Branding for the Future

In my talk at the January 2014 LPBC, I focused on the concept of change, and how that impacts our businesses.

It’s been said that the ones who survive are those who are the most adaptable to change. And when you think about it, our world is constantly changing … even faster than we think.

Only 100 years ago in the United States, this was the norm:

  • Only 14% of homes had a bathtub
  • The average US wage was $.22/hour
  • 90% of all doctors did NOT have a college education
  • 95% of births took place at home
  • Average life expectancy of men was 47 years

Our markets are changing quickly, and people’s perceptions of brands change quickly. Do you own a Kenwood stereo? They used to lead the market in stereos and electronics. Now it’s Sony.

Here are some other examples of leading brands and the brands who overtook them:

  • Westinghouse used to lead GE
  • Burroughs used to lead IBM
  • Melville used to lead Nordstrom
  • Gateway used to lead Apple
  • Howard Johnsons used to lead Marriott
  • Ames used to lead Walmart

Change can sometimes be serendipitous. Sometimes companies just get lucky. More often it’s a result of a carefully-crafted strategy – a concerted effort to properly position a brand in the marketplace not only for today, but for tomorrow, when the market is guaranteed to look different than it does today.

Does your executive team look into the future to determine how your brand will look 5 or 10 years from now?

If you’re not at the top right now, the good news is that there will be another company at the top of your market. That might be you.

Here’s my follow-up guidance on the steps you can take to prepare your brand for the future.




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