While successful brands are always thinking ahead, anticipating change and constantly driving for relevancy and living closer to the edge of culture, we have a (bad) habit of only looking back after a crisis or cultural shift to see which organizations and brands navigated the challenge successfully. The blind spot in that type of analysis is that it means learning from a unique set of circumstances in the past, not from tomorrow.
Old ways of thinking were that consistency helped set expectations and built brands, and that consumers owned the brand. Volatile times and pressure from an increasing number of stakeholders invalidate the old rules. Brands need to regain ownership and set an aggressive agenda of brand behaviors and actions that create authentic leadership. Being truly meaningful and relevant means moving at the speed of culture, being prepared to act quickly and being wired to this new reality.
Every year, the list of once well-known and beloved brands that cease to exist grows longer, and predictions are that trend will only continue as these famous names lose currency and relevance. The time to develop a more adaptive approach is now. Learn the lessons from a focus on tomorrow from some of the most creative brand leaders.