Branding has trends and if you want to get straight into it, we pick out 10 trends that are worth taking note for your brand. All trends are applicable to big brands all the way to startups.
Here is what we have seen and gathered for 2018’s Branding trends. It is not too late to hop in because some of them are here to stay.
1. Personalise your brand
Brands are now personalising the customer experience for a good reason. As we have always mentioned, trust is built when a brand can relate her products to her customers. As such, it is usually not a good idea to directly sell your products. Building real relationships through personalised experiences is what will win over your customers.
The automotive industry is a clear example of the personalising trend, just promoting your cars is not going to cut it. Subaru’s advertisements are storytelling wrapped in an adventurous lifestyle.
Subaru’s advert was one of producing an authentic experience, knowing that scenes of the guide urging people to listen and to feel the surrounding sensations is easily relatable to their audience. It was also a captivating advert to watch too. BMW is also another example of evoking the experience of driving their cars.
More specifically, you need to find out what your brand personality is. This unique voice is what will brand more “humanised” and relatable to your customers. With brands internally having more automatic processes today, you need a mix between automation and human touch to keep your brand personable.
2. Omni-channel touchpoints
With so many channels to broadcast your products, your brand now has to be Digital, Social, and Physical. We have to think of all the touchpoints customers interact with our products. It can be from a Google search, through a display advertisement, your distributor, or even in the comfort of their friend’s home.
What is more applicable is that brands should be mindful of where their content will appear and adapt accordingly. For example, a blog will contain the full article with detailed explanations but an EDM, with the same content, will only contain a summary of the full article – going straight to the message that is to be conveyed.
All channels need to evoke the same feel and look without compromising brand image.
There is a lot of potential with omnichannel branding so make sure you know what your goals are.
Over the years brands are displaying more fun, colorful and bold designs; with playful graphics, characters, and personality. Some brands that use multiple colours are Toys R Us, Desigual, Microsoft, and Google.
Technological companies, like Microsoft above, are known to add more colour into their otherwise “dull” products by projecting a fun brand that exudes, excitement, energy and optimism.
4. Create valuable content
Educational content still reigns king in the digital world of branding. With so much content available online, the only way to stand out is to consistently give good educational content to the community. Less is more when it comes to distributing quality content that your audience needs. Poor content will get your brand nowhere even with consistency. The kind of content you publish has to resonate with your audience that makes it informative and easy to grasp.
Retaining the attention of customers is getting increasingly difficult. That is because answers can now easily be found online. If your brand does not have the answers to questions right away, your customers can simply move on to other brands.
You may already have a great customer service team and an FAQ section that answers all common questions. Why not provide a new way of interacting with your customers? This is where chatbots come in.
Chatbots is a direct method for brands to connect with their customers. Adding your personalised branding to all encounters and at a quicker pace. What’s more, Facebook Messenger already gives you the platform, so there’s no real cost for implementing it.
Live chats help make the experience more humane, an important aspect of branding as we’ve talked about at the start of this article. It also gives customers another way of directly contacting you without the fear of being bombarded with sales pitches.
Brands like Sephora have seen an 11% increase in booking rates through the Sephora Reservation Assistant, a chatbot on Facebook Messenger
6. Think about mobile first
Mobile usage is still a top priority for brands and if you have not embraced them, you will be on the losing end. There’s a high possibility that your EDMS are being read on mobile so make sure they are mobile-friendly.
Sentences, for example, need to be shorter and more concise to ensure your messages are easily read and understood. Buttons need to be bigger on desktops but not until they obliterate mobile screens.
Email marketing is becoming more targeted with various content being sent based on the reader’s preferences – and will continue to do so.
Remember quality, not quantity.
7. Targeting Generation Z
The most tech-savvy of all generations are now entering the workforce. This means that their buying power will increase, and if you’re targeting them, it will be a good idea to alter your digital strategies to their preferences.
“Gen Z is the only generation that is more influenced by Social Media than by sales or discounts.”
It is hard to ignore the fact that social media is a valuable channel for brands, mostly retail, to reach out to the younger consumers. However, brick and mortar brands still need to uphold their in-store experiences – this combined with digital reach out is the way brands are interacting with their customers.
8. Native display advertising
Display adverts are now but all too familiar. They still work but it may be wise to try another method. Native advertisements blend with the surrounding content, making it less obstructive and more relevant to readers. Here’s an infographic about display and native adverts. They are dated but facts remain true.
It is important to know that the native advert needs to be valuable to consumers. Otherwise, it will become the intrusive adverts that everyone dislikes.
Here’s an example on Forbes (Native ads are bordered in red).
These seem very obvious that they are ads but take a look at the next one. At a quick glance you would think it’s a typical Forbes article and have no idea it was sponsored.
To start on native ads, we suggest contacting sites which you know your audiences are active on. If you are unsure, leverage on Facebook’s and Google’s native advertising network. These two mega platforms have a huge network of third-party websites which places your ad on sites which your target audiences frequent.
9. Use Influencer marketing
Last year was the year of influencers where brands from multiple industries hired influencers to market their products. The trend of influencer marketing is here to stay for some time as social media continues to expand its capabilities. According to Invesp, influencer marketing is 11 times more effective than traditional marketing.
If brand awareness is your goal, or you are launching a new product line, influencers are able to create buzz in the social world making your brand more visible. Choosing the right influencer is just as important too. Establish clear intents with your influencer but do not restrict their creativity, the tone has to be authentic to the influencer.
10. Create an all-encompassing marketing strategy
Bringing all the trends together, your marketing strategy needs to be more comprehensive than ever. With the inclusion of digital, marketing requires input from different facets of the company to ensure strategies can run smoothly. It is a time-consuming strategy but it is so valuable for brands to have them in order to market well at our pace.