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Why brands need to embrace loss

Brands need to frame the changes required for a sustainable future in positive terms, in order to bring everyone from audiences to CEOs with them, says Alex Bee of creative agency Space Doctors

If we’re to have a future on this planet, we have to lose things: how we travel, what we buy, how we work. In the not-too-distant future, we won’t be able to just jump on a plane; we won’t be able to see everything we need or want on supermarket shelves.

For many brands, that loss extends to their very business models. They are already facing a battle to stay alive – because supply chains are fractured, a particular resource is harmful or increasingly scarce, or looming regulation means they won’t be able to use that resource anyway.

The predominant question our clients are asking has clearly shifted over the past few years – from ‘How can we make our consumers’ lives amazing?’ to ‘What are we going to do to still be here in ten years that’s relevant as a brand?’. It can feel overwhelming. But there is a creative way to help brands face that question – by encouraging them to embrace and reframe this idea of loss. We need to take the negative and turn it into something positive, to create a sense of active hope.