Brands and brand consciousness are the two things which will always be in the discussion. That’s because however against or skeptic you may be about a brand or selection of a brand, it’s their presence only, which creates a benchmark for ideal comparison of quality between different products or services. Therefore, companies would always strive to stay ahead in branding to make their mark in the minds of consumers. The most noticeable trends seen in companies for branding in 2018, which are inspiring for the newcomers as well, are discussed below.
1. How authentic is the Brand?
Branding is a necessity of every company to strive in the market and make a place of its own. In this effort, the market and advertise, take part in social activities and campaigns, and sponsor events and programs, do charities and try all the alleys of gaining fame and spreading the name with heavy impact. Their main target is to impress people, and to create the impression hard on minds so that they are always visible, omnipresent, cannot be forgotten, as they come forth again and again with recurrent ads, billboards, stories, press releases etc. But in this whole process of branding, one factor looms inside the minds of most people who are trying to find the best product and services. And that is the factor of authenticity.
How authentic is the story, and the quality of services or products of the brand? Is it worth the hype? Is it worth the time you put in viewing its ads, logos etc? Is it worth the care you bestow upon it by using its branding gifts? When you are viewing those and you are using it, it must be able to gain your trust too. Gaining the trust by creating an impression and by living up to the buyers' expectations one of the best ways to create the true brand value.
2. Branding has gotten tough
Earlier, brands were chosen by the upper middle class and higher class people. And their main focus was to go for the real thing irrespective of the cost. Now many brands have come up for every kind product and services, and the names are too many. Most of them are in the constant competition to offer the same product or service or similar thing at a better price thus trying to bend the focus of limelight towards their brand. In this competition, the common man has a big role. It’s due to the economic crisis, which took over in 2016, the common man in 2018, is now more inclined towards going for getting similar or compromised quality at lesser rates. And this is a problem for the old players, but also is a great opportunity for the new companies trying to establish themselves as a brand.
3. Public Relations has lesser grounds to conquer in modern-day branding
The new age of 2018 branding will not be based on efforts to grow public relations. Rather, professional to public relations and face to face sales pitches are slowly retracting back as a technology for distance communications has taken the most prominent role in all sphere starting from marketing, advertising, delivering services to customer support. Soon you would see how delivery vans and transport systems in short distances will be replaced by robotic systems like drones, though this may indicate more job terminations and increased unemployment. Hence, brands will not have to think about establishing improved public relations. In fact, the focus has shifted towards a great use of email communications, online payments and postal deliveries where you don’t see much faces, and rather you only know the company or brand you are transacting with.
4. Growing more Customer Centric
As stated earlier that public relations are not getting established at present due to the use of advanced distance communication techniques, the brands have grown conscious about its side effects too. If you don’t see a face and don’t hear a voice, then trust cannot be established on a colorful logo, and a digitally flashing name or word. That is plain human psychology. You would want to give everything a face and an identity in your own way. Realizing this, the new style of branding in 2018 revolves around getting more customer-centric. In this effort loyalty point programs for the less engaged irregular customers, and live help desks for voice interactions are being introduced and tried by brands. The idea is to help customers relate to some identity. Whether it’s a solo voice singing with an instrument in a radio advertisement, or an amiable model promising and providing high-quality customer support in some TV or YouTube commercial, it helps to relate to the brand through the voice or the face.
5. Content gets to the point
A considerable amount of branding is done online with help of Adelaide SEO, and some via print media like newspapers and flyers, brochures etc, and many via TV commercials, instant mobile messaging and SMS. The invincible part in all that is content. Whether it's a sound clip, or video, or plain text, content has always been the main thing that speaks about you. The current trend of 2018 is “to the point content”. And the reasons are a fast life, impatient surfing habits, and the urge to reach the conclusion or final statement as quickly as possible.
In this age, if you have to deliver your brand message quickly, show ads, tell a story or show product review or description. You cannot simply take the help of catchy headlines and call to action click links, which used to rule the internet until 2015. In the current year, the content hungry lion inside every internet surfer looks for quality information, short snippets, quick videos, and small advertisements. The maximum utilization of time, and surfing more in a less time are some of the current demands which will hopefully increase in the coming years. Hence short videos, straightforward reviews, direct to the point informative blog, are on the making, and that brings on an authentic brand picture before the visitors.
6. Demand for quality content
You may consider this to be an extension of the earlier point. But this is actually not so. It’s about the new style of content that is replacing the traditional style of news and content. 2018 notices a change in the way news and brand stories are being shared. It’s now through podcasts, slides, videos etc. The shift from reading the traditional news, brochures, magazines etc towards online magazines, quick news snippets and news digest videos are becoming more prominent. Following this trend, the current branding specialists make their brand stories presentable in such interesting and quick flips online.
7. Alternatives will win
It’s quite an interesting observation that Apple’s products like the watch, the iPad pro and some of the iPhone stocks are not meeting adequate sales, and falling behind in price. That’s not because the value of apple depreciated as the brand. But that’s because of the emerging small player companies that are offering similar quality, technically-advanced alternatives, which are as good as Apple’s, and yet more affordable for the middle-class tech lovers. With adequate branding, alternatives have a great chance for winning, provided quality of products stays uncompromised and people get a chance to own the product at unreal low prices than the original brand.
8. Customer behavior tracking
One of the more important steps in personal branding would be through customer behavior tracking. More and more companies would try this through many means like social media, traceable gear, and software. The main idea is to track the way the customer clicks and surfs the web. This tracking is already on, and in this age where customers feel like they have no privacy online, they would feel even more interrogated because of such tracking based efforts. These will be the scope for companies to read the preferences of their target customers.
9. Graphical interpretation in branding
Graphics will be growing in importance. Since the scope to lure a customer, capture the attention, and get into focus will get narrower with increasing competition. The current trends of branding give more stress on graphical interpretations. Videos have always done great in interpreting, explaining and spreading awareness, and raising interests and curiosity in customers. But slideshows, which are dependent on graphics, are turning out to be even more interesting. These are smaller volume files, which can be made into quick presentations and GIFs, nice slideshows etc. A well-captured photo and smart infographics say a lot and deliver great concepts in a short time span.
10. App-based services
Apps have successfully got the full focus from smartphone and tab users globally. But in 2018, apps are not just the means of adding more features and facilities to the phone, but also a great way to create the brand presence. When a brand comes up with the features of offering its services and customer support on the go through an app, it is one great way to spice up their efforts and get real results.
While these branding strategies have become popular over the past year or so, it can be said with almost certainty that these strategies are here to stay for a long time. So, get ready to give your branding efforts a boost with these trends!