Why branding is about to change forever

Next to being passionate about branding, I also consider myself a digital geek with a profound love for tech. Over the past years I have been following with great interest many discussions on robots, artificial intelligence, machine learning and how they are going to drastically change the world as we know it. Even to the non-techies among us it must be clear that transport (self-driving cars), logistics (drones), factory production (robots) and healthcare (Nano technology) are industries that are soon to be ‘taken over’. But also middle-skilled structured tasks and routine information processing tasks (bookkeepers, travel agents, legal aids) are about to change forever.

Will soft skills and creativity really rule in the future?
Experts say that digital technologies cannot substitute creativity. Many feel that whereas computers can excel in well-structured areas of problem solving, they have little hope of ever producing truly creative work. As I am active in the creative sector that should give me the joyful outlook for a golden future. However, I believe there is a catch.
What many may not realize is that our creativity is powered with data and insights. A very important reason why the brands we develop are so successful, is because they are built on solid market intelligence, target audience behavior and competition analysis that we use to connect the dots. And to be honest with you, I think that as machine learning – through trial and error – is getting progressively more sophisticated, over time it will be capable to connect the dots and come to conclusions faster than we humans can do.

The future of branding
This development is driven by the consumer’s expectation that brands should offer them better and faster service and more personal recognition. They accept brands collecting personal data, but in return they expect brands to make better use of the data they share with them. For example, Netflix uses algorithms to suggest content and manufacture shows based on subscriber viewing habits and preferences for an optimized user experience.

In “The Future of Brands 2030” the Foresight Alliance predicts that brands will create themselves based on analysis of consumer demand. Around 2030, consumer data is so rich and deep that brands essentially create themselves based on detected patterns of consumer need, rapidly filling an identified brand niche. Systems detect gaps in brands through methods such as social media monitoring, click-through rates, or A/B testing. They also look outside the immediate product space for changes in the broader environment and use this to anticipate need.

Both from a branding and a technological perspective I find these predictions very fascinating. It proves once again that branding is a very powerful science, that is very relevant now and will be so in the future. What my job will look like in 15 years I don’t know, but I am sure it will stay as exciting as it is now.

This blog is written by Arjen Bemmelmans, Marketing & Strategy Manager at Skyne.