Friday, June 15, 2012

Brands That Are "Future-Ready"


I was awoken this morning by a flurry of interesting texts from one of my colleagues. She asked me a simple question:

"What brands are 'future-ready'?" 

Without even making sure I completely understood what she meant by "future-ready," I gave her these brands:

Heinz, TOMS, Old Spice, Doritos, Nissan and Ford. 

I don't think I was anticipating having to explain why I chose these and why they are, as I define it, brands that are actively anticipating and preparing for the ever-changing needs of their audience (and future audience). 

Her response to this list was expected. Obviously, TOMS is known as being a very "forward" brand, and Nissan and Ford both publicize their innovate technologies through the Leaf and Ford Sync. What surprised her was Heinz. I can imagine she was thinking, "How is ketchup a 'future-ready' brand?"

My reasoning for this was simple. Heinz was the first (and one of the only) brands I ever found to actually "get" Facebook pages. The way they brand themselves creatively and expertly on their Facebook page, integrating their promotions and CSR on top of that, caught my eye and reinforced my habits as a loyal Heinz customer. Also, just look at their new ketchup packets that make it so much easier to use their product. Plenty of people complain about ketchup packets, but who anticipated this product redesign?

On top of that, they have a great track record. Heinz's famous "thick and rich" campaign has resonated with a lot of advertising and public relations professionals. They took a huge weakness of their brand, thick ketchup being hard to be poured out of the bottle, and turned that into a strength by advertising that their ketchup is thicker and richer than the competition.

It was one of those campaigns that really highlighted a company taking traditional advertising concepts and adapting them to the changing wants of their audience, and they show no signs of losing sight of their aptitude for good advertising. Their bottle redesign, for example, was ingenious and is still in regular use. 

When it comes down to it, a "future-ready" brand doesn't have to be about inventing an entirely new wheel, or even reinventing the wheel for a new audience. It's about figuring out exactly who your audience is, what they're thinking, and tailoring your message, brand and product to them. 

It's a simple concept, though rarely executed. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.


No comments: