Netflix recently announced  that it commissioned a new season of cult sitcom Arrested Development. In so doing, they made the dreams of millions of Arrested Development fans come true, while at the same time expanding their brand from distributor to content commissioner.
If Netflix can give their model a much-needed PR boost and satisfy a group of consumers overnight, it got me to thinking--dare I say dreaming--about what other brands could do to make dreams come true for the rest of us. Here are brand innovations I'm dreaming about this Christmas season.
Guide My Sleigh Tonight
In 2012, I dream of my car having the services of a high-end, online concierge--a Siri on wheels, if you will. As I head off into a day of work, errands, and social activities, my car offers up information on the best coffee shop along my route, and books the hard-to-get lunch reservation at the hottest restaurant in town. It also provides a discount at a boutique en route to dinner where I can stop and get a hostess gift. Imagine getting to pick not only the color and trim for your 2012 car, but also a preferred concierge service to shed new light on your hometown and daily routine...
New Films All The Way
With a good portion of business life devoted to air travel, I pine for an airline to distribute the never-released film content that many film festival-goers enjoy, so I might opt for that instead of the nth viewing of any given episode of 30 Rock. Travelers like myself would provide a formidable audience for new and never-released filmed content. In 2012, filmmakers shut out by the demands of studio and distributor finances should be given the opportunity to build an audience from the world’s frequent fliers who only wish they had time for Sundance.
Eco-Bottles Merry And Bright
Since disposable water bottles are eco-terrorists, and refillable bottles like Sigg's are eco-darlings, 2012 should ring in a process that allows all plastic-bottled consumable goods to be sold on a reusable vessel/dispensary model a la Method. Stylishly designed containers that work for people and the planet could be refilled at any number of stores. Not only is this solution eco-friendly, it would bring back the old-world apothecary experience to shopping. In addition, this brand hybrid would take reusable bottle design to its next level and go a long way toward reducing our plastic consumption. Reenergizing consumables packaging and artful design by curbing our ease in creating refuse is a win for everyone.
Baby, It’s Green Outside
We are so very comfortable with generating trash. But thanks to the success of Repreve , a leading recycled yarn, next year should see us turning the plastic bottles that we do toss out into running shorts, hiking fleeces, car upholstery, carpet, caps and gowns, and more. Brands behind these products should further increase their use of recycled polyester, and consumers should consider purchasing brands using recycled polyester in the vein of Gore-Tex, rayon, and spandex. Imagine being able to choose what our bottles get recycled into...
Oh Come All Ye Faithful (Children)
Restoring the faith in and practice of honest business and unexpected innovation is imperative next year. And it should start with entrepreneurial matching organizations like Fuse Projects  finding their way into the classroom, K-12. In 2012, I can see kids learning how to translate their creativity into businesses--for profit and otherwise--and re-engender in our culture the discipline of hard work, an early understanding of economics and finance, and a handing over of the keys to the kingdom to those who are yet to be corrupted. Imagine children creating intellectual property that supports their schools and teachers.
So as these visions of brand innovations play in my head, one final word must be said…
Halloween & Thanksgiving Got Run Over By a Reindeer
And, no matter the brand or service, I have one wish for them all. Please let Halloween and Thanksgiving have their turns before dialing up the Christmas holiday cheer. Otherwise, we'll find ourselves carving Santa lanterns next year.
[Image: jgarber ]