As we continue forecasting what marketing trends we think will be a major hit for 2020, today, we turn our sights on branding. Easily one of the most exciting facets of the marketing world, branding just gets better and better as companies have to try harder to compete to gain the attention of overloaded customers. Today we are taking a look at the best trends of 2020 when it comes to branding, and why we're so excited about them.
Brands with a Real Personality
The idea that brands need to be more human to relate to their customers is becoming more of a wide-swept understanding, rather than a limited practice. As users become less and less trusting of establishments as a whole, businesses included, it becomes all the more important for companies to reach them where they are. And that would be on a human level.
While there are a few outliers who have been doing this well for a while, like Gatorade, Old Spice, etc., it's largely been a practice of the early adopters. As companies have seen this approach work well for these early birds, it's becoming more of the norm than it is the exception to the rule. More intuitive brands are taking this personal approach to incredible levels.
It's not just about responding to comments on social media, but responding to them well, whether that means a direct response that's extremely personal, or having a sense of humor that throws your audience over the edge. Companies are tweeting back at users, even poking fun at their own customers, brilliantly positioning themselves to feel more like a friend than a franchise.
Selling Stories, Not Stuff
With their finger on the same pulse, companies are also getting wise to the fact that they need to sell stories, not stuff. Even though people want the products, they don't relate to an object. They relate to a person, to a situation, to a feeling. And just like early adopters were tapping into this beforehand, it's now becoming a more widespread practice. Even the much harped on practice of pointing out the benefits of a product is fading into the background. While this is still important, it still feels too sales-schmoozy for the jumpy, untrusting buyer of today.
Instead, companies are using commercials and advertisements to paint narratives that speak to the soul. Most connection in ad methodology is built through an emotional pitch, and consumer products are rarely purchased from a logical standpoint. It only makes sense then, that companies should focus their attention on stories that their audience will point the finger at and say either, "I have lived that," or, "I want to live that."
Philanthropy at the Forefront
If you haven't gotten the vibe yet that customers want to relate to companies on a deeper level, take one look at these companies' efforts within their communities for it to really hit home. Customers are no longer interested in only buying a product; they want to invest in a cause. With more information available, buyers have access to where their products come from and how they affect the communities around them.
Armed with that information, they can be highly selective, not only of who they buy from, but also with the impact of what they purchase. Companies have gotten wise to this. As a result, the marketing minds have realized the buyer's influence of investing in a cause may equal the value of a product. From where they volunteer, to who they donate to, to how their products are made, companies are becoming hyper-aware of the fact that they need to be actively doing good in their communities near and abroad.
Logos that Flourish Anywhere
On the more technical side of things, one of the prevalent trends arising is logo adaptability. As companies need to be present everywhere these days, from a website to social media, their logo must be able to do the same. This means pairing their logos down to something simple that can translate easily across platforms.
Many logos have dropped their elaborate fonts and illustrations in exchange for something more subtle and easily convertible. Monotone is in, as it can be dually implemented as a watermark or a simple social media icon. Airbnb, Nike, even Chanel, have all pared their logos down to create an ease of use that can be spread throughout the online world without much difficulty.
Creating Online Communities
As trust in faceless corporations has declined in recent years, users have turned to their peers for information on products and services. Online reviews and feedback have become an integral part of the buying process for most users today, as they have primarily taken this aspect of the buyer's journey into their own hands. Instead of being made insecure by this new factor, businesses have become savvy to it, and have begun to create their own online communities for their customers to gather in.
Initiating these online communities makes their buyers and potential buyers feel valued, as the company is going out of its way to foster a space for them. It also communicates transparency. By creating an online community where their users can come together and talk about their products and services, companies are showing that they have nothing to hide and that they believe in their products and their customer's valuable feedback.
Company brands are a complex and intentional system, and we know that they are always evolving. At PRIME, we look forward to being able to help you navigate the brand process so that you can put your best foot forward in the marketplace. If you're looking for some extra firepower in your arsenal or have come to the end of what you can do yourself, give us a call or send us an email to find out how we can help you reach your goals.