality focus and value for money) and prioritise markets according to their economic recovery.
With international travel numbers set to remain low, hospitality needs to rethink how to attract and engage with domestic tourists.
As logistics are transitioning towards sustainable models, businesses need to start to explore how they can use this to help them create a sustainable supply chain and reach their sustainability goals as a business.
Global brands looking to win over the Chinese consumer will need to collaborate with local partners to convince the consumer. Think brand partnerships like Fenty and Heytea, collaborating with KOL's and using local platforms like JD.com or Tmall to connect with consumers.