OPINION

The 9 New Mega-Opportunities of 2009

The hunger for moving pictures, like a global conspiracy or an underground movement, has almost killed still imagery. Every marketing or propaganda message now has to move in dimensions or it will be considered boring or dead.

This change has already made a very positive impact on screen-based mediums, from handheld devices and wall-size TVs to building-size electronic billboards. The streets and shopping malls will eventually look like the insides of cinemas. As long as these new mediums can project and show things live and in color, the world will keep on moving. The entire interiors, walls, corridors, hallways floors and ceilings would be nothing but screens with projected moving images.

The dramatic reductions of the cost of projection, combined with the easy availability of dynamic content, will keep customers enticed and the cash registers ringing. The more available surface the better — tackle the new shape and style of imagery, create new business models and watch the show.

The Real-Time Societies

Think, feel, produce and deliver all info in real time. The financial meltdown demands real-time and not yesterday’s numbers. There is a constant need to see the portfolio swings in real time all over the world.

The recession has become depression and depression has turned into compression of data into online streams of global news delivered via new media. Some 100 major newspapers in the West are on sale now and the majority may not make it. The newspaper cemetery will keep on getting larger. A quick jump from newspaper to Web portal is one of the last ways left to survive.

Asia has an extraordinary customer base and massive distribution to hold on a bit longer. Keep away from old mediums and embrace new cyber-opportunities, study the trends and create new services, use global standards and global branding quality even for the smallest venture — like a fire, you could be on top, just ignite new ideas.

The New Office-Less Offices

The digitized hyper-flow of information after colliding with miniaturization of the hardware has now liberated the people from their offices and linked them to massive sources while opening their eyes for good. The traditional millions of fancy offices around the world are slowly turning into invisible, office-less teams showing off their magic measured in clicks and instant revenue streaming for their relative projects.

The beanbag offices of the hippy past are now empty, while office buildings are slowly becoming flee markets. Customers simply will not pay extra for expensive offices and uncomfortable art-deco furniture. Discover hassle-free and mobile working and fill the new HR needs based on these changes.

No-Logo Branding

The vast majority of the logos of today simply evaporate, as now it is more to do with name-calling or name-typing and not logo-scanning or logo screaming. Just ask 10 people around if they can recall the logos of anything major created in the last 10 years. Can you recall the logo of YouTube or Facebook?

The logo masters should channel their energies on much broader graphical services and forget about global logo identities — use the logo as a plaything, like Google, which changes its daily. The free logo contests via the Internet are becoming very popular among businesses — a single online appeal on a portal or blog gets hundreds of submissions from all over the world, and some even better than what Madison Avenue currently produces.

Some contests are even asking the entire image and advertising campaign, with copy, theme and the works. Invent large-scale free contests for the right customers, reward talent and all at no costs. Ride the new shifts of the industry.

The New Agencies

Methodologies to create instant surpluses cash for clients will be the real measurement and critical test for advertising and branding agencies. These agencies will be expected to deliver a finished building and not just a conceptual drawing.

The dying ad industry in this global recession could get dramatically compressed like a bullet and fired into a brand-new state-of-the-art image delivery service not yet expressed in all of the overly flashed Web sites of the trade — a brand-new model will certainly be squeezed out. The old-fashioned model of 1,000 offices worldwide offering 1,000 similar services to the same client will be forced to attempt a globally dedicated, single-client agency model.

Graphic and slogan-based branding will defuse into same-day quick-printing services. Study the click society and rediscover real marketing power, become a leader under the new models.

The New Infantries

Web sites will be totally reinvented; brand mangers will be reshuffled and brands will be dry-cleaned, the message re-distilled and finally end-users will once again be respected. India will become a hot spot; with a million-plus technology experts, an infantry with English fluency and free spirited creative and entrepreneurial minds, it will acquire the centrality toward a global ad and design center.

Discover Hinglish. The Eastern model is very dynamic, and there are far too many new services yet to be created for the entire Asian market.

The New Cyberspace

Focusing on global image and cyber-branding trends, the option to purchase exclusive global rights to a name of your choice, now available in May 2009 from ICANN for a US$185,000 fee on a first-come-non-refundable basis, is a mega revolution.

The price per name is high, but nothing compared to all the other traditional costs that companies pay to create a global image, or the millions they spend fighting trademark and domain battles to secure a global position. It is the best new way to build global brands and hold cyber domination.

This revolution may also be the greatest salvation for the entire advertising, branding and PR industry worldwide. The new debates over popular name targets as listed by ABC Namebank are becoming hot marketing topics.

This platform is about to cut 95 percent of the traditional brand building costs and 95 percent of excessive time it takes to create global visibility. So embrace the facts, approach it correctly and lead the charge.

The New Image Shift

The sudden worldwide disappearance of major brands and industrial icons will not only fuel the new creation of branding and imaging in Asia, but will also dramatically increase the level of confidence necessary to take charge of the refined science of global image building strategies, once only reserved for the West.

The meltdown of thousand-plus monster brands will change the global landscape of world-class name identity holders. Asia will lead, and it is time to study the region and plant new ideas. Monumental sea changes on HR training and internal placement issues are pending. Capture the essence and expand.

The New Innovative Nations

Nations with enforced education on the pragmatic side of life will have a chance to shine, people with new skills will have the new jobs and employers with global vision will lead for the new world, while the rest will stay very dry in very harsh surroundings. Global recession will force innovative thinking all around and to the farthest corners, while e-commerce will get even more popular, deeper and powerful.

Image and a new advanced level of brand image marketing will become increasingly more important. Despite all the problems, there will be resilience, and human skills will further sparkle, brighter new ideas will emerge while the world gets somewhat more open and wisely offers a mirror to each nation to correct itself.

Change fast, but stay on course; adopt world-class rules, but stay very frugal, and only go for the best in everything. The world overall has turned itself into a massive junkyard, and therefore the true quality will always shine. So know the difference and make the difference, transform today and become an agent of change.

There are other mega-trends, and I would welcome your thoughts.


Naseem Javed is recognized as a world authority on corporate image and global cyber-branding. Author of Naming for Power, he introduced the Laws of Corporate Naming in the 1980s and also foundedABC Namebank, a consultancy established in New York and Toronto a quarter century ago. He can be reached atnj@njabc.com.

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