Get Ahead of the Curve — and the Competition
AMY ROSS, MANAGER — BRAND AND PRODUCT MARKETING
“Hot trend” may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your brand. After all, a brand is steeped in tradition, the core of a company and painstakingly consistent. Trends are just fickle, flavor-of-the-month ideas, right? Not necessarily. When you align your brand’s mission, vision and value to a strong trend, you can capitalize on that momentum and gain significant opportunity. Let’s look at three hot branding trends: experiential marketing, content marketing, and “smart tech,” like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).
#1. Make everything more experiential
Sometimes it’s not all about the product, it’s the experience. Brands are introducing more initiatives that deliver sensory experiences consumers want to share via social media channels. The more limited and exclusive, the better — as we’ve seen with the pop-up shop or flash retailing concept. Check out what Timberland and L’Occitane en Provence have done recently.
In contrast to the efficiency and speed of online shopping, companies have the ability to differentiate themselves by creating one-of-a kind settings, not unlike theatre stage scenes, that can’t be duplicated. These experiences are encouraged to be shared, generating interest and building brand value.
#2. Build brand through content marketing
Content truly is king, but not just any content. Create original, relevant content that engages prospects and customers alike. Connect in an authentic, human way. Solve problems, don’t just promote your products and services. Use blogs, videos, testimonials, case studies, white papers and more to deliver these messages.
Content marketing provides an excellent opportunity to use storytelling to explain how you help customers and why your business exists. If you aren’t using this powerful tool, you should be. It can solidify your brand value in the marketplace and across all communications channels.
#3. Implement “smart tech,” like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR)
While we haven’t quite achieved the level of technology envisioned in the movie Minority Report, we’ve certainly made advances. And that trend shows no signs of slowing down. Many companies are still struggling to find the right application though.
User experiences with a company’s brand are being shaped by AI and data-driven algorithms. Websites are using VR to help consumers envision products in a new and more personalized way. Two examples of these high-tech applications are Original Stitch’s Bodygram and Wayfair’s mixed reality shopping experience.
How will you take advantage of these hot branding trends? Be sure to tell us in the comments section below.