Innovation doesn’t always mean a new format, a twist on a flavour or making something slicker or faster. Sometimes it’s about looking sideways and seeing things others don’t. We look at three companies making bold bets to future-proof themselves:
1. From Corona To Cannabis
As sales of beer fall in the United States, brewers are turning to the building momentum behind marijuana legalisation around the globe, and especially in the United States, for future-proofing their businesses.
Constellation Brands, who for seven decades has made its money from beer, wine and whiskey, is one company who is heavily investing its future in the ever growing marijuana industry.
Their investment in Toronto based cannabis producer Canopy has been noted as the biggest deal in the marijuana industry to date, showing just how far traditional alcoholic beverage companies are willing to go to find growth.
Molson Coors listed cannabis among the biggest possible risks to its business in its annual shareholder report earlier this year:
“The emergence of legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer.”
Clearly, Constellation Brands don’t view cannabis as a competitor, but as potential. Instead of restricting themselves to alcohol, and seeing themselves purely as an ‘alcohol business’, they’re positioning themselves in something much richer - the ‘mood altering pastime’ business.
This record investment reflects a world in which cannabis has become ubiquitous, as its counter-culture stigma fades. Euromonitor estimates that the American market for legal marijuana products will reach $20 billion by 2020, up from $5.4 billion in 2015.
2. Boy De Chanel
Luxury brand Chanel is launching Boy de Chanel, its first range of makeup dedicated to men.
An in-tune move by the brand, given Euromonitor figures suggest the men’s beauty market will continue to grow over the next five years - particularly in China, where the industry is anticipating a 15.2% increase in sales, compared to 11% globally.
Expanding its portfolio of high-end male skincare and fragrance, Chanel is kicking off its men’s cosmetics line with three new products: a foundation, matte moisturising balm and an eyebrow pencil.
“Just as Gabrielle Chanel borrowed elements from the men’s wardrobe to dress women, Chanel draws inspiration from the women’s world to write the vocabulary of a new personal aesthetic for men,” says a company statement.
With the Men’s Beauty market largely driven by Asian brands and consumers, Chanel is set to trial Boy de Chanel in South Korea before rolling out across the rest of the globe.
While Chanel is the first luxury brand of note to enter the male beauty scene, makeup for men has been steadily building traction. Male models featured in Mac Cosmetics’ collaboration with ASOS, while product designer Taeheon Kim recently created a line of makeup brushes designed for men.
3. Amazon x Landmark
Our final example is from ecommerce giant Amazon, a company proven to be unafraid to make bold moves in the past.
Rumour has it the Seattle-based retailer is looking to acquire Landmark Theatres, continuing their run of adding physical experiences to their catalogue of brands.
This comes just a year after Amazon shocked the supermarket industry by acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, positioning the organic food chain in the middle of Amazon’s campaign to sell more groceries.
An Amazon-owned cinema could play into the distribution of the brand’s original content production, as well as giving even more perks to Prime members and more locations to create in-person retail.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org