Nascentdesign - Italian Brand AgencyNascentdesign - Italian Brand Agency
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The Brand Dispatch

February 2022

   Future Apple: reparability freedom

Apple announced the Self Service Repair program, which allows customers who are able to repair their devices to access original Apple parts and tools. Initially available for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines, and soon also for the ultimate Macs, Self Service Repair will be available early next year in the United States. It will be rolled out to other countries in the course of 2022.

This option joins the 5,000 Apple Authorised Service Centres and 2,800 companies that are part of the Independent Repair Providers program, which already have access to original parts, tools and manuals. The initial phase of the program focuses on the parts for which service centres are most frequently called, such as the iPhone display, battery and camera unit, but Apple’s “self-service repair” experience will grow in scope.

Making users more autonomous is a part of Apple’s brand innovation strategy, as they are combating the growing market for non-original products. Since reparability plays an important role in consumer experience, Apple is attempting to further solidify its massive community by allowing users to be both creators and users of their devices.

   fintropolis teaches finance in minecraft

It has come to people’s concern that financial literacy rates are declining in the US, where less than one-third of adults aged between 18-54 can answer basic questions related to personal finance. Online bank Ally acknowledged the problem together with the opportunity and created a “gaming” solution called “Fintropolis” with brand innovation in mind. Since many young people are accustomed to the Metaverse, Fintropolis simulates real-world financial scenarios in pixels to help boost financial planning among future generations.

The game can be explored via Minecraft, with characters that guide players through activities, from understanding cash flow and budgeting to learning about stocks and shares investing, how taxes and mortgages work.

Targeting middle school children and their teachers, Fintropolis has the potential to give millions of students the knowledge and confidence needed to make better money decisions, which can affect their lives in profound ways.

While the wider Metaverse has become a youth hub of socialising and entertainment, Ally is showing how Metaverse platforms can serve a deeper purpose by educating and up-skilling audiences, and preparing them for independence. Fintropolis’ case of brand innovation making a social impact is a step in the right direction we are all trying to follow in a world of rapidly evolving technologies and virtual realities.

   no waste is cooler

Single’s Day, Black Friday, not-to-be-missed sales… People live in a society that has been driven by one imperative for decades: ever-growing, mindless consumption. Now, as climate breakdown and inequality become more visible, people are waking up to the negative impacts of rampant overconsumption and questioning the costs and purpose of their habits. As these concerns intensify, people will become more selective and think twice before consuming.

Consumption drives political change. A (non-)purchase is a vote for a specific set of values for an increasing number of consumers. Some see it as a form of activism. Buying – or opting not to buy – a product or service goes beyond usability concerns and experience. It’s about choosing to be aligned with a brand’s purpose. If yesterday’s consumerism was driven by individual needs, tomorrow’s consumption will be guided by collective movements.

Patagonia pioneered this emerging lifestyle. It has been fighting against waste and consumerism since 2011 with its famous campaign “Don’t buy this Jacket” while today it continues to invite its customers to send unused garments to the company so that others can wear them, in exchange for credits that can be spent on their e-commerce. Following the example of Patagonia, there are now an increasing number of brands that adhere to the non-waste philosophy.

Another phenomenon that has conquered and driven dozens of super brands is Loop. The company only produces reusable packaging, and collaborates with Mars, Nestlè, Coca Cola and many other giants of large retailers. Loop works closely with brands to create a more durable version of their traditional single-use packaging, which would be treated as an asset, rather than a cost to be minimised. Because this is the life style consumers are striving for: an innovative no-waste future.

   Let Africa influence the digital world

Wowzi, based in Kenya, is a startup that connects brands with African influencers. The business plan intends to help over 1 million young people earn a living using their social media platforms in the coming year.

There are 20 million social media users in East Africa and many are looking to harness the power these platforms offer. “Managing influencers is difficult; from establishing contact, negotiations, contracting, ensuring that content is delivered and posted on time to following up on payment. It is a lot of work. We manage the entire process with the brand to make sure that it’s successful,” said Falla, one of Wowzi founders. Instead of going through an agency, the platform acts as a direct intermediary between the brand and the influencer, attempting to develop both brands’ and influencers’ growth processes.

Wowzi has secured new funding to expand the reach of its platform, which converts social media users into brand influencers, to West and Southern Africa, particularly Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa, as it capitalises on the continent’s rising social media usage, fuelled by the proliferation of smartphones and increasing internet penetration. African countries continue to see an increase in internet traffic compared to the period prior to the lockdowns. The continent has been undergoing years of intense technological ferment, and the digital market appears to be the African future.

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