February 21, 2019

Interstellar Branding

How conquering the Solar system relies on a branding strategy by Nikola Sekulic

We live in a wonderful time for humankind. Unparalleled progress in technology, the likes of which have never been seen in human history, enables us to slowly but surely venture out into space and begin the colonization of our nearest neighboring planets, some of which our descendants will one day call their first and only home.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

It might seem ludicrous to a number of people to imagine planetary exploration having anything to do with the art of branding, yet if we take a closer look at what the principles of branding entail and how significant their role is in shaping the perception of our daily lives and in fact, the future, we will indeed be able to comprehend the importance it will have in mankind’s pursuit of the treasures of Sol.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, having the means to achieve something and having a service or a product, and even an idea, all of it counts for nothing if we do not frame it in a way people will love (or hate) and live by, thus moving them to action and giving them a sense of belonging.

So why should something as great as space exploration and planetary colonization be any different? Do you believe that people will willingly visit, and even stay on other planets than mother Earth where they are safe and taken care of without a very, and I mean very compelling reason? Interestingly enough, the same can be said about one’s favorite beer, favorite car, city or country. If you don’t feel as if you belong, then you probably will never even want to experience it.

The fact of the matter is, we are all consumers. You might regard yourself as someone out of the norm, living a life above conformity, gauging the world in a way the majority of its inhabitants are unable to see. Yet, whether you like it or not, to any extent, you as well are a consumer.

As such (consumers) we crave for that sense of belonging and purpose in this life. And our values and predilections are greatly shaped by everything we experience day in and day out, as we find ourselves believing that we have control over our convictions. The truth is sadly much different.

Therefore, is it so hard to believe that shaping the story of space exploration in the right way will make all the difference between having people of this world support planetary colonization, or completely revolting against it?
Never forget that no matter how much we are susceptible to adhering to hierarchical power, it is the people who hold the ultimate sovereignty of Earth, and without their support, any future interplanetary endeavors will not be possible.
Let’s put these words into perspective.

Which do you think will be the first brand to appear on the Moon after the first permanent space station is built?
You may have guessed it, it will be Coca-Cola. And for a few very compelling reasons.

The decision for Coca-Cola to conquer the Moon market will not be made on the company level, rather as a government directive aiming to popularize Earth’s new favorite trampoline, and entice you to “taste the feeling” somewhere you never even imagined yourself wanting to.
So begins the branding of the Moon.

Home is where your favorite feelings are. If we are to entice people to make a new home on another planet, we have to offer something much more than water and oxygen — we have to give them the feeling of home.
Contrary to the dreary science fiction movies that endlessly portray planetary settlements as cities of wire and metal boxes, the main place of social activity, of course, being a dodgy bar, the likelier reality is one of beautiful white, domed, cities with everyone’s favorite past-time activities and shopping brands at their disposal.

If movie directors were to incorporate simple branding into their stories, we would find ourselves unamused with the tranquility of livelihood outside of Earth.
You see, simply giving people the means and the possibility of visiting other planets and potentially staying there is not that much different than a tourist agency giving you the option to visit Australia — it sounds fun, but if the offer is not branded in an appealing way, you’ll end up staying home and believing that Australia is just a place full of people talking gibberish at you.

Therefore, it is becoming increasingly more important for government agencies such as NASA, the ESA (European Space Agency) and Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) to popularize the progress of science and the possibility of inhabiting nearby planets, in preparation for a positive global response when the day finally comes.

And that is done with careful and strategic branding. If we keep in mind that branding shapes the perception in our minds, and the trusting feeling in our hearts, we can safely conclude that voyaging onto other planets needs to be perceived as something purposeful and necessary for humankind.

The rise of online scientific magazines that base the majority of their writing on the subjects of the intricacies of the cosmos, populating the internet with articles and videos with the newest findings and advancements made in the pursuit of space colonization is by no means a simple result of a group of scientists trying to spread the knowledge — it is, in fact, a joined international effort of popularizing what will be our future.
This is by no means a conspiracy theory, it is simple branding and human nature.

We are afraid of the unknown, be it a new type of product, or the Moon. In our nature there is no real difference — we will be skeptical and suspicious of a new type of washing machine that simultaneously makes coffee, and we feel the same emotions toward leaving Earth.
You have probably gathered by now that I am a space enthusiast, but at no point am I letting myself believe that my love for the cosmos is entirely my devise, rather I embrace the fact that there are higher powers in play that to a great extent orchestrate the minds of the Earth to promote the perception of inter-planetary exploration.

It is, in fact, a beautiful awakening and a marvelous joint effort of this generation.
Yet, do I think it is necessary? Absolutely not. Our planet Earth has been given to us to be nurtured, and in return, she gives us life. But am I curious, intrigued, and captivated by the idea of us reaching the stars and discovering the secrets that those twinkles of light on the night sky still hold for us? Definitely.

I believe that there is an infinitely larger number of more pressing matters we as humans need to steer our attention towards in this moment of global poverty, injustice and nature’s demise.
The challenges we as a generation are facing greatly outreach those of colonizing neighboring planets because ours is no longer enough to sustain our selfish existence.

Imagine what we as a race are capable of by turning our gaze inward, and addressing the problems of decaying nature and social injustices with full force and vast resources that are currently implemented toward conquering what was never meant to be called ours.
If only they were branded as well.