Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.
Want more:

Two weeks ago, Shachihata, a Japanese stamp company, launched an anti-groping stamp. The product was developed in response to viral discussion on social media about how to discourage groping – known as ‘chikan’ – on crowded trains. The device allows victims to shame their assailants by marking them with invisible ink, which can be revealed with a portable blacklight. A limited run of 500 stamps, which retailed at USD 24 each, sold out in less than 30 minutes. 

Less than 30 minutes? A sad testament to how rampant the problem is. Let’s dig deeper:

Practical empowerment. In Japan, violent crime is rare, but groping is an everyday occurrence. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said 1,750 cases of groping were reported in 2017. These cases are often treated lightly, as a nuisance. But finally there’s a shift around this issue. From chikan to unfair pricing (the pink tax), the ‘small issues’ that women deal with daily are being recognised for what they are: not so small. For a country like Japan (110th out of 149 in the World Economic Forum's index on gender equality) giant leaps towards equality are required, but smaller, practical first steps that empower women and tackle everyday issues are vital, too. Which long-ignored, daily grievances can you tackle to make life better in your market?

Expertise repurposed. Of course, Shachihata’s stamp is not the first attempt to tackle this long-standing problem. Women-only carriages have been around in Japan for more than a century. There’s also a police app to help victims of groping. But the stamp caught our attention for being low tech, out-of-the-box, and still very much aligned to the company’s core expertise. What are you best-in-class at producing? Rather than dream up radical new solutions, can you repurpose your expertise to creatively solve societal problems?

TrendWatching x TofuGear:
The 2019 Asia Digital Transformation Report
The 2019 Asia Digital Transformation Report

The 2019 Asia Digital Transformation Report – a collaborative report with our friends at Tofugear – has just dropped 🔥

The report dives into how retailers in Asia are approaching digital transformation, the challenges they face and the trends they are riding to future-proof their success.