October 25, 2018 /Industry

Kinship // Retail Joins a New Form of Family

Kinship is all around you. In hugs, kind words and the foundation of your friendships, it’s the empathy that connects us all.

With the shifting domestic patterns, increased travel and the digital realm expanding, kinship is evolving to mean more than just a nuclear family. Community living, friendships and even co-workers can often form bonds as strong as traditional familiar ones. With 40% of Americans identifying as lonely, there is a unique opportunity for brands redefine connection to mean more than the four bars on our phones.

We naturally gravitate towards familiarity. Millennials are nomadic, creating a new form of home through emotive concepts rather than an anchored location. 50% of people worldwide keep objects that are connected to memories, inspiring brands such as Oliver Bonas to launch kinship collections. Designed around childhood tales and patterns, they present the consumer with a familiar sense of comfort, wherever their air miles may be taking them.

This availability of travel has brought new styles of working. Co-working spaces such as WeWork have capitalised on the ability to work from wherever, while creating a community and consistency for companies. With the mission ‘Community is our catalyst’, WeWork allows businesses to travel and work from their offices globally. This  enables a network of communities through design and function, which is essential for remote businesses.


Feeling connected to our identity is key in the kinship era. 

Millennials tend to download apps such as Mend or Headspace, aimed to help us feel more akin to ourselves. Consumers crave to feel connected and be understood by a brand, which is why apps such a Bumble – a modern day matchmaker, use memes and pop culture to appeal to its consumer. Bumble is headed by a strong female CEO and founder, and is unique in that the women make the first move. It’s tapped into the feminist movement, and offers a sense of control over relationships, individual self and wider dating communities.

Key Takeaways

  • Brands should concentrate on creating pieces, which connect a user to themselves. Whether that’s through pattern, texture or design, they should consider work that connects to emotion or a sense of familiarity.
  • Technology should be used to nurture community. It must authentically use platforms to connect together like-minded people that share a common interest or goal.

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