The commercial world is in a state of flux: new trends and advances in technology are shaping the face of business, in a way that leaves it almost unrecognisable from how it used to be. As such, brands and businesses are reappraising their ways of working, how they engage and communicate with their audience and what their product offer is.
This futureproofing should secure brand’s commercial success in years to come, and failure to respond to the industry changes could spell disaster for businesses. Acknowledging and meeting change has never been more imperative. So, how can brand owners futureproof their organisation?
Consider the changing needs of your consumer
Irrespective of who your consumer is, their needs will change over time: perhaps due to life stage, perhaps as a result of changing societal or cultural norms, perhaps even thanks to internal motivations. As such, a brand should never become complacent about researching needs. Regularly commission consumer insight projects, speak to your current and potential buyers, and reconfirm that your product or service still meets their desires.
Flex your design to current trends, but keep your identity strong
It’s tempting to overhaul your design aesthetic often, as a means of following popular design trends. While there’s a strong argument for refreshing your brand identity, to avoid becoming irrelevant and outdated, you should also heed warning from brand refreshes that have gone too far, and lost the very thread of their identity.
For example, when Tropicana redesigned their juice packaging in 2009, they removed too many of their strong brand equities, resulting in a pack that was unrecognisable to shoppers and — even worse — failed to represent the brand’s values. This mistake cost Tropicana more than 50 million dollars.
To effectively future-proof your design, protect your primary equities and refresh secondary or tertiary ones.
These days, every business needs a digital presence, regardless of the industry they are in. Consumers find comfort in website content and — increasingly — social media personalities. You must consider these platforms an extension of your key marketing initiatives. The best website developers — such as Eventige — will appreciate the need for simplicity, functionality and emotional connection in your online site. So, make sure you partner with a strong design agency for this work.
Ensure innovations make life easier for your customers
O2’s approach to innovative design is centred around removing unnecessary steps in the customer journey. While this approach will not fit all, it’s a good example of how brands should be working towards simplifying life rather than complicating it. The most successful new products answer the unspoken consumer need for ease — the iPhone took the phone, camera, music player, calculator, etc. and brought them all together into one easy-to-use device. It’s now the bestselling phone on the market.
How to prepare for the unexpected…
Indeed it’s difficult to predict what new technology or cultural event may be the next big shift maker in your industry. However, by taking these few simple steps to future-proof your brand, and keeping abreast of news, you’ll be progressing in good shape.