Richard Branson once said that, ‘Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character, and no public trust.’ The modern consumer indeed has a desire to purchase from ‘authentic’ brands.
One survey in Oberlo reported that ‘86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.’ With this in mind, one of the key branding trends this year is about creating a brand that is perceived as authentic and human. Besides authentic branding, let’s take a look at some other key trends and branding tips.
1. Inclusive Branding
According to Accenture, the modern consumer, (and particularly millennials), prefer diverse and inclusive brands. Accenture’s data showed that ‘Millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in terms of its promotions and offers. This was true of 70 percent of millennial respondents.
When you’re looking to strengthen your branding and improve your ad campaigns, it’s worth assessing how diverse and inclusive your content is.
2. Focus On CSR
Global Web Index recently reported that ‘68% of online consumers in the U.S. and UK would or might stop using a brand because of poor or misleading CSR.’ Their data further suggests that, ‘Nearly half are willing to pay a premium for socially-conscious or environmentally-friendly brands.’
When companies improve their corporate social responsibility strategy, they can improve their branding at the same time. There are several ways to improve your CSR strategy:
- Fundraising & Charity Work: First up, you’ve got to define your values, whether these are human rights, diversity, or sustainability. Next, you’ll want to seek out a few projects that align with your values. Whether you donate, partner-up, or put on an event, make sure that your audiences are aware of your efforts.
- A Memorable CSR Plan: Plenty of companies are building socially responsible branding, so how can you make yours stand out? The key is to ensure that your CSR efforts are memorable. (Don’t just copy what your competitors are doing, and dare to think outside the box)!
3. The Rise Of Nostalgic Branding
In 2020, companies are using nostalgia as part of their branding strategies. The idea is that a trip down memory lane evokes positive feelings, allowing brands to tap into the emotions of the consumer. Here are a few examples of the companies who’ve used nostalgic branding:
Microsoft: Tech giant Microsoft previously created a ‘Child of the 90s’ ad campaign. The idea was to show how the brand has grown up with 90’s kids. The advert featured plenty of 90’s paraphernalia, from chain-wallets to Tamagotchis and trolls!
7 UP: Soft drinks brand ‘7 UP’ also used nostalgic branding; featuring an 80’s cartoon character ‘Fido Dido’ in one of their drinks ads.
4. User-Generated Content
User-generated content refers to content that has been created by real people or customers (rather than brands). This content could be in the form of reviews, images, videos, or text. In 2020 an increasing number of brands are sharing UGC on their marketing channels, social media accounts, and websites. There are many reasons to use user-generated content, including:
- Authenticity: The modern consumer values authenticity, and many people prefer to see fun, cute, and real images as opposed to staged ones with models and props. With user-generated content, you can ensure that your brand comes across as authentic and human.
- Build Trust: Customers often trust other people more than they trust brands. Promoting your own brand’s own social media is great; however, it’s never going to be as well perceived as a member of the public promoting you!
- Create Desire: We can all relate to the feeling of looking at someone else’s social media pictures and feeling jealous! With user-generated content, your existing customers will inspire others to jump on the bandwagon.
5. It’s All About The Merchandise
Last up, branded merchandise has been an effective strategy for years, and this trend is still going strong. Whether it’s branded T-shirts, mouse-pads, pens or custom air fresheners, merchandise is a great way to get exposure, and ensure that people remember your name (and logo).
These are just a few of the branding moves to consider this year; there are plenty more to discover. Above all, it’s a great idea to focus on creating the best possible content marketing. It’s with your content marketing that you’ll get people talking about your company and boost your brand awareness.