June’s Essential Reads

4 weeks ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

Each month, Matter of Form’s founder and CEO, Anant, curates his favourite reads. This wet and drizzly June (can it really be June?), he took delight in the dissection of furious one-star Tripadvisor reviews, exploring whether we’ve reached peak ‘influencer’, and was particularly fond of a piece which underlines just how important clarity of language is, especially in a fast-paced agency environment.

Airbnb launches adventures.

Last month I covered the Skift Travel conference (loved it, btw), where Airbnb spoke about many of their upcoming investments into experiences. 

They’ve now gone public with a ‘longer form’ adventure-focussed format, complementing their core product. Techcrunch covers the new developments.

During the conference, there was also a big focus on developments over at Tripadvisor. Wired covered the ‘other side of the table’ on the species of person who spend their time crafting one-star reviews…hilarious. 

Re-thinking the venture capital model. Again.

Andressen Horowitz has renounced its position as a VC and instead registered to become a financial advisor. A compelling read, charting their journey to date, company culture, and outlining the value created through their key successes.

For a bit more on the topic, I found this point of view from Digiday fascinating – a bit of thinking behind the VCs responsible for the majority of DTC investments of late. 

We’ve recently been devising a Commerce Catalyst Product to create an eCommerce ‘package’, transforming wholesale brands into direct to consumer – as well as arranging the capital financing needed. 

So all things VC & DTC of particular interest this month.

How luxury fashion is attempting to reshape the store experience.

I delivered a talk on the future of branding a few weeks back at Experience Haus’ quarterly conference on Brand Strategy in the Digital Age. 

As part of my research, I was looking into luxury store design – how high-end brands with a physical footprint can use the space they have to tell their story with impact.

This PSFK roundup covered some of the key players to look at this quarter. Good coverage spanning developments with Chanel, Coach, Gucci and more.

Is the era of the influencer over, or just evolving?

I loved this piece in Dazed on the state of influencer marketing. We’ve spent a lot of time tweaking our own influencer proposition, and how it sits with the wider brand comms strategies for our clients. So this was particularly pertinent for me this month. 

One can’t ignore the impact on a generation influenced by Instagram fame and its associated expectations…

Lastly. Be Clear.

A bugbear of mine. There is so much jargon and unnecessary complexity in our industry. 

It was refreshing to read this appraisal of the negative impact of confused language.

“I urge patience and pedantry when it comes to defining and agreeing the definitions of the glossary that will punctuate your next project.”

Keep it simple. Stupid.