The Relevancy Read

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Hot takes, early calls and astute observations, carefully curated.

A Sampling
A Sampling

Middle America and interoperability.

October 24, 2023

The middle needs more.

We’re reading NYU professor and Pivot podcast host Scott Galloway's latest book, Adrift. The SparkNotes: America is adrift, on the precipice of massive change, potentially good or bad. The best way to steer this ship forward? Invest in a strong middle class. Its power always prevails in the country’s strongest moments. Yet, as most Americans feel stuck in their current conditions, with better jobs, homes, and products unachievable, brands continue to turn their backs on the middle, focusing on luxury and exclusivity. Now’s the time to course correct and service this market before it’s too late.

Interoperability is the new ideal.

Let this be a lesson in the art of consolidation and curation. Uber is quietly becoming your one-stop-shop to life as consumers grow fatigued by too many apps and options. On the heels of an upcoming task and errands service called Chore, they announced package returns ahead of the holidays and a new UK feature for users to book flights directly on the app through online travel agent Hopper. Going forward, we predict partnerships will be more about customer service and user experience than “collab” marketing clickbait.

AI is turbocharging advertising.

YouTube recently introduced Spotlight Moments, an advertising package leveraging AI to detect the most popular videos related to cultural events like Halloween or The Oscars. It lets advertisers serve ads across those videos and curates content in a sponsored hub next to the advertiser’s logo, allowing brands to automatically appear alongside the most engaging content associated with the moment. Spotify's new Merch Hub uses AI to personalize recommendations based on users’ listening habits—more money for both the music streamer and artists. Expect the gap between ad spend and performance to tighten.

The obesity economy's market disruption.

After years of spending on aspirational brands, hard-to-get collaborations, and new food and spirit fads, consumer priorities are shifting. Barclays suggested shorting junk-food stock with an estimated 7% of Americans expected to be on extreme weight loss drugs by 2035. Ozempic maker Novo Nordsisk just dethroned LVMH as Europe's most valuable company. That's saying something...something brands and businesses should listen to. There is a massive shift afoot, from material goods to lifestyle concepts.

But wait, there's more...

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