30 Sep

Trendswatch | New Business Insight From The Past Week

Award season is here, and the stars have been out in full force! In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had the Emmys, the VMA’s and of course the highly anticipated Met Gala. The theme for the gala this year was ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, which some stars took more literal than others. We saw Lil Nas X as a robot, J.Lo as a cowgirl and Kim-K break the internet yet again with her all-in-one black morph suit!  

But what’s going on in the world of brands? Well, today we shall be discussing music streaming, check-out free supermarkets and the return of those retro flip phones… finally! 

Music streaming 

The music streaming age is well and truly upon us. Last week we saw Universal music chief executive, Lucian Grainge, anticipate a $40bn flotation for the music giant, proving that streaming is here to stay.   

Music has transformed throughout the digital age, and in the last ten years it has become completely digitalised. Streaming didn’t used to produce any significant income, but this all changed. With the arrival of new revenues such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and the Amazon Alexa, streaming has boomed.  

We are now in a world where music is literally everywhere, and the stars of the moment are capitalising on this. It’s no longer about who’s played on the radio or who’s on Top of the Pops, it’s now about who’s trending on TikTok and shared on Instagram.  

With streaming has also come collaborations. Take Charlie XCX partnering with a dating app to do a live virtual gig, or Travis Scott partnering with Fornite to create a virtual concert.  

I predict that these partnerships will continue and change how we interact with music as a whole. 

Check-out free supermarkets 

Sick of going to self-service check-outs, and having to listen to ‘unexpected item in bagging area’? Well, Aldi is now trialling its first ever check-out free supermarket that allows shoppers to exit without having to pay at the till. 

Shoppers will now be able to scan a smartphone app to enter the store a, pick up their shopping, pay using the app and simply walk out. However, Aldi aren’t the first tapping into this, as Amazon has also recently opened several stores across London that use similar technology. 

These companies are pioneering a new way of shopping and ‘bringing to life a futuristic concept’, but will it take off? There are issues for those shoppers without a smartphone and also older demographics potentially struggling with this kind of technology.  

However, whilst I predict that this kind of shopping will start to be implemented across all the leading grocers, the self-service check-outs will likely remain, giving shoppers the options when needed. 

The return of the flip phone!  

 A few months back I mentioned that the flip phone was making a comeback and lo and behold we now have the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – the first foldable phone of the 2020’s to go mainstream.  

The device is a full-size smartphone containing the latest screen tech and camera lenses, priced at a standard $999. But is this going to bring the flip phone back out of its noughties novelty limbo? My prediction is, yes. Especially as the phone is already gaining screen time on leading reality shows such as Married at First Sight.  

There is also now talk of an ‘Apple flip’, which we could see hit the market in the next couple of years as a challenger to Samsung. An Apple analyst has predicted the first foldable iPhone will launch in 2023, however I expect this could be sooner if the Samsung Galaxy Flip really starts to gain momentum! Watch this space!  

Come back next week for further trends and insights 😊