The Future of Brands
I’m not a fortuneteller, but there will be brands in the future. It’s a very natural term: a person’s set of beliefs towards a company or a product line, shaped by rational and emotional reflection on a personal experience with it. Artificial Intelligence could take over on marketing, but people will always have their own opinion on everything. By defining the right brand experience, companies are controlling this opinion and shifting it in the most beneficial way.
What will be the best way to build brand experience tomorrow? Wait, but why tomorrow should be different? Easy. The world is changing faster than ever. Most of those changes are driven by exponential development of new technologies. In the very core of this growth is ability to store, process and exchange data that doubles every couple of years. Innovations are the great opportunity, but also a tremendous threat. Business should understand this duality.
- Brand Experience could be different. Yesterday, 5 min waiting time for a taxi was impossibly short. Innovations empower us with new tools, powerful like never before. Companies could do things differently, usually much better.
- Brand Experience should be different. With this, people are not ready to wait for a taxi any more. Innovations influence their mindset, create new habits and demands. People are doing things differently, and expect brands to keep up.
I’m documenting and analysing all key rends reports since 2016. There are hundreds of words to describe our bright future: smart, digital, augmented, mobile, big data, blockchain, AI. Obviously, it’s time for a short bullshit analysis. At first, we need to separate tools from demands. Technologies come and go. Human desires stay longer, so much more useful. Today we have smart chatbots, yesterday there were landline call centers and even traveling salesmen. What really matters is the fact that people always have questions and need someone to address it. Secondly, across all those demands lets choose those few that will shape everything: fundamental, fresh, influential, comprehensive. I’ve done my homework and end up with just 3 to dig into. Ready?
- Omni-channel. More and more touchpoints appear every day. We couldn’t even count the average number of personal devices any more, because it’s too many. So, alignment and consistency across each and every channel are crucial for brand experience.
- Personalised. Once again, it’s too much of everything already. Thousands of messages are targeting us every moment. Most of it are disappointingly irrelevant. People expect brands to talk only when their offer is meaningful: for the person, in the moment. Doubt it? Then shut up!
- Value-driven. Value could come in many forms: solution of a problem, inspiration, education, extra service, etc. It’s a deal: value for value. Product for money, okay. Also, people’s attention is becoming extremely valuable, as any resource of limited availability. Do you as a company have something to offer in exchange? Does your advertising just consume time or deliver added value? What about experience on your website or inside your store? I strongly believe, it’s not optional any more.
Finally, this is it. Something that I would like to talk about, to think out loud. Future of brand experience: omni-channel personalised value-driven products, commerce, services and communication. What should it look like? How to get there? Who is better at this today? What are they doing? What could be done differently? My new exploration had begun.