The main approach to branding has been through the use of stories, events, and the history of the organisation. This is in addition to being able to clearly project the value proposition of the organisation with clarity. Few, however, have sought to use fiction or mythology in branding.
In using science fiction, an organisation creates fictional stories with it as a player in the story; often playing the role that it would want to play in the eyes of the consumer. This is referred as the sci-fi approach to branding.
Lowe's, the home improvement chain, is among the companies that have waded into the sci-fi branding approach. To achieve this, the company has hired about 100 sci-fi authors in what is seen as a fresh attempt to exploit corporate story telling in strategic branding.
In Lowe's case, the storytelling is expected to take the form of science prototyping; demonstrating the kind of technologies that are expected to emerge in future and how the organisation is likely to be of value to the consumers.
Sci-fi branding takes a sharp break from the past where organisations seek to build on their past to capture consumer confidence. Instead, it focuses on projecting future developments. This has the impact of challenging consumers to think ahead in addition to shaping the organisation as the company of the future.
The sci-fi branding approach can lead to effective strategic positioning of the organisation if properly used. The fiction needs to be not only captivating and intriguing, but also quite effective in securing the confidence of the consumers. This, like neuromarketing, can be a basis for future strategic planning and branding for the organisation.