As globalisation and mass consumption make the world increasingly homogeneous, people’s search for meaning and emotional connection intensifies. Computerised mobility and social networks are the opportunity to create our own unique identity and discover a new world.
We want the real thing, be it food, travel or art, and happily mix it up into our own interpretations and personal narrative. ‘Real life’ experiences providing involvement, inspiration and informed knowledge in a fulfilling manner will be the 21st-century brand fabric.
People Shape Company Culture
Everything an organisation says and does influences how people experience them. Employees play a vital role in shaping a company’s culture and must be active participants in defining and delivering that brand promise. Focus must be both outside your organisation, to identify and understand the behaviour and true needs of people, and inside in order to share that knowledge and build a coherent, integrated brand story. Vision and communication must align perfectly – delivering a great brand experience takes teamwork.
Being a Cultural Entity
People are looking for engagement and personal empowerment and want to be part of a community or a culture. They simply crave to participate and feel important. Unconventional thinking emotionally engages people and cements lasting relationships – it might even change lives. Being a cultural entity is all about expression, creativity and thinking differently. Empowerment brands will weave these elements into an inviting, intriguing and intelligent product or service – participation comes in many guises.
There is a clear call for brands to wake up to the importance of story. The narrative will vary depending on cultural context and geography – and must also reflect the value sets of the next generation. Today the story of the people, the process and the planet is central. However this is never a given and we will always embrace brands that look for untraditional ways of communicating their individual story. The spirit of the ‘real thing’ is crucial to your brand narrative. It enables you to invite people to enter soul dimension of your brand.
“Life’s solutions lie in the minute particulars involving more and more individual people daring to create their own life and art” – Stephen Nachmanovitch
– Curated Experience: Creating a new language to interact with audiences and promoting an innovative environment is key in the 21st-century. Concept consumption stretches normal boundaries and increases brand awareness. More and more companies explore the abstract ideas of their values and company culture. Launching concept products, services and retail spaces and then inviting people to participate in a ‘curated’ art gallery-style experience is one route to being perceived as a directional brand. Dover Street Market, Colette and Corso Como have done this for years.
– Good Cause Brands: People now expect ‘luxury for less’, with a poetic feel in a well curated retail environment. Brands are cutting prices by up to 20% as frugality becomes a growing trend among consumers. People are not just looking for value but for values. They want Involvement brands that trade in responsible luxury – expecting the brand to adapt an ecological and ethical standpoint. One example is the boutique Merci in Paris – giving to good causes and acting as a cause brand.