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Branding For The Future; Delivery Of Simplicity In A Complex World

Monday, March 23, 2015
By Prateek N Kumar

Prateek N Kumar is CEO & Managing Director, NeoNiche Integrated

The 80s and 90s were the decades when my generation was growing up attuned to song requests made on AIR by people from a non-descript town called “Jhumri Tilaya” and Lalitaji’s pearls of wisdom on which washing powder made our clothes look whiter or how a particular Scooter brand was creating stronger images of stronger India. It was hard to miss on Sunday morning television along with “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata”. We kept trying to save a particular character’s girlfriend in the name of Video games. Digital camera was still a distant dream to the ubiquitous Camera Rolls, X-Box and PlayStation were unheard of and life was about scarcity and limited choices.

But something remarkable happened in the 90s in India and became a buzzword we know today as “Economic liberalization” which opened the floodgates of breakthrough reforms for international trade and investment, deregulation, initiation of privatization, tax reforms, and inflation-controlling measures. The generation of ours saw a whole new world where globalization and technology advancement shaped the way we perceived and saw things like never before. Strategies, tactics and processes that just a decade ago reigned supreme, now look a little out of sync, when viewed through today’s consumer perspective.

The changes have given rise to a whole new breed of Consumers. Consumption is no longer about available choices but getting what you want on your terms, at the time of your convenience and through your preferred channel. Today, branding is a function of media fragmentation. With more channels and newspapers reaching out to diverse customer bases, it’s harder for marketers to reach a truly mass audience.

The era of "one size fits all" and "rack listed services" are over, Brands today does not talk about tangible products but intangible experience that they create, One way communication has changed to one to one and one to many. Today's customer is more informed and advent of social media have changed them from user to influencers in true sense, Today the success of a brand lies in creating emotional connect with their TG, One which changes "brand promise" to "brand action" .

Changes taking place are dynamic and ongoing and these changes are impacting the “Brands” and the way they are interacting with their audiences. Branding for the future will be lot about moving away from the art of storytelling and into the art of story making. This means gathering tales from customers about how your brand has become a part of their true-life experiences. The hero of communication will not be the product but the customer who uses them;the future of branding belongs to storytellers who understand the hero’s journey in the context of modern, mobile life. The brand isn’t the hero; it is an enabler of the customer’s journey. Future of brands will require a lot of listening, in order to understand the challenges each customer faces, and customization, in order to meet those needs. Ultimately, it will be about the delivery of simplicity in an increasingly complex world.

The future like past will change the market conditions, technological advances will be more profound, message saturation more intense, and new shopping habits will evolve further causing profound changes in the way organizations design, plan, and execute their brand messages. Whether the type of business is B2C or B2B, there will be number of trends that will be imposed depending on the target market, and will influence the way the brand is positioned.

Brands for the future will be more rational,will cease to be visual and will encompass varied senses be it olfactory, sensory or perception specific. Brands will be more digitally inclined.

For a closer connection brands for the future will look for more robust Marketing mix, one which will interact with consumers in unbelievable ways at various touch points, allowing brands to come alive for the TG by creating connections between brand and their consumer, in their personal world.
These connections would be formed by experiences that are personally unique but relevant to the consumer, It would be interactive to invoke emotion and lead to sales and brand loyalty. Dynamics of marketing from traditional marketing mix of Product, Price, Place and Promotion (4Ps) to Consumer, Cost, Convenience and Communication (4Cs).

Memories will always be created, what will change in future is the realm in which they will be created. While Lalitaji may be a part of our memory dispensing advice to our parents,Tomorrow her granddaughter might be dispensing the same advice to a more informed audience as per their convenience on their smart devices, saying “Daag acche hai”……..

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