Brands of the futureIvan | Thu, 2009-09-10 02:47
Let me contemplate for a minute what the logos will look like in let's say 100 years. (I admit the comfortable thing about predicting the future so far ahead is that nobody will be able take you up on it.)
I think three distinct influences will shape the profession of branding and identity design.
Influence 1: Simplicity
The first aspect of branding will be simplicity. This is required because brands will increasingly become international and they will need to talk to multinational audiences who come from different cultural backgrounds. The most simple and universally understood symbols will be the most successful.
Influence 2: Chinese
The second one is the worldwide spread of Chinese characters for global brands. Within a few decades China will be the strongest economy in the world, and as such it will generate the largest brands as well. Just like English dominates the global brand environment because of the anglo-saxon economic and cultural dominance, Mandarin will be a major influence in the foreseeable future.
People will grow up to be comfortable with brands like 日出 (sunrise) ultra healthy cereal and other such Chinese brands.
Influence 3: Going beyond 2D
The third force will be the increasing need for symbols that are not simply two dimensional. They will be animated and 3D. The media of the future will allow for movement and depth regardless if it's a small or big screen. We will see animated holographic branding even on packaging.
I would go even further. I'm pretty sure within 100 years most brands will have an interactive branding identity that will create the ultimate brand experience for the consumer.
Real world objects and especially living things are close to us because of their predictability and interactivity. If you smash a boiled egg against a hard surface it will always make the same cracking sound, and you will always be able to peel it to get to the tasty part. Similarly, if you pet a friendly cat it will always bend it's back and purr the same way.
Brands and products of the future will recreate such unique and recognizable experiences virtually and digitally. If you think this is unreasonable think about what Oreo does today with their twist, lick, dunk campaign. Or what Snapple does with their trivia caps. These brands successfully created a unique experience around their product that goes way beyond 2D graphics.
Imagine if technology will allow for much more. Envision you're in a supermarket and you grab a bottle of Hawaii Brekky pineapple juice. Suddenly, but not unexpectedly 5 holographic hula girls will pop-up to do the Brekky dance to a recognizable jingle you've known since your childhood. When you go home and open the bottle the same girls pop-out again and cheer for you while you drink up. Such experience will be so strong and bonding to your mind you will truly feel sorry for yourself when the supermarket runs out of Hawaii Brekky. I'm sure you can come up with much more involving and better ideas, but you get the point.
Stretching it even further the brand messages will probably be tailored to your specific areas of interest by pulling your public FB profile. For example if you're a muslim the hula girls will wear more modest clothing to be respectful to your beliefs.
Alternatively we may get really unlucky and the predictions of the movie Idiocracy will come true. Our language and taste will deteriorate resulting in a truly dumb and idiotic brand culture. But, I have more faith in humanity. What do you think?
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