DESIGN, CULTURE & COMMUNITY
Conscious creators are reshaping our relationship with household brands and our environment. Are travel brands next? Or are they on the verge of their very own Kodak moment?
Remember the Kodak moment? It blows our mind that what was once the lexicon across the world for an unforgettable moment will be completely lost within a generation, but basically it refers to that extremely rare, once in a lifetime, split second moment captured by a photograph. It’s what the cool kids call an Instagram moment.
The Kodak moment also has a somewhat more sinister meaning in corporate circles and that’s to serve as a warning. It’s a call to arms if you will, a reminder to embrace the disrupters to the market or risk annihilation. Once the global leader, Kodak was as synonymous to photography as Google is to search engines, however they couldn’t survive their own innovation. Did you know that Kodak actually invented the digital camera in 1975 but left it to one of their competitors to introduce it to the market, ignoring their own customer research? Insert face palm on a global scale.
There is a relative tsunami of brands creating Kodak moments across markets. Some of our favourites include the bog standard Who Gives a Crap (see what we did there?) turning an everyday necessity into an opportunity for change, Heaps Normal changing and shaping the conversation about alcohol-free beverages, Bellroy’s consciously crafted range of bags, wallets and cases for work, play and everything in between.
The success of these brands are a clear indicator that there’s a market out there of people who are conscious consumers. They actively seek out products that have a strong environmental message and light environmental footprint. They want their products - both everyday and those that enable a Kodak/Instagram moment - to be consciously crafted with clear traceability and even clearer relationships between purpose and profits, impact and ethics.
Why, then, are hotels still talking about reusing towels as their core environmental responsibility message?
Travel and hospitality design, on the whole, feels like it’s lagging behind. This puts them at risk of losing the mindful traveller, the people who don’t mind spending more to live more, those who see luxury as time well spent  rather than materialistic things, those who are the drivers behind the reshaping of our cultural landscape. They want sustainable, responsible and inspiring travel. They’re looking for an enriching and mindful way to explore, play and stay. They’re not interested just in a bed for the night; they‘re looking for an authentic cultural experience, so to speak, a space that’s grows and gives back to community.
This is where our belief in the power (and responsibility) of design and creativity to enrich lives. Brands can - and should - bring cultural and commercial value to the communities they’re located in. Plastic straws are just the tip of the iceberg.
Wandering the road less travelled is more than an opportunity for brands across the lifestyle, travel and hospitality sectors - it’s permission to both create and avoid a Kodak moment.