Future Casting and Your Brand

I’ve had the great opportunity to work on over 50 brands throughout my career; some small, some in the Fortune 100, but all had one commonality. Each brand that I’ve ever worked on has a written brand document on what the brand is supposed to be. Words like “Happy,” “Eager,” “Excited,” “Thought Provoking” plaster the pages of these brand guidelines as gospel etched in stone tablets, never to defer away from what the brand is, or supposed to be. These worked great when creating for the static world of decades past, but now it’s getting a bit more fluid. It’s great to know who you are, or better yet, who you were, but to abide by static guidelines in today’s fast paced, real time world creates static messages and doesn’t evolve into anything more than a document of carefully crafted adjectives and adverbs.

Now, I have seen some brands, and have pushed some brands, to create a brand personality document that outlines how these brands actually interact in our new environment. What is the tone, how do they respond, how do they communicate and act in differing situations were all things that I would force brand managers to answer and develop constraints around. Only to take a static definition and extend it to the next level; “engagement”. A great step towards animating the static guidelines written over the past decades of business venture, but still not quite there. There is still something missing… it’s still an approach of looking backwards and not leading towards something bigger.

We as brands are fulfilling basic needs of our customers. Whether cleaning teeth or floors, or enhancing one’s image through luxury autos, we provide our customers with something of value on top of the actual product. But as consumer expectations rise, the level of value that we have to offer is becoming greater and greater. Consumers are becoming more aware and sensitive to ingredient sourcing, cost, and even communication channels. We have an opportunity to shift our vision of what our brand is to communicate on a higher plane. Go beyond humanization and towards super hero status in the minds of the consumer.

FUTURE CASTING

First things first; we must stop looking behind us and look ahead. Innately, we know this intimately. As marketing executives, we have all had the opportunity in our careers to set a goal of where we wanted to go and visualize ourselves getting there. We developed milestones, we worked hard, we seized opportunities, we’ve failed, we’ve persisted, and we’ve succeed; never staying static; ever growing as an individual along the way… We knew what we were going to become before we realized it. So, why don’t we do this with our brands?

Why do we consistently look in the past and anchor our strategies and opportunities to the etched tablets of the brand guidelines? We need to break out of this shell and think beyond… think possibility… think grandeur… As we all have in our own personal, professional development.

What will your brand become when it’s vision is finally realized?

What will your brand become when it’s vision is finally realized? This is Future Casting. Understanding what your brand is in the future… what it connects, how it produces, how it gives back, how it’s ingrained into the lives of the consumer as well as the good for humanity. We must understand the holistic view of our brand to ensure success in the future. With the end in mind, we then begin to see the road outlining ahead; taking us towards the destination of grandeur; the destination of prolific brand lifestyle integration. We become greater than a brand guideline document, stronger than a product… we appeal to masses, but step change affect our constituency.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing the necessity of Future Casting for our brand to better understand the direction we need to go, what is important to our future, what a future cast brand looks like in the marketplace and what is needed from a team dynamic perspective to get there. Feel free to follow along and add to the conversation below or in the social space. #FutureCastBrand

 

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