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BW Businessworld

A Letter From The Future

Thanks to common data culture, the tyranny of this brand collectivism disappeared. In 2040, 0.5% share of the market became the minimum value share required to be eligible for existence as a discrete data unit. Even till then the brand‘s performance standards were legally tied to your microchips requirement assessments. You could opt in but not dictate.

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August 2050

Dear Editor,

Thank you for asking me to be a part of ‘Recap 2050’. I am 76 years old now and honestly, I had to get my memory back up chip reprogrammed to be in the ‘Uni-minded mode’ and on ‘Linear-memory mode’ to be able to compose this letter to you. 

I have been operating in manual thinking mode and to help build the mood I actually had paper records disinfected so I could refer to some of the originals.

You know that the last E- brand that can possibly be called ‘mass’ was decommissioned last year and now there is nothing called a ‘mass brand’ in the world. 

I suppose it is a logical continuum to the disappearance of mass media. Some folks like me think in nostalgic terms but honestly it was coming and due. As I was going through the records and jogging my memory, I saw that till about 2027 AD the bulk of advertising was done via mass media. Then onwards, mass media got the minority share.

This is much before the ‘Green Consumption Commune’ and the ‘Universal E-citizenship Program’. Back then, people actually lived within physical national boundaries. 

But there were “global” brands nonetheless travelling across national and cultural boundaries. Basically, it was a primitive but fairly efficient model. The bottom line was that brands were supposed to make buying easy. Believe it or not, most so-called global brands had small tight portfolios with barely a dozen variants of anything. Imagine that! 

Still, because brands were reservoirs for collective meaning, they were seen to represent the same thing to hundreds of millions of people. How primitive was that? Ha!

Then of course, the ‘Private Sovereignty Data Union’ emerged as a force and then onwards everything was known by everyone. Neuro implants and real time data reboots made branding a quaint concept, like keeping candles at the dinner table. 

Some people regret that those concepts like cultural icon, brand purpose and equity were lost forever and replaced by the ‘Personalized E-Self ‘. I remember back then products, packaging, propositions, promotions, and prices were relatively stable even remaining the same for up to 24 or 36 months. 

Do you remember that in the interim there was this whole movement called ‘Social Media Marketing’ which effectively became a short lived mutant version of mass media. For a while social media became big but social media marketing was another matter altogether. Technology made neuromarketing extend the ability to make us get messages when we need, when we like, when we want to respond straight to our active mind. How could earlier versions survive? It was inconceivable.

Later skin and organ-based microprocessors have become the norm. I am still old fashioned and have the base chip kit and that too only version 4!! Problem is that man to man connections can be downgraded but device to device ecosystem is perpetually auto-upgrading. Now, we cannot help but be in a catch-up mode as humans. 

It amuses me now to think that even at the end of 2038 A.D, the International Data Union had not happened, and Big Data back then meant Facebook, Google, Amazon etc. Barely 2 million targeted messages were delivered on average and actioned, that too monthly. 

Today, we do some 90 million deliberate messaging daily even for the ‘non-implanted common data consumers.’ So, by 2040, supercomputing algorithms were commercialized on a “per second processing usage basis” and most people chose cheap implants and delegated consumer decisions to the Big Mind Miracle Processing Federation. 

This is why even non-implanted human consumers opted for 200+ personalized brand products and services. And of course, the average consumer environment – Goods, Furniture, Food – got their own data link personalized brand imports. 

I laughed out loud when I remembered that we went to a shop to physically buy colas, bread, and eggs. Things were so clunky that the most cutting-edge equipment had barely begun to understand spoken instructions. There was absolutely no common pool “Imagine – Action” domain. Yes, there actually used to be multiple brands of milk and colas and people bought the same thing again and again.

Thanks to common data culture, the tyranny of this brand collectivism disappeared. In 2040, 0.5% share of the market became the minimum value share required to be eligible for existence as a discrete data unit. Even till then the brand‘s performance standards were legally tied to your microchips’ requirement assessments. You could opt in but not dictate.

But of course, this was not a ground that could be defended, and corporations then began to surrender residual brand values to the data trust. 

This is the way an era that was in existence between roughly 1880- 2040 A.D. ended. 

It was a pre-data age of relatively primitive methods collectively called ‘Marketing’.  I was called a ‘Marketer’ for many years. 

Let me know when you want to teleport my memory to download the backups. 

Lots of good wishes 

Take care!

Shubhranshu

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Shubhranshu Singh

The author is a global marketer, story teller, brand builder, columnist, and business leader. His interests include studying social change, impact of technology on consumer lives, understanding young consumers, history and politics.

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