Over the past few years, we have seen some exciting new branding trends emerge and take hold. These trends are quickly becoming universal concepts that scores of people from around the world embrace. They have been shaped by the rise of the millennial generation, and for that reason, they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Luckily, you don’t need a huge marketing department (or budget to match) if you want to integrate these trends into your company. Here are seven branding trends we’re most enthusiastic about and that your small business can start using today:
People want to know where their food was grown and car was assembled. They want to know what’s in their shampoo and who made their bread. They want to know what kind of barrels their whiskey was aged in. The more honest and open you are with your customers about all aspects of your business, the more they will trust you—and the more loyal they will be.
Companies are not run by robots, but it’s amazing how many sound like they are. Your customers know that there are people behind your products, services, ideas, emails, websites, and social media accounts. Speak to them as if you were face-to-face in the same room; be conversational, friendly, and easy-to-understand.
Because each interaction you have with customers impacts the way they feel about your small business, exemplary customer service is now part of your brand. Your brand must make customers feel like you take their happiness very seriously and will do (just about) anything to make them happy.
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From your brand’s logo to your website to your messaging, everything about your brand must be straightforward, to-the-point, easy to understand, and easy to remember. Boil everything down to its essence and only use and say what is absolutely necessary.
While re-targeting is a wonderful way to reach people after they have left your websites, brands are starting to also use pre-targeting. Pre-targeting uses predictive analytics to track people’s online behavior, allowing you to reach potential customers with the right information at the right time. Yes, it does sound a little Big Brother—but it works.
Don’t chase technology trends in a quest to have the latest, hot feature. Use technology to make it easy for your customers or prospects to engage better with your company’s products and services. Technology should act as an effective facilitator and not a hindrance, so be very selective when you are considering implementing a particular new feature or functionality—and always keep your target demographic in mind.
Your loyal customers want to participate in the experience that is your brand. Encourage user-generated content via photo or story contests. Ask them questions on social media. Create an “insider” program to get input on new product or service ideas. Hold regular Periscope broadcasts. Not only will they feel more engaged with your brand, they’ll talk about it, too.
Author: Sam Rooeintan is the Founder and Creative Director of Marstudio, an award-winning graphic design agency and creative marketing firm based in the DC-metropolitan area. With experience that spans over two decades and across three continents, Sam uses his unique perspective to help organizations strategically approach visual communication, and serves as the creative lead on all projects.