GDR NRF Newsletter April 2018

Toyota Drive to Go makes “car sharing as easy as ordering coffee”

Toyota has opened a new concept store in Japan that reframes its offering for a Millennial audience looking to rent, rather than buy, cars.

“The consumer car buying habit has drastically changed in the past decade, and that shift is even more pronounced in young people who aren't buying cars as often,” said Rei Inamoto, founding partner at Inamoto & Co. “So instead of creating yet another car showroom, we proposed a new service to Toyota that would provide a useful and delightful experience — not a sales or promotional one — for the audience, particularly young people. Drive To Go by Toyota goes beyond a car dealership or showroom by making a car share service as easy as it is to buy a cup of coffee.”

The brand's ecommerce site has little information about the specifications of Toyota’s cars, instead focusing on the experiences renting a car will enable. Customers can choose to “refresh in nature” or “relax at the edge of Lake Biwa.” In this way, the brand is leading with the experience a customer can have with the car, rather than the specs of the car itself.

The distance to the destination and the time it will take to get there is also displayed along with the suggestion to start with a coffee at the Drive to Go store, where customers will pick up their rental. On the rental form, customers can also request to borrow useful items such picnic chairs, cooler boxes and binoculars.

Female-focused electronics store frames technology around beauty and lifestyle

Located in the Landmark Atrium in Hong Kong, The Artistry is a beauty and lifestyle store that showcases a curated list of premium gadgets that combine wellness and technology.

The store sells a range of products that have been selected with both functionality and aesthetics in mind, from the Simplehuman Smart Sensor Mirror Pro and Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush to the Revolver Camera Kit and Google Home.

Designed by interior design studio M&C Associates, the space itself is different from the usual aesthetics of a consumer electronics store. It is clearly marketed to women, veering away from the often male-oriented category norms.

Pepsi frames its water as a piece of art

To stand out in the crowded premium water market, Pepsi has launched LIFEWTR using packaging that it conceives as a fashion accessory or a work of art.

The labels on the products have been designed by a selection of artists with backgrounds in graphic design and photography. The launch designs, for example, were created by mural artist MOMO, transatlantic duo Craig & Karl and large-scale painter Jason Woodside.

However, the designs will be refreshed several times a year to keep up with new trends and promote more emerging artists.

“What we see developing is a premium water segment of the water category, driven heavily by Millennials,” said Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s Global Beverage Group. “It is an important part of people’s image.”

“What I think is really smart about LIFEWTR is that it has a much more authentic connection to the world we want it to be connected to — art, fashion and design. The brand’s purpose is to help emerging artists make it and be popularised and get into pop culture.”

Seth Kaufman, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo North America Beverages, believes the designs will resonate strongly with today’s social-media driven culture.

“We believe the biggest equity of this brand is the label,” he said. “It has a beautiful piece of art on it. We think it’ll connect with consumers in a more inspirational way.”

Noodle brand inspires kids to play with their food

Singapore noodle brand Myojo has launched a charming ecommerce platform that encourages families to get creative with its products.

The Decorating Together microsite showcases recipes that turn a bowl of noodles into a fun and engaging work of art. For example, Baby Octo’s First Bath shows how hot dogs, broccoli, carrots, radishes, spring onions, crab sticks, sesame seeds and macaroni can be arranged to create the scene of a baby octopus having a bath. Another recipe shows how baby corn, broccoli, carrots, fishcakes, spring onions, zucchini and sesame seeds can create a “Lazy River Sunbathers” scene from a waterpark.

The site includes video tutorials showing how to create each meal, as well as step-by-step written instructions.

Adding a deeper and more emotional connection between customers and the brand, the campaign’s tagline is, “Get everyone involved and turn quick meals into fun afternoons and great memories!”

To launch the campaign, the brand also released limited-edition “Deco Kits” which included a Myojo Porcelain Bowl, an egg mould, an egg stand and five packs of noodles.