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Brands in the cultural contexts of the future

Every day we instinctively read and interpret signs, symbols, trademarks, either consciously or subconsciously. Thus, brands emerged with the aim of identifying and improving the fulfillment of people and business needs.
However, brands and their meanings lie in certain cultural and historical contexts, hence making them entirely subjective, which hinders the work of creators and managers. Therefore the selection of symbols, slogans, colors and of all the elements comprising a brand remains one of the greatest challenges in the management of companies and personalities. Nowadays, brands embody a tremendous cultural value. They entail meanings that are much greater than the trademarks, colors, and packages themselves, as they carry and represent stories related to the society they pertain to.
The more specialized an agency is, the better it can analyze, identify and visualize symbols that reflect the culture of the company. Moreover, the better its performance, the higher the profits and the longevity of the brand.

Creativity- the “Bible” of communication agencies.

Originality is everything and that is the reason why the interest in trademarks and graphics has changed hand in hand with the nature of human communication. In the past, consumers were passive and mere message recipients, but nowadays they are more involved with the brands they use. Every minute, every day, each one of us interacts with local and international companies. We subconsciously invest in our favorite brands and feel “co-owners” and even wonder why we haven’t been involved in their decision-making yet. In other words, nowadays consumers have become smarter and more responsive to the products provided by designers.

Creativity serves no longer as a necessary additional element, but it is rather the essence of the brands’ survival and longevity. That is why the creativity is the “bible” of our daily work in Vatra Design Consultancy.

The brands we work for have achieved the success they currently enjoy in the market-which has contributed also to our success- thanks to the new ideas generation. More often than not, managers are skeptical about creative proposals because they view them as something unknown, incomprehensible and unexplored, but in the end, they are convinced that innovative choices make the difference in their business and increase success. Never the less, the challenge of agencies lies in maintaining the balance between the novelties they propose and the original identity of the brand, which is their inalienable value.

But there is more. Every consumer is a separate brand and all teenager shave been made aware of the power of their representation. Every person that has an account on social networks–especially on Instagram– pays special attention to the selection of clothes, colors, quotes, backgrounds, and messages they post to their followers. People have never been more conscious and sophisticated about their representation with images and eventually meanings, as they are nowadays. At the core, this is a design process performed by common people. The image culture occupies an important place in our lives and this increases creative agencies’ responsibility.

Future Consumers

When we talk about brands, getting to know the consumer is among the most important elements. Researchers show that Generation Z – the real digital people – will comprise 40% of consumers’ number by 2020. Meanwhile, researchers have posed the following questions: Will present brands manage to attract these consumers? Do they share similarities and the same markets with the Millennials (Generation Y)?

Since both generations are used to search everything at the touch of a finger and receive immediate satisfaction, they have a low tolerance to complicated things. In that case, how will brands manage to satisfy Generation Z, who do not give a second chance if they are not pleased and considering the wide range of choices, opt for other brands? How will businesses survive in the face of these two generations?

Millennials and Generation Z have something in common in their mindsets: they opt for experiences over objects because they provide them with the opportunity to share something on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Brands are facing new challenges in paving the path for consumers to have great experiences and design platforms that allow them to be who they want to be, as well as in providing products that are suitable to their lifestyle.

Moreover, another way to attract consumers is involving both generations in the ideation, creation, implementation, and development of brands. These generations have the mindset of entrepreneurs; they are ambitious and extremely determined and appreciate open-minded brands that provide consumers with information, knowledge, and profound messages and concepts.

These new generations want to give their contribution to the world we are living in. They are interested in the values we are exposed to and in order to attract them, brands should focus on conveying values and not only on making profits. Getting to know the new generations of consumers will ensure the longevity of brand success. This is the emerging task of agencies that create and manage such brands.

Thus, the key for agencies and brands is not the effort to control, but the effort to co-create. This young and rebellious audience should be provided with communication and interaction channels where they can be involved. The real winners are the managers who understand and achieve this.

*Vatra Design Consultancy is a registered brand owned by V Advertising Ltd.

By GERTON BEJO

CEO of Vatra Design Consultancy*