Are you up to date with the branding trends?
Your brand is one of your business’ most important pillars because it defines your business and sets it apart from the competition.
It used to be true that having a catchy name and an eye-catching logo was good enough to gain the interest of leads, but in this digital age, there are so many distractions that might overwhelm consumers and prevent them from even noticing your brand.
Add to that the recent disruption caused by the global pandemic, where people’s priorities changed significantly. This resulted in a situation where almost all businesses were extremely challenged to stay relevant for their consumers.
While there is no easy answer to this conundrum, it’s important to get started, and the best way to start is by educating yourself on the updated branding trends so you know how to get your target audience’s attention.
Knowing what the latest branding trends are will help you take action on what changes you need to implement in order to improve awareness and likeability for your business’ brand.
This of course, means that branding isn’t just about aesthetics. Modern audiences long for genuine connections; and the business that’s able to give that to them will more likely have their trust and patronage.
Here at HoopJumper, we’ve compiled a list of the latest branding trends for you to take advantage of for your business.
Let’s get started.
Take Advantage Of Phygital Campaigns
During the pandemic, physical campaigns became nearly impossible to pull off as people didn’t go out of their homes. Even in this post-pandemic era, a lot of consumers are still hesitant to spend much time outside of their homes for long periods of time; as such, traditional, physical-focused campaigns don’t really work as well as they used to.
Enter Phygital campaigns. (Phygital is a merging of the words “physical” and “digital”) These types of campaigns are designed to blur the lines between physical and digital strategies. With these, you can provide your customers with a more unique and memorable experience of your brand at the safety of their homes.
Many businesses that sell products have begun to offer “try for free at home” campaigns so their customers can simply have the product shipped to their home and test it out.
Authenticity Is The Key
Trust is a crucial factor in building your brand, and there isn’t a lot of that going around the business world nowadays. In the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, it was reported that only 34% of consumers trust brands they buy from.
A Stackla report on consumer content revealed that 86% of shoppers view authenticity as a huge factor in purchasing decisions. The same study also reported that 90% of millennials say authenticity is essential in branding, noting that they prefer “real and organic” companies over those that are “perfect and packaged”.
This just shows that the traditional method of over-beautification of ads won’t bring audiences in as much as they used to. People want brands that are authentic and real.So how do you go about showing authenticity? There are a number of ways.
You can do videos of walkthroughs inside your business to show people how your operations work, or interview members of your team to give a face to your business.
Humanize Your Brand
Consumers nowadays find it difficult to trust brands. Most of them feel like businesses are only out to get their money.
As such, if you want to gain your target audience’s trust and have them do business with you, you have to make your brand relatable and human – give it a personality and a face. After all, just as people have multifaceted personalities, so should your company.
In the Sprout Social Index, it was shown that consumers want to see different behaviors from brands on social media. Shoppers want companies that are honest (86%), friendly (83%), and helpful (78%).
Aside from these qualities, shoppers also like brands that are funny (72%), trendy (43%), politically correct (39%), and snarky (33%). These behaviors make it easier for consumers to relate to a brand.
Make Your Logo Adaptable
If you want to scale your business up, you need to have a presence everywhere. In other words, having a physical store that you promote through online advertisers doesn’t work as well anymore – you need to have your own website, an email marketing platform, and you need to have pages on different social media platforms.
Because of this, a lot of businesses now make use of logo designs that can adapt to different circumstances.
Basically, this means that your logos can change in size, color or complexity based on how you are going to use them. You can have a more complex logo design for the one you use on your website, and a simpler one that you use for social media. What’s important is that the base logo elements are present.
By having different variations of your logo, you can ensure consistency no matter where your logo is seen. This just means that this makes your logo work regardless of the layout it is being used on.
Additionally, it increases brand recall because in spite of having variations, your customers and leads can remember the core concepts of the logo design.
Use Minimal Aesthetics
Minimalism has become increasingly popular in recent years in almost every aspect of human existence – from how many clothes one wears, or how many items one keeps at home.
This trend has taken us by storm, so much so that even business marketers have been making use of this style when it comes to showcasing their business’ brand.
For example, both Google and Airbnb recently had facelifts that changed their logos to sans-serif, a popular typeface for Minimalism. This can also be seen in big fashion labels such as Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga.
One of the primary reasons why many businesses are opting for the minimalist brand is that it gives them a better shot at becoming iconic
The idea is, the simpler the font and colors, the easier it is to pair with all sorts of supporting graphics.
The only downside to this branding trends design, however, is that there’s a very real chance that you’d make your brand design minimal to the point where it’s boring. So, before you join the bandwagon, you should test out different color schemes and font styles that will help you make your brand stand out without compromising simplicity.
Take Advantage Of Nostalgia
Trends have been a focal point in the digital age. People have their eyes glued on their social media accounts for the latest technology, gadget, fashion design, and trends in various industries. However, this culture of “keeping up with the Joneses” can be frustrating and tiring for a lot of consumers. This is why blasts from the past now play a more meaningful role in branding.
Many relish the past and wish to recapture and wish to recapture the feeling of how things used to be. By using nostalgic brand marketing, you can invoke these old memories and attach positive feelings to your products and services. Therefore, you can improve the chances of boosting customer trust and brand recall. This is backed by a 2017 Nielsen study that revealed advertising aligned with emotions yields better results.
One example of this is Microsoft’s “Child of the 90s” ad back in 2013. This campaign aimed to reintroduce Internet Explorer by showing how it has evolved with kids in the 90s, who are now in their 20s and 30s. A more recent example that newer brands can mimic would be Spotify’s throwback ads that rekindle the 80s and 90s culture and compares it to 2019 trends.
Create More Branded Visual Content
People are visual creatures. We are naturally better at retaining images than any other form of media.
However, from a brand marketing perspective, this doesn’t mean that all types of visual content can generate the same response from your target audience.
A study released by PR News found that online content with good images receives 94% more views than those without. This can be attributed to the fact that this type of visual content aims to promote your brand without the risk of overt advertising.
In addition, visual content such as GIFs, charts, infographics, and videos allows you to generate new leads more effectively on social media. They have a better shot at being noticed compared to ads that simply lay out what products you have to offer.
This is important especially now that Facebook changed its algorithm to focus new feeds on friends and family instead of ads. As a result, you’ll see that many B2C marketers now focus on creating videos and webinars and these are often used in conjunction with social media content to boost its efficiency.
Now you have to make sure to create visuals that reflect the aesthetic of your brand. For example, if it’s an infographic, use your official font style or decorate it using your color scheme. If it’s a video, add your logo to the bottom corner of the video.
This way, customers know that you produced the content. This allows you to keep your brand in their minds subtly.
Be Consistent On Social Media
Social media is one of the most important platforms if you want your brand to have a presence online. Websites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are prime real estate for brand recognition.
This is why it comes as no surprise that 90% of organizations leverage social media for brand awareness.
Of course, you don’t just share and post all the same to every platform. Study how each platform is being used, and you’ll know what, how and when to post content on every social media platform. For example, if you’re posting on Instagram, you’ll most likely be using photos, while on Twitter, you’ll be relying more on written content.
You’ll also want to make sure your branding is consistent on all of your social media accounts. This means having a unified color scheme, your logo and tagline showing on all of your social media pages, and other layouts necessary to help keep a uniform theme.
Finally, make sure that your brand’s voice is also uniform. How do you want your audiences to see your brand? Do you want your posts to be seen as funny? Or punny? How about formal?
Pick a voice for your brand and base your posts on that voice so they come out the same.
In a previous post we created, we emphasized the importance of using hashtags when doing posts on social media.
And not just any hashtags – using official, branded hashtags has become a trend for businesses to improve their online presence.
Seven in 10 hashtags are branded – that’s on Instagram alone. Additionally, an Instagram post with at least one hashtags averages 12.6% more engagement than those without.
When you ask your customers or clients to post about your business and have them use your official hashtag, you can extend your reach to their followers.
You can also choose to share screenshots of these user-generated posts on your social media page to encourage other customers to share their experience with your brand as well as persuade leads to purchase.
In addition to engaging customers, hashtags can also be used to gauge the pulse of your consumers. Monitoring these closely can give you a better idea of how they perceive your brand. Having specific hashtags for particular products and services also help you see their impact on your customers.
Develop Online Communities
Online communities are now an important part of branding because of the pandemic that caused everyone to stay indoors. And even now, people have gotten used to online communities so much because it provides a trusted, safe environment where they can interact with others, as well as the brands that they follow.
Online communities serve as a platform for your customers to interact with each other. These interactions can take the form of social media comments, instant messages, phone calls, emails, or even through the hashtags on their posts.
With these, you can connect your clients with like-minded individuals and create deeper relations between them and your brand.
Moreover, building an online community can prove beneficial to your company’s ROI. This was backed by a MarTech study that revealed 2 out of 3 brands with online communities experienced a revenue increase, thanks to strong community engagement. The ongoing pandemic has also made clear the importance of online communities at a time when people rarely go out to shop.
Diversity, body positivity, and inclusivity are reshaping customer expectations. A survey by Accenture showed that 70% of millennials will choose inclusive and diverse brands over those that are not.
The 2018 State of Branding reported that the majority of companies acknowledge the importance of addressing issues both social and cultural for their branding strategy. However, a good chunk of these businesses is also struggling to keep up with the demand.
To help you get an idea of how to execute this for your brand, some examples of business that excel in promoting inclusivity are personal care brand Dove, underwear company ThirdLove, and cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty. These brands have made it a point to ask real women to appear on their ads instead of hiring picture-perfect models. They have been launching ad campaigns that aim to shatter beauty stereotypes. This means featuring women of every age, ethnicity, shape, size, and gender orientation to empower their customers.
Of course, if your brand doesn’t necessarily cater to women, you can make your brand inclusive through other means. For example, you can be economically inclusive by offering products at different price points. This will allow you to tap customers from different wals of life. In the same way, you can be functionally inclusive by designing products that can be used by differently-abled individuals.
Join The Sustainability Movement
Studies show that 88% of consumers believe that businesses can influence societal change; because of this, they should take the lead in addressing environmental issues by providing more sustainable products.
In addition to this, shoppers nowadays are becoming more conscious about what they purchase.
Many consumers opt for more sustainable brands whenever they can. In fact, in a study done by GSG, 23% of shoppers are now willing to pay an extra 1% to 5% for sustainable products.
Considering this data, it shouldn’t be surprising that many businesses are implementing sustainable operational practices as well as ethical business processes.
This way, they can meet the demands of green consumerism and retain the trust and loyalty of their customers.
Take The Social Responsibility Route
Brands today are no longer seen by consumers as just mere producers of products and services – they are also seen in a social light. This means that every product or service they produce serves a statement that could get the consumer’s interest or make them hate the brand altogether.
This is the reason purpose-driven brands are gaining more appeal to modern shoppers. According to a study done by Cone Communications, “ 71% of customers purchase from organizations that share their cause.”
One reason for this is that 46% of all consumers say brands have better ideas for resolving problems than the government.
This is why many larger businesses have partnered with various social organizations and incorporate the latter’s advocacies into their marketing campaigns.
Take Advantage Of Technological Developments
Technology has always been a part of marketing, especially in this digital age.
While not necessarily a new trend, this one needs constant repeating because of how fast technology develops.
Marketers and brand managers have been utilizing technology for various aspects of branding for years. They invest in branding and automation technologies to create content more efficiently (32%), enable data-driven decision-making (27%), and improve personalization (22%).
However, these past years, there are emerging technologies that companies have been slowly adopting to further optimize branding. Some of the top tech that marketers are incorporating in their operations are mobile applications (68%), voice assistants (40%), and virtual reality (37%).
These will allow them to accommodate internet users that rely on their smartphones as well as create better experiences for their potential customers and existing clients. In addition, these new technologies can help them stay relevant in this fast-paced landscape.
Make Your Brand Customer Centric
Modern audiences love to participate in the development of their favorite products and services. Nowadays, surveys and feedback forms don’t cut it as they used to – people really love getting involved in the development process.
In a study conducted by Bulbshare, statistics showed that 77% of shoppers prefer brands that collaborate with them. This is due to the empowering effect to your audiences that letting them join the creative process makes.
Additionally, this approach makes you look more trustworthy and authentic. The same study revealed that a majority (86%) of these consumers view customer-driven brands as more trustworthy. Meanwhile, 81% of them find brands that collaborate as more authentic than their competitors.
To reinforce your customer-driven branding campaign, it is best that you utilize top marketing software or CRM tools. With these at your disposal, you can keep tabs on your customers as well as organize your strategies.
Time To Improve Your Brand
Looking at the branding trends listed above, it’s fair to say that building your brand is going to be more complicated than it used to be. Consumers nowadays are focused more on what a brand does than how it looks, so you need to roll up your sleeves and get work done to get noticed by your target leads.
This goes to show that brand managers and marketers have to go above and beyond to make sure to capture and retain the attention of their target audience.
As a business owner, you understand the impact that your brand identity has over your business, but you also understand that you can’t be everywhere and do everything all at once.
This is why HoopJumper is here for you. We help independent professionals like you create, refresh and expand your brand so you will look professional and make more money.
Check out our Personal and Business Branding services and let us help you get updated with the latest branding trends.