Learn from the emerging world

Guy Murphy

With the switch of the economic focus from the developed world to the BRICs and now the ‘next 11', brand planners need to open up, be more curious, understand how local culture drives innovation, and learn from the experience, says

The future of planning is about knowing how to build brands in different cultures around ? the world. There are too many macro trends to suggest otherwise – the consolidation of businesses, the importance of having fewer, bigger brands, and the need to find new growth markets. While the ‘digital’ skills of planning remain the headline subject, it is important to remember the fundamental need for a planner to understand the human spirit, with all its cultural nuances, and to know how brands should flex to those differences.

Being an ‘internationalist’ is a crucial planning skill. Big clients want strategic advice from people who are fluent in understanding how ideas and cultures can collide in the most distinctive and beautiful ways. Knowing the difference between how Muslim, Confucian and Latin cultures respond to ideas is the new currency of planning, sitting alongside all the technical fluency that the modern world demands.