Products like “smart” phones, cars and TV’s have stoked consumer desires to have ALL their personal objects imbued with a “brain and heart.” This would enable them to store their preferences, routines and networks to become a true extension of their online and offline identities.
The coming years will bring greater innovations in smart technology: clothing, footwear, cookware and jewelry. Objects that understand consumers will become a prerequisite to consumer consideration. Smart products and services will take on a higher position in consumer value equations, and those that don’t offer this value will lose out.
We’re all familiar with the usual suspect brands that are already doing this well: Nike, Apple and McDonalds top the list. Consumers will expect even the most elementary of products to be emotionally intelligent. Some of these may include, socks that monitor your steps, toothpaste that reminds you to keep your dental visit, and even bathroom tissue that… That intelligence will be infused into all brand communications that the consumers may come into contact with. They’ll also expect communications to underscore how the product or service the brand offers is built.
The challenge for brands will not only be in staying ahead of the tech innovation curve. They must also understand the cultural driving forces that create the demand for such innovations. Such an understanding makes the ever-changing nature of culture and innovation something that a company never has to chase.
Companies that want to stay competitive will need great partners in brand planning and research (wink) to help them stay on pace or ahead. Winning brands will be masters at “creative destruction” with a secure position within consumer culture.