Thursday's Big Briefing:

Great Read: In an era dominated by dubious influencer endorsements, and trendy DTC options, how do you know who to trust? Jenny Gyllander, the CEO of Thingtesting, has that problem covered.

Jenny knows what's what | Outside
The Short Shrift.
Reading between the lines: The key point here: “Gyllander doesn’t use affiliate links, which enable influencers and publications to earn kickbacks when someone purchases a product on their recommendation. She occasionally accepts free products for review, making sure to identify these 'gifted' items in the captions. But she prefers to buy the stuff she tests, so she can decide whether that alcohol-free cocktail or those organic-canvas sneakers are worth the price. 'I don’t think I’ll buy this again' is a fairly common refrain in her reviews. 'My number one priority is building trust,' she says.” Amen to that.

👉Get smarter: Read the report here...
Lean Luxe: Quarterly Partners
New opportunities for Q2 2020
**Heads up: We're now taking sponsors for Q2 2020 🙌🙌
Under our new schedule, which started in Q1, sponsorships will now be open across two tiers: Gold Tier (9 total placements per quarter) and Silver Tier (6 total placements per quarter). We're limiting this to (4) partners for each tier. Potential partners go to: Lean Luxe: Quarterly Partnerships.

Fun fact: The document is also something of a "state of the publication" report––so even if you're not a potential sponsor, you might enjoy the progress report so far. Sponsors are free to get in touch with me directly. –– Paul

–– Email for sponsorship inquiries (please specify your package!)
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Insights Corner
Thursday: Taking Stock
Lucid observations
Grab Bag: Landing on your favorite Italian amaro.
The second wave of quarantine purchases. Dressing up again after this. Nano-fulfillment centers are cruising. Google’s letting you create a universal watchlist. This is very debatable. How ESPN made that Jordan State Farm ad. Val Kilmer resurfaces. “Better Call Saul” broke the prequel curse. Stutterheim’s corona therapy. How The Hustle has been doing it. “The phone is not ringing off the hook." Pandemic advertising got weird fast. Quibi’s head of brand resigns after two weeks. Slack was made for this.The NYT reviews Sarah Frier’s new Instagram book. Craft distillers could fall. The WSJ is framing this as shocking news. Monocle interviews Jan Gehl. And how to find your favorite Italian amaro.

Readjusted luxury priorities.
Great question here, asked by author Trish Hall, in a column at the NYT: Do we really need all these pre-covid lifstyle services, memberships, products in order to live happily? She kicks things off with some truly existential musings there, wondering, “The cappuccinos and hair colorist. The twice-a-week Pilates. The monthly facial. I don’t need all of it.” Though it was perhaps this thought that stuck out most for us: “I won’t be surprised if a lot of urban millennials, who were battered by graduating into a recession and finally made a bit of headway only to be slammed by a pandemic, give up on the idea of expensive big cities. Maybe their bosses will decide that remote work is fine and they can save on office space. Maybe they will fan out to pretty little towns where they can buy a house for the price of a studio in Brooklyn.”

DNVBs are teaming up, but for how long?
Maude’s Staycation. Elliot's Virtual Mall. Increasingly, we're seeing brands teaming up on special "community"-minded projects together the spread the word about each other. Makes total sense, even if the motive behind each execution is different. As standalone brands, though, this could be somewhat untenable. By nature, each brand is going to want and need to funnel eyeballs toward themselves, and while they garner a better sense of trust with consumers by becoming a source of multiple like-minded brands, you have to ask, how long is that approach going to last? Good thoughts here at Modern Retail that help to tease that idea out a bit more.

Facemasks as the new sneakers.
We’ve been seeing more and more of these articles on the daily. They’re basically becoming the new collective trend piece at this point. Out of all of them, though, it’s Highsnobiety’s research that you’ll want to pay the most attention to. Outside of that, Ana Andjelic offers some solid thoughts as well on why this trend shouldn’t be much of a surprise: “I would hardly call it surprising––you've seen this with the N95 masks grab, and with Gwyneth Paltrow wearing some super-protective mask on her flight to Paris. Anything that can signal status will.” Succinct and prescient. Another interesting tangential note, pointed out over the weekend by Monocle’s Andrew Tuck, is that there’s probably big business in making luxury hand sanitizer bottles, seeing as, like facemarks, those aren’t going anywhere anytime soon either.

👋Paul Munford, CEO / Editor
The Community
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The Ticker
Fresh, hot links
Lighter fare
Magic Spoon celebrates one year
A look at how they’ve matured since last spring. Fast Company

The race to design
A more modern raincoat. Wired

ZZ Driggs, the furniture rental upstart
Was just rebranded and relaunched by Lean Luxers yesterday. ZZ Driggs
Predicting the “new normal”
Good thoughts here from Digiday’s Brian Morrissey. Digiday

Still, most predictions are going to be totally wrong
But you already knew that. Marker

Good question: Did Airbnb make a big mistake
By ditching its marketing? Fast Company

** News or tips for The Ticker?  
Send tips on news, quotes, coverage, mentions in the media to

Comments, questions, tips?
Send a letter to the editor –– Paul Munford / @leanluxe

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