8 Sep

Trendswatch | New Business Insight From The Past Week

In the news last week, we heard that Brewdog is set to team up with Japan’s number one beer Asahi, in a move that could push them even further into the global market.  

In terms of trends, this week I shall be focusing on Gaming platforms, celebrity creative directors and exploring whether hard seltzers are over before they even begun?  

Gaming platforms 

By now you’ve probably heard of Twitch, the leading gaming live streaming platform adored by millennials and Gen-Z. But what’s all the fuss about?  

Well, the platform allows gamers to share live gameplay for others to watch in real-time, whilst also allowing users to replay games and chat. In the last couple of years it has seen exponential growth, with up to 1.645 billion hours watched every month!  

However, this week the company has faced some serious backlash, with its first major boycott. Last Wednesday, content creators and fans participated in #dayofftwitch in protest to how the platform is unable to control ‘hate raids’ or ‘trolls’. 

The effects of trolling have become more widely talked about in recent years, with calls for tighter regulations across all social media platforms. In April 2021, the UK government laid out tough new measures to make the internet a safer space. This involves social media firms having to implement a ‘duty of care’ for all users.  

Celebrity Creative Directors  

A couple of weeks ago, former Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague was announced as the new Creative Director of leading online fashion brand Pretty Little Thing.  

The news has led to further articles discussing how celebrity Creative Directors are back in fashion, and whether this is a good thing.  

In the late 2010’s celebrity Creative Directors were all the rage, with the likes of Rihanna and Lady Gaga taking on positions at Puma and Polaroid. The main difference now, according to industry experts, is that the celebs of the past were hired for PR, whereas now they will have to put in the work. Hague has stated that she will have input in ‘multiple areas of the brand including marketing, buying and influencers’.  

These days, influencers have huge amounts of power and it’s no surprise that they are starting to take on leading positions within brands. They can cultivate a huge following and know how to maintain it. I predict that we will start to see more influencers taking on these kinds of positions.   

Is the hard seltzer boom over?  

In 2019 there was some serious buzz around the arrival of hard seltzers, but has the hype continued? The short answer is no.  

Much of the projected success was based on the US market, but the UK doesn’t always follow suit, as we are far more limited in what they can say about products, meaning marketing new health products isn’t as easy. 

But this hasn’t stopped leading brands, Smirnoff, Kopparberg and Coors who have all recently released their own seltzers.  

However, the end of lockdown meant many returned to their ‘old drinking haunts’ and it’s clear they weren’t celebrating with a seltzer, with pubs nearly running out of alcohol when they re-opened in May.  

So, it may just be that seltzers can’t tap into the British pub culture, either that are they just haven’t caught on yet? Only time will tell…  

Come back next week for further brand news and insights