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The Future of Branding in 2020

Intense competition, the ever-changing technology landscape and continuous digital innovation have permanently altered the world of branding. Today, branding has far exceeded just simple visual differentiation. It now encompasses a whole new set of elements – Social Consciousness, Authentic Customer Relationships and Community-centred Communication. Developing and shifting your brand involves a deep understanding and implementation new branding trends.

Upcoming Trends in 2020:

1. Brand Personalization:

Consumers relate to stories and people, not just products. Creating a personalized brand connection builds customer loyalty and trust. Additionally, organizations automate their practices today. A healthy mix of automation and personalization is vital to the brands success.

2. The Role of Chatbots:

Chatbots are altering customer relations and developing new branding trends. AI is enabling brands to create constant dialogue with customers, simultaneously enabling Conversational Marketing.

3. Emphasis on Experience:

CX and UX – both stimulated and physical – like pop-up shops, online experiences, flagship stores will dictate branding’s evolution.

4. Implementation of AR:

AR, especially in retail, provides real-time interaction with products and services as opposed to VR which places consumers in an artificially created environment. E.g. Ikea Place app used AR to showcase how their products will fit into their homes.

5. Brands with a Social Conscience:

Social Conscience is a sign of longevity and consumers want brands sharing their viewpoints and sensitivities. Millennials in particular have higher expectations of the world’s leading corporations.

6. Effective Content Creation:

In a world where information overload is a reality, companies cannot underestimate the value of effective content creation. Brand experts are advised to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to content creation.

7. Influencer Marketing:

According to an eMarketer survey from 2017, $570 million was spent globally on influencer marketing. In 2018, $1.6 billion was channeled towards sponsorship posts on Instagram.

8. Taking a stand:

Consumers carefully monitor brand positioning based on major cultural or societal events. Brand’s play an increasingly prominent role in shaping culture. For example, Nike’s ad endorsing controversial ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick.

9. Mobile-User Interaction:

With customers’ rapidly reducing attention span and hectic work-life schedules, text, audio and video content will be shortened to effectively communicate messages in short bursts. Branding activities will become more directed, offering curated consumer content.

10. Digital Detox Paradox:

As a study by the World Economic Forum explained, there are a whopping 4.4 billion global connected consumers today. The same study showed that social media usage for Millennials dropped significantly since 2019. Scientific research has emphasized the health benefits of reduced digital device usage. Companies will need to navigate this complex social puzzle.

Brand Building Trials 2020

1. Constant Content Creation

With the wide variety of content available on multiple platforms, one the truest tests of a brand’s endurance will depend on its ability to generate unique content on a daily basis. By operating with transparency and giving consumers insights into your brand’s day-to-day functioning, it will help create a transparent, emotional connect and allow for original content generation.

2. Distinctive Emotional Connect

Most brands tend to struggle with the basic essence of any successful brand, creating emotion. Ensuring that your leadership and brand team are on the same page with regards to the brand’s emotive prompts and purpose will create a more accurate and authentic blueprint moving forward.

3. Scale with Long-term Vision

As with other aspects of business, scaling a brand irresponsibly can in fact be highly detrimental to its overall growth. For long-term success, brands must learn how to resist expansion, latching onto trends unnecessarily and stick to their core values.

4. Marketing Team Skill Gaps

As the landscape of global branding continues to evolve with technology, there is now an increasingly large skills gap for most teams. Brand teams need to invest in upskilling their teams to be highly proficient in operating and understanding AI platforms and ML tools or face becoming irrelevant.

Branding in the Social Media World

Companies still struggle when developing a sustainable Branding Model that can operate successfully in this cluttered social media world. Online platforms continue to dictate the marketplace, despite heavy investment from other corporations. Content, Data and Business are now all interlinked and this is apparent in the rising popularity of DTC (Direct To Consumer) Brand Models being applied to media. This will enable greater innovation in application of branding techniques and help ensure that authenticity and personalization is rewarded handsomely for most brands in the near future.

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