7 branding trends that are “in” right now
We have outlined seven key branding trends that are “in” right now. Brands are more open and transparent then ever. They are trying to create custom-made experiences for consumers, feature real emotional stories and create positive change in the society. Big brands are making big changes, trying to engage with Gen Z and to remind consumers of their brand’s heritage.
1 Up close & personalized
Brands are trying real hard to create custom-made experience for every consumer. Consumers are the ones with the power to create the content. Apple introduced a touching Mother’s Day film featuring photos of real mums inviting everybody to personalize the film by adding a photo of their own mother to the mix.
2 Real life with real people
It’s easier to relate with real people than with the fake smiling faces of people from stock photos and videos. The brands that feature real emotional stories speak right to our hearts. Under Armour proved this in its last campaign featuring Michael Phelps, one of the most successful Olympic winners of all time, who made a huge comeback in Rio.
3 Giving back
Brands have the power to become generators of positive change in the society. Giving back has finally moved from the bottom of the corporate web page to the header position. The new players have incorporated doing good in their brand mission. Warby Parker is a great example – for every pair of glasses they sold, they distribute a pair to someone in need.
4 Going back to the roots
Brands want to remind consumers of their brand’s heritage and its core values that are still relevant today. Pepsi introduced the new drink called “1893” referencing to the century old tradition, delivering unexpected cola experience. Coke remastered its iconic “Hilltop” ad from 1971 communicating the brand’s dedication to celebrating diversity and unifying diverse people and cultures.
Being open and transparent doesn’t make a brand vulnerable, just the opposite – it makes it empathetic and strong. Beyonce, who is without a doubt the most powerful entertainer alive, proved that she is stronger than ever before when she exposed herself completely and shared her most intimate life moments in the latest album Lemonade. Whether it is all true or not, we don’t know yet she seems to have revealed herself to the public, resulting in the huge surge of interest in her songs and her life.
6 Generation Z on the rise
Generation Z is gaining more and more momentum. They still have considerably lower purchasing power than the Millennials, but know exactly what they want from brands. They prefer to shop and socialize online, they like storytelling, and think that e-mails are for old people. They prefer Taylor to Rihanna, video content to photo content, Instagram to Facebook and Snapchat to Twitter.
7 Big players, big changes
Continuity is one of the key branding principles, however, in order to stay relevant brands have to be in touch with the changes in the market and the wishes of consumers. McDonalds redesigned its packaging focusing more on its environmental impact and creating a more modern look and feel, Coke and Axe changed their communication platforms, Lego and Mattel sent important messages by making disabled figures, and dolls that are of different shape and color.
Illustration: Alen Lipuš, Bruketa&Žinić OM