The End State of Your Brand: Future Cast

The goal of branding is to undeniably appeal to and amaze the consumers of your products; by offering an innate sense of value and connection, we can elicit certain emotions, and in Apple’s case, religion. The expectations of brands have become higher and higher as consumers are becoming more connected, empowered, and pushing for transparency and authenticity. The voting with the wallet or purse has become the livelihood of brands, as consumers are looking for brands that align with their specific values, morals, or aspirations. Never before has there been a time where, brands has been at such a cross roads; one path destruction and unsatisfied expectations, the other brand glory, where brands define consumers, where the consumer ingrains a brand into their own, personal lifestyle. The Former is a result of hiding from expectations and delivering as always delivered. The Latter, a diligent understanding of where our brand is going and clearing the path to get there.

…the other brand glory, where brands define consumers, where the consumer ingrains a brand into their own, personal lifestyle…

I personally vote for the latter. Approaching this idea and mindset is the first step to branding success in today’s increasingly expected and connected world. We must know where we’re going in order to know how to get there. To do so, we need to create the Future State of our brand or “Future Cast” what our brand is, what it stands for, and how it is connected to our consumer’s lives and the livelihood around them within a society. This is no easy task… We must look at every aspect of our consumer, our competition, our brand, and the environment surrounding the brand in order to get an understanding of the opportunities available.

To do so, we need to create the Future State of our brand or “Future Cast” what our brand is, what it stands for, and how it is connected to our consumer’s lives and the livelihood around them within a society. We have to dig deep into information to be able to visualize the future of our brands. By understanding, intimately, certain aspects of our brand ecosystem, we’ll be able to provide the necessary tools to future cast our brand into the lifestyle of our consumers. We must look at all aspects of our environment.

These include:

  • Current Brand Assets (imagery, emotions, guidelines, etc)
  • How do we make money? (products, services, subscriptions, advertising, etc)
  • What is the consumer value of our money making activities?
  • What is our messaging to make money? How does that engage our consumers?
  • Consumer Lifestyle (highly segmented profiles, daily routines, aspirations, emotions, etc)
  • Affinities (what else does our consumers gravitate towards? What art? What music? What brands?)
  • What is the future of our competitor brands? What direction are they traveling?
  • What philanthropies or organizations align with our brand’s views as well as our consumers?

The brand itself is a living thing, something that evokes response, something that drives change, something that facilitates life.

With the brand, and all that it stands for, in the middle we can begin to construct a web of interconnectivity to the consumer lifestyle. We can begin to unfold what our future state should and will become. The brand itself is a living thing, something that evokes response, something that drives change, something that facilitates life. When defining our Future Cast brand, we must take this into account. When all is said and done, the brand is a mantra, a state of being, something that is omnipresent within our consumer’s lives. By looking forward and crafting this mantra, we can ensure that each action, each message, and each interaction is driving towards this end.

When all is said and done, the brand is a mantra, a state of being, something that is omnipresent within our consumer’s lives.

The first step in a Future Cast brand is to best understand the opportunities available to us in the future as a brand and wholeheartedly embrace the fact that our brand is something more, something meaningful, something that facilitates life.

Next time we’ll discuss how to take all this information we’ve been thinking of to physically and mentally define what this end state is and begin the Future Cast process.

#FutureCastBrand

Photo courtesy of Flickr – mrjoro

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  1. FutureCast Brand: Visualize Your End State | Black Whale Group - November 30, 2011

    [...] time we discussed what a FutureCast Brand is; “The brand itself is a living thing, something that evokes response, something that drives change, so…” an amazingly robust statement for something that has long been thought to be merely something [...]

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