March 19, 2024

Cuppa 5: Fandoms, Peloton, Loyalty 2.0, Avatar-based communities

Shope Delano
VP Marketing

Welcome to the latest issue of Cuppa, a quick-fire newsletter for internet-first brand builders. Filled with analysis on the art, science and culture of building breakout brands in a digital age, it's quick enough to read over a cuppa. (Or something stronger, if you need it. No judgement). To get it direct to your inbox every other Monday, subscribe here.


Football moves people (figuratively and literally)

We wouldn't have won the UEFA 2020 game against Croatia without Sterling, or as Wonderhood Studio artfully highlights, without immigration. In a real-time digital and OOH campaign Migration Museum shows how depleted our national team would be without players that come from immigrant backgrounds.

Forget ‘audiences’ - the future is in fandoms

For strategist Zoe Scaman, a fandom is a true peer-to-peer network (social media audiences don't count), where fans have the creative freedom to contribute and earn based on their advocacy. It's big picture thinking, but there are some smart tactical idea's in here for any brands keen to put their customers first.

Victoria's Secret turns over a new leaf

In the face of declining market share (down from 80% in 2016, to 65% in 2019), Victoria's Secret have finally let go of their glory days with a bold claim: to become a global advocate for female empowerment. Angels have been replaced with a diverse “collective” of activists, sportswomen and business women who act as models and advisors for the brand. Too little, too late?


Loyalty isn't what you think it is

You probably caught this piece by Forerunner that explores why brands of the future will win with loyalty, not acquisition. Here's another I haven't seen discussed as much. Noah emphasises that the best predictor of loyalty is market share. The reason for that is simple: Even the most loyal customer can't be loyal to something they can't easily access.

Peloton is more ‘Hollywood studio’ than it is ‘fitness app’

Peloton is so much more than a bike or an ‘exercise fad’. It trades on influencer culture, aspirational aesthetics, and Hollywood-style star making. This piece asks: What does Peloton reflect about our current moment? What ideas (about fitness, lifestyle, and consumption) is it challenging or solidifying?

GOAT Group hits $3.7 billion valuation - here's what their ops look like

Sneaker reseale is big business. Fresh off a $197 million Series F fundraise, their peer-to-peer marketplace has 30 million members, 600,000 sellers and $2 billion in gross merchandise volume.

And a very on-the-nose meme.

The Clothing Rental Revolution: The Money's in Niche Markets and Software 

There will always be a couple items that you want to keep forever: Grandad’s watch, the blouse you wore when you had your first kiss, the jumper that always reminds you of home, and Dad’s Hawaiian T-shirt (though, you probably keep that locked up under the stairs).


But what about everything else? 


The UK rental clothing market is booming. But the idea is hardly new. Anyone who’s attended a wedding has sweated their way through dinner, worried they might get a stain on their rental attire. Moss Bros started their rental service in 1897, but it took till the 2010s for us to answer some bigger consumer wants: “I want to wear something stunning this weekend, but there’s no way I can spend a couple hundred pounds”. While fast-fashion has positioned itself as a potential solution, consumer trends suggest an increasing appeal to rental as a more sustainable alternative. Rather than a brand new item sitting in your wardrobe, only to be demoted two weeks later by the next shopping spree, you can send the outfit back for someone else to rent. 


Declutter your wardrobe, experiment with styles, and extend the lifespan of clothing: this is what rental has to offer.


Different rental models have blossomed: particularly with event-hire no longer being a possibility during lockdown. Between short-term rentals (Mywardrobehq), longer-term subscriptions (Onloan), and peer-to-peer lending (Hurr), there are now about eight companies in the UK leading the rental revolution. According to GlobalData, the UK rental market value is expected to reach £2.3 billion by 2029. 


So what’s the future, I hear you ask? Where’s the money? 


It's in niche markets and software.


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13.3m women in the UK are going through peri/post menopause.


The “VC-backed art collective”

MSCHF operates as an experimental creative lab, dropping a new product every 2 weeks. They're backed by Founders Fund and Caanan Partners, but very much operate as cowboys. (I.e. they sold 666 Nike Air Max's injected with ‘human blood’, that resulted in condemnation from the governor of South Dakota and a lawsuit.)

CBD, Nootropics, adaptogens and other ‘functional unwinding’

Between the sober curious movement, the rise in popularity of CBD, and meditation going mainstream, we're all trying to find our zen. This is a comprehensive look at the food and beverage DTC brands across the UK and US that promise to chill us out.

The future of social internet is driven by…avatars

Have you heard of Soul? (The app, not the film.) You sign up and create an avatar, that then maps to your facial expressions and body language. After taking a personality test, inspired by Myers-Briggs, the algorithm connects you to likeminded people. I imagine you're like me - a few years too old to really understand avatars - but with 33 million users who open the app 24 times a day it's an insightful case study of where the internet is moving.

To read Cuppa over your cuppa, every other Monday, subscribe here.

Shope Delano
VP Marketing
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