There are two kinds of brand planner practicing today: “side view mirror” and “forward- looking.” Planners of the side view mirror variety tend to spend their time, budget, and resources finding out why people bought product in the past. This is not wasted learning, of course, but it’s only part of the story. Forward looking planners take that learning and apply it to what will sell in the future; to a selling scheme that hasn’t been done.
Fashion designers are “forward-looking.” They are some of the most creative people in the business world. Why? Because they design with the future in mind. They stick their necks out predicting what will sell, not what has sold. The marketing planners who see the future — who predict the future — are those who will win the day.
The person who invented the Heely sneaker was a forward-looking planner.