Lucky for us, our work means we’re always on the look-out for new exciting ideas, trends and stuff that floats people’s boat. We thought we’d share some of the latest with you.
Sea Shanties one minute, skin care regimes the next; if TikTok does one thing it certainly keeps us on our toes. Recently the ‘TikTok effect’ has shown its worth with the explosion of challenger snack brand Little Moons.
Little Moons put a European twist on the Japanese rice-based treat ‘mochi’ by replacing the traditional bean-paste centre with ice cream.
Since December Little Moons have seen an unprecedented sales jump of 700%, 140 new listing requests and 70M viewers of #littlemoons. All this without a marketing push, flashy rebrand or indeed any input from the brand at all. Instead the popularity boost has been fueled by a flood of rave reviews from a growing legion of fans on TikTok urging others to try this unusual dessert.
What this viral success story has proven is that, more than ever, the notion of ‘brand’ is constantly adapting and in order to stay relevant brands must flex and present their authentic selves across an ever growing myriad of platforms.
Reframd is a new challenger brand that, like many, borne out of frustration. Ackeem Ngwenya, a Berlin based product designer realised he couldn’t find well-fitting eyewear for his black facial structure because the standard within the eyewear industry is suited to the high, narrow nasal bridges of a generic (Caucasian) Western customer.
Using a 3D facial scanning system Reframd translates a customer-taken photo into accurate parametric data, allowing production of glasses fitted to the individual’s ‘facial landmarks’. Beyond simply creating perfectly fitting glasses, Reframd hopes that this process will lead to a new set of industry standards that can eventually expand to other demographic groups; making the eyewear industry a more inclusive one.
Reframd is launching their crowdfunder soon. Sign up here for updates. @reframd
DIY brands have struck gold during the pandemic. We’ve seen several new challengers reap the benefits of the situation, positioning mundane DIY supplies to a huge market of insta-influenced consumers.
The most notable of these is Lick who provide paint and wallpaper in trending colours. The shamelessly Millennial-targeted brand isn’t just about looks; Lick have introduced some smart innovations such as easy-to-pour cans and genius ‘peel-and-stick’ samples – such simple yet effective ideas we wonder why it’s taken a tiny new startup to introduce them.
Other brands operating in the same arena include Lick rival ‘Coat Paints’ and ‘Stitched’ (made-to-measure blinds). All of them have a carefully curated portfolio of products – a deliberate effort to reduce the decision fatigue associated with hardware store shopping.
A similar trend has been occurring in the furniture market with Snug’s ‘sofa-in-a-box’ and Yark Beds both offering next day delivery and changing up the traditional furniture showroom experience.
Image credit: Iron Gate/Coffee Stain Publishing
Valheim seems to have arrived at the perfect time; a welcome remedy to a world so starved of social interaction and itching for a change of surroundings.
Unlike many survival games which are usually played as a solo experience, Valheim, a new nordic open-world game has an emphasis on social exploration; up to 10 players can explore their unique world together within private servers.
Groups of friends can game together safe from the brutal takedowns and toxic voice-chat that dominate online multiplayer games – the appeal isn’t hard to comprehend.
What is remarkable about their sales figures (4 million games were sold in the first 3 weeks of early access release) is that Valheim was produced by a tiny team of 5 rather than the hundreds-heavy workforce of a ‘Triple-A’ gaming studio who tend to churn out these Blockbuster hits.
Perhaps one of the reasons Valheim is seeing such popularity is that its take on the survival genre exists with a just the right amount of realism and punishment. If you forget to eat you won’t automatically drop dead, less time is spent micromanaging character stat bars and resolving the mundanity of survival so more time can be used for exploration and experimentation. @valheim_official
Buzz around a new Nike shoe-drop is nothing new, however the launch of the FlyEase Go has made even us non-sneakerheads look up. This is Nike’s first hands-free sneaker – no velcro or laces here. To create the shoe Nike collaborated with a teenage fan, born with cerebral palsy, who in 2012 wrote to Nike asking whether they could consider designing athletic shoes for disabled people.
Using a ‘bi-staple hinge’ the FlyEase Go opens and closes at the heel meaning putting the shoe on is as simple as stepping into it. Not only does this shoe literally open up accessibility to disabled people but also could benefit the elderly with reduced mobility or dexterity.
The significance of such an influential brand investing in and meeting the needs of an often neglected demographic cannot be understated; hopefully this will encourage other brands to develop accessible designs that don’t compromise on quality or style. @nike
Pitched as ‘Deliveroo of Clothes repairs’ Sojo is a new app that connects users with local seamstress to encourage a more sustainable approach to fashion. The war on fast-fashion has been gathering momentum over the last 10 years, spurred on by increasing environmental concerns there has been significant growth in the sustainable fashion movement, even more so through the Pandemic. Cult brands such as Paynter and Lucy and Yak have built their following based on their eco-creds. With the rise of clothing resale apps it seems more of us are turning away from Primark binges and looking for sustainable, long lasting solutions.
Finding a designer outfit at a bargain price on Depop is great, but the chances of it fitting properly might not be – here is where Sojo hopes to provide a solution. The app allows users to easily find a local seamster to ensure their clothes are tailored properly ; whether that is repairing old clothes or amending second-hand ones. At KISS we admire any brand that challenges the norm, particularly when it is for a great cause so hope to see Sojo thrive in these more sustainability conscious times.
During International Women’s Week it seems only right that we should be celebrating Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, who at 31 is the youngest female founder to take their company public. Bumble raised a staggering $2.15 billion in an IPO on 10th February, selling even more shares than expected and rocketed the brand’s value to over $8 billion.
Beyond the apps’ mechanics Bumble maintains a female-focussed approach; the board is majority female and in 2018 they launched an initiative to provide early stage investment for businesses run by female people of colour and other underrepresented groups. For now Bumble stands out as an anomaly amongst a sea of white-male run businesses; however with figures such as Wolfe Herd visibly at the helm there is some much needed female representation for younger women interested in business to aspire to.