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Brands and hamsters

Marco Bandini

Head of Strategic Planning

J. Walter Thompson


Brands and hamsters

It’s quite clear that the digital transformation is going to change the world as we know it. The increasing preference for experiences and services access over the ownership of goods will totally change the way we purchase and the decision journey we'll go through. 

It's very likely we'll have no stores, no shelves, no product variants from which to choose; be they cars (or mobility solutions), biscuits or smartphones. We won’t choose products; we’ll probably just choose services. These services, connecting with manufacturers, will order the products that best fit our attitudes, desires or needs. We’ll only have to receive and consume accordingly.

Algorithms will not only define our consumption patterns but also if and when they should change. We’ll delegate almost everything to our personal apps because we’ll all be empowered by our own personal, omnichannel, omnipresent AI assistant that will constantly take care of our days. Choices will follow an intricate decision pattern based on the millions of data points aggregated by all the smart objects we interact with. No wonder that our smart toothbrushes will tell the grocery server not to buy sugary foods until the dentist’s office says it’s OK.

Marketing and brands will have no reason to exist. Every new service that will be released will immediately connect with one’s own artificial intelligence, which will evaluate its suitability. If it will improve the life of the customer, it will be bought and paid for without the user even noticing. The change might cause a cascade of different choices, and a new kind of biscuit might land on our differently textured table the next day.

Brands will die, marketing will be replaced by API and humans by hamsters … eating biscuits.