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Future Proof Ideas since 2005, by Erwin van Lun

Coaching brands

Coaching brands are a new type of brands which now sometimes already exist as archetypes, and will be further developed over the years to come. Coaching brands work on needs levels like health, money, travel, living, or children. Within that area they know everything there is to get (and that worldwide!), and furthermore they know everything of us as an individual. This way coaching brands will anticipate our actions, advise us, and help us in transactions. We will select 10-20 of these brands. Exactly one for every need. These brands will be like friends to us, who in the long run will always be with us.

Coaching brands help us select products, services and experiences, offered by transaction brands. They hand us information on a silver platter. And then they really help to make a purchase. So that they can later ask us how we liked something. And from these experiences they can learn, so they can make better recommendations to others. To strangers, but especially to (friends of) friends, as coaching brands are in the consumer’s network of friends. This is shown in the figure below.

These brands have themselves represented by ‘coaching brands’: visual characters we will start a spoken dialogue with. In the long run (in 20-30 years) these characters will look like real people (hence the term ‘coaching brand’). On TV, on the mobile phone, or on any other possible display they will appear on demand. This is all going step by step, and those steps I follow in the tab day to day, in the category coaching brands.

Although coaching brands handle most questions automatically through the coaching brand agents, there are real specialists at work at this new type of (network) companies. People whose heart is in the domain for which they work, like living, health, or travel. People who know an awful lot of their area, and continuously feed the brand agents. This type of companies uses IT as technology, like other companies use older technology like conveyor belts. As most questions are handled automatically, we seldom get to talk to the specialists in person. Only if we really have an impossible question, we will get live contact. And in that case they will be very willing to help us: for them that is the real challenge. It is the passion which they live for.

Companies carrying coaching brands by default think long-term. They stay with the consumer for life. The longer you have been together, the better the advice, the more you feel you are being helped. This in sharp contrast to the short-term thinking of most of today’s companies: every product needs to be paid for immediately. In the earlier days, the church has proved that there are other successful business models: your whole life you get everything for free, and at the end you donate all your money to the church. A beautiful long-term model! Coaching brands almost by default can’t be quoted on the stock exchange. Giving accountability every three months is in sharp contrast to the long term interests of the clients (or members). The interest of coaching brands, and in most cases ownership as well, is for 100% in the hands or their members, and certainly not in the hands of shareholders. For coaching brands, long term interests are what it is all about.

Coaching brands can already be seen in it predecessors. Every year new steps are taken. In this first decade of this century they will still have a very functional focus, for example by comparing products and services, or listing jobs or recipes: at the moment, it is most important to have completeness in the category. At the moment, that is what offers most added value to the consumer. After that, complete domains will be claimed, there will be more competition between coaching brands, and only then the emotional ties of these kinds of brands with the consumer will really get attention. The consumer already was (functionally) happy, but now also gets emotional ties with the brand as a friend who really understands you. The positive feelings with a coaching brands get stronger, stronger, and stronger. So strong, that you don’t even consider a competitor’s brand. You don’t just dig your friends, do you? Thus coaching brands will become the strongest brands of the 21st century!


Latest observations for Coaching brands

Latest observations for Coaching brands (in Dutch)