Crystal ball gazing. Is your brand future fit?
Updated: Feb 7, 2018
We’ve been involved in a lot of new food branding and packaging work this year. And that word ‘new’ seems to have been a recurring theme. Particularly among challenger and artisan brands that need to work that much harder to build engagement and relationships with their consumers.
New trends. New foods. New products. New competitors. New ways of doing things that have led us into conversations about the future. “How can I future proof my brand?” is a question I’ve heard a few times.
But what does this really mean? Can you really future proof a brand? Logic says not. As fashions, tastes and attitudes change, how can you create a brand that maintains its relevance both in how it presents itself as well as what it does?
What you can do is to equip your brand to perform well in a changing environment.
That means being in tune with consumer insights around lifestyle - and to be clear, without embarking upon complicated research and strategy processes. This includes more than just attitudes towards food and diets but also how people shop, the environment, their aspirations and even their social and political leanings. These insights give us big clues to what consumers want from life and consequently the brands they like to connect with. In some ways, these insights are the future because people tend to convey thoughts that are ideals rather than being based on the status quo.
Get these interpretations right and then you can begin to look at how your brand can respond.
As a very simple example, our work with Planet Organic to create their own label packaging considered the unstoppable march of on line shopping. The design for the shelf also needed to work on line. This has equipped Planet’s packaging for the future based on the trend of people doing more shopping online and on small mobile devices.
Of course, future proofing a brand is not simply about a brand’s packaging and brand communications. It’s as important to be doing the right things as much as saying the right things. The challenger brands that we work with are certainly using consumer insights to inform some very interesting new product developments. Others are using insights to develop more experiential initiatives rather than deploying traditional broadcast mediums, and embarking upon new environmental policies that address the huge challenges that some consumers rate as being vitally important.
Whilst no one can predict the future, it’s possible to make some well informed judgements.