British brands aren’t afraid to be innovative. Throughout history, they have established themselves as industry leaders within a number of sectors internationally, from fashion to food and drink.
And in today’s crowded marketplace made up of established brands in traditional industries, it’s important to be disruptive and make your brand voice heard. Here, we’ll go through some of the brands doing just that, and shaking up industries that may have gone a bit stale.
Traditional fine wines reaching the masses online
Wine is one of the oldest industries in the world, dating back thousands of years, so the older vineyards that specialise in producing fine wines are well established. Wines are often seen as complex drinks, especially as there are hundreds of different varieties available, some of which are more suited to specific foods according to their acidity, body, and flavour notes.
It can be daunting choosing a bottle to serve for an occasion, especially if you’re looking to impress.
London-based app Corkscrew is solving this issue by essentially acting as your own personal sommelier, whether you’re shopping in a supermarket or dining in a restaurant. Pairing wine and food is considered a science, according to Corkscrew sommelier, Matt Day, which makes sense when there are so many factors that influence the taste.
The app makes this much easier by sorting through the different “DNA” that can make up any wine, to find the perfect complement to any dish. As a user, you can pick from a Corkscrew-endorsed selection of wines to suit your personal budget, revolutionising the way everyone dines out, or hosts dinner for guests.
The fine wine industry is even more traditional, and has long relied on professional sommeliers to study a bottle of wine to value it based on factors like the vintage, vineyard, grapes, and even the condition of the bottle.
However, fine wine experts The London Wine Cellar are bringing the industry into the public eye by making it easier to sell fine wine online. Whether you’re a collector, or you’ve simply stumbled across a dusty old bottle in your home, just complete a form and you can get a rough estimate to see how much your wine is worth. This allows you to easily and quickly list your bottle online if you’re looking to sell.
Sustainable food-sharing apps make grocery shopping easier
Food retail is one of the largest global industries. But with the rising costs of food, which are only set to increase further, the way we do our weekly shop needs to change. On top of this, recent studies have shown that the UK throws away the equivalent of £271.44 worth of edible food every year.
While there are a number of schemes available to help combat this waste, startup OLIO works to connect users with neighbours and local businesses, who have a surplus of food. From fresh bread at bakeries to groceries in someone’s household, any food that is edible and within its use-by date can be exchanged over the app, rather than be thrown away.
The business is driven by volunteers, who are all trained in food hygiene and have been vetted by OLIO, to collect unwanted items from businesses, who are charged a fee to list items on the app. However, it is free for consumers to search for food to collect, with the option to make a small charity donation.
This is helping to reduce the massive amounts of food wasted every year, while also enabling the average consumer to save money on grocery shopping, paving the way for a more sustainable way of shopping for groceries. What started as a small project with a handful of people in North London has now grown to more than 400,000 users across 32 countries.
Personalised banking marking the future of money
Perhaps one of the biggest issues with banks is how difficult it can be to keep on top of your finances. Whether applying for an overdraft, or wanting to instantly see your incomings and outgoings, many traditional banking apps aren’t up to speed and require a branch visit.
However, app-based banks like Monzo or Tandem, both located in London, offer users the flexibility that normal banks can’t through a much more personal approach. With a business plan geared towards the millennials who are struggling to save, thanks to overwhelming student debt and the rising cost of living, these apps aim to help with budgeting in a way that traditional banks do not.
Both Monzo and Tandem track your spending, letting you set weekly or monthly budgets for things like groceries, eating out, and entertainment, and sending you alerts to avoid overspending. Monzo even makes it easier to save money with “pots” and automated saving schemes, such as Coin Jar. This rounds up your transaction total to the nearest whole pound, adding the difference to your Coin Jar in the equivalent of “take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”.
While Monzo works like a traditional debit card, Tandem offers credit cards to build up a credit history, getting users prepared to apply for loans in the future. The app also looks at your outgoings, keeping an eye on how much is paid on what bills, and tracks when and if your bills ever increase, letting you better manage your cash flow.
Regardless of the industry, technology is working to shape the future and shake up the way we currently do things. Whether this is how we do basic things like grocery shopping, manage necessities like banking, or even how we shop for specific, niche items like wine, British brands are developing new and innovative ways to make these processes easier.