Convergence Is Coming For Your Brand

What to do when the bar for brand innovation keeps getting higher

People say the world is crazy right now because everything is so disconnected, but I would argue the opposite.

The world is crazy right now because suddenly everything is so connected.

Electric vehicles are causing food instability in Congo, Silicon Valley tech culture is eroding the friendship between a cab driver and his pizzaiolo in Italy, and we’re all eating crunchy omelettes because wild birds are changing their migration patterns.

All of these are examples of convergence, and convergence is coming for your brand.

In our newest episode of Talks at Concept Bureau, strategy and innovation advisor Lydia Kostopoulos gives us a lesson on “Convergence Literacy”, which is really the practice of knowing how everything is connected, and predicting how those connections will change our world.

Lydia has brought her insights to the United Nations, NATO, US Special Operations, US Secret Services, IEEE, and the European Commission. It’s her (awesome) job to see how seemingly unrelated dynamics are converging together and creating wholly new market opportunities.

I feel convergence is the biggest blindspot in nearly every brand strategist’s view right now.

We can hardly see past a year into the future and we think that’s because things are so uncertain, but that’s not what’s really going on.

We feel uncertain because we’re still using first-order mindsets to understand third-order markets.

We haven’t developed the skill of seeing how everything is connected. It is unwillingness, not uncertainty, that’s limiting us. If you truly want to innovate your brand, you can’t do it in the confines of your market anymore because your market no longer lives in a silo.

And that’s why I’m so excited to share today’s talk with you.

Convergence Literacy is a skill that takes constant practice, but once you begin to master it, it can reveal a whole new horizon of opportunities for your brand.

New Talks & Workshops

Friends, I’m really excited to share our new slate of talks and workshops.

Each is based on one of the top 5 challenges your company will face in the next year, and all of them are borne of our original research at Concept Bureau.

Future Proof Workshop
A fast-track workshop for predicting the future of your category, aligning on high-value opportunities, and creating a plan of action.

Culture Fluent Workshop
Disruption comes from culture, not technology. Find the hidden cultural levers in the market that only your brand can capitalize on.

The Revaluing of Everything: Strategic Thinking in the Age of AI
Using AI to completely change your strategic perspective, and practices to put it immediately into action.

Brand Storytelling for the Meaning Crisis 
New, unexpected centers of meaning are emerging in our culture. This is how your brand can meet users where they are.

How To Build Your Strategic Mind 
The skills, secrets and methodologies that can make your team a strategic powerhouse.

Email me at [email protected] for details and pricing.

Tear Up The Rule Book

Here's what we've been consuming.

When Did Everything Become a ‘Journey’? (The New York Times): ““Putting on your socks can be a journey of self-discovery,” said Beth Patton, who lives in Central Indiana and has relapsing polychondritis, an inflammatory disorder. In the chronic disease community, she said, “journey” is a debated word. “It’s a way to romanticize ordinary or unpleasant experiences, like, ‘Oh, this is something special and magical.’” Not everyone appreciates this, she said.”

How TikTok Is Wiring Gen Z’s Money Brain (The Wall Street Journal): “Sprinkle, a financial analyst at an asset-management firm in Nashville, Tenn., uses a budgeting app and has been cooking at home lately to save money—and to be able to afford the things she feels she has to buy, like Lululemon leggings. “Between TikTok and having your friends around you, you’re pressured to buy the things because you want to fit in,” she says. “That’s always been the case, but with TikTok it’s more prominent.””

Why Everything is Becoming a Game (The Prism): “For years, some of the world’s sharpest minds have been quietly turning your life into a series of games. Not merely to amuse you, but because they realized that the easiest way to make you do what they want is to make it fun.”

Brands from Burger King to Coke to Lockheed Martin are leaning in on scholarships to capture Gen Z (Fast Company): ““Increasingly, consumers expect corporations to pick up some pieces where other social services are failing,” Lamberton says, pointing to the student debt crisis. But “I don’t think we’d consider this unethichical—we want to see that a firm, if they’re being responsive to vulnerability in a society, that the actions they’re taking are not increasing that vulnerability.””

Why Members-Only Clubs Are Everywhere Right Now (GQ): “Members’ clubs—golf, yacht, university—are nothing new for middle-aged New Yorkers with cash to spend. What’s new is the idea that private clubs, as opposed to Carrie Bradshaw–approved velvet-rope bars, are places for people who are under 40, single, and possibly not even New Yorkers, to spend their Friday nights.”

Prom Dresses Are Just Dresses Now (The Atlantic): “Over the past decade or so, the style divisions among age groups have become far more fluid...This trend aligns with the dissolving of generational boundaries more broadly. Some members of Gen Alpha (infamously dubbed the “Sephora tweens”) have been emulating the multistep skin-care routines of influencers double their age. Adults are buying stuffed animals, a phenomenon some have labeled “kidulthood.” Strict age-based taste distinctions aren’t necessarily innate, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the categories we’ve constructed are converging."

Not So Scary

Quick hits of insight in socially acceptable places.

Something To Remember

Creative inspirations for the other side of your brain.

One of my new favorite things is chaos packaging.

Michael Miraflor first coined the term and it’s the perfect name for it.

Chaos packaging works because it breaks the unspoken rules of economic and cultural capital, and I made a video that shows you how you can break the same rules with your own brand for tremendous benefit:


Jasmine Bina
Founder & CEO
Concept Bureau, Inc.