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So, what’s trending these days? Every consumer is wondering the same thing. And if trends are important for people, they should be on the agenda of every brand as well. Why? Because trends allow businesses to break the boundaries of the market. Trends put forward new ideas and opportunities. And trends allow brands to communicate their values in a diverse manner.
Yet a lot of businesses think of trends as: ‘oh, this too shall pass.’ While it might be true, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth taking advantage of the momentum created by relevant trends in order to drive brand awareness and trust. And while you’re at it, you also get to maintain a strong and relevant brand presence in the eyes of your target audience.
All trends are an indication of change and developments in the marketplace. So let’s explore why trends are important for a brand and learn from other businesses out there that have integrated trends into their branding efforts.
Trends: 3 Reasons Brands Should Be Paying Attention
Trends are all about newness. Without newness, brands are like a lukewarm bath or a memory foam mattress — they may offer a pleasant ambiance, but they’re not engaging or have any depth to them. That’s why trends are a great opportunity to strengthen your brand story and get creative.
After all, the end result of any brand strategy is to keep the audience engaged and nurture brand loyalty. And following trends is a great way to achieve that. Let’s explore why trends are important for brands in more detail.
1. Trends Keep a Brand Fresh
Brand consistency is of the utmost importance, especially in our day and age when digital marketing has become such a buzzword. But in the midst of all the changes and innovations brought on by digital marketing, it can be hard to keep a brand completely up to date.
The best way to ensure a brand is keeping up with the times is to embrace the latest digital trends and incorporate them into your branding strategy. They will ultimately add value to the brand story and help you stay top of mind with your audience.
One example of an always-fresh brand is Levi Strauss and its denim jeans. The company was founded in 1853 and has managed to appeal to generations of people ever since — all seeking that effortlessly cool look.
How is Levi staying on top of trends while also staying true to the brand itself? Well, one example would be the launch of the 5:01 Instagram fundraising concert series aimed at benefitting the arts and providing relief in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It does not get any cooler than this, does it?
2. Trends Bring Brand Values Front and Center
Each brand aims to create enough context in order to shape customer perceptions and drive brand loyalty. As such, each strategic decision it makes is a reflection of the brand values that can be traced back to the brand manifesto.
And since brands cannot communicate their manifesto on an ongoing basis, trends represent a meaningful opportunity for brands to reinforce their brand identity and stay relevant in front of their audience.
For example, Apple’s brand manifesto can be summed up by the desire to think differently and challenge the status quo. This idea is driving Apple to bring in new technologies and foster a culture of innovation. As a result, the company’s values pervade its entire product offering and allows it not so much to follow trends but to set them.
3. Trends Help Strengthen Your Brand Positioning Statement
Brands that wish to remain relevant have to adapt to the preferences of their clients and prospects. And keeping up with trends is a surefire way to do this. As their digital footprint is growing, businesses must ensure that their brand is represented and showcased at the forefront of these trends.
As a result, brands need to make sure that their brand positioning efforts are aligned and in sync with current beliefs and priorities. This is not only for marketing purposes but also for service delivery and reputation management. Trends offer clear direction and provide a great way for businesses to have a firm sense of the brand’s current and future direction.
When Coca-Cola and Netflix partnered up to launch a Stranger Things-themed pop-up Arcade in Shoreditch, the event was not just a celebration of the third season of the show. The event was actually consistent with Coca-Cola’s brand positioning statement — to inspire happiness and contribute to the well-being of its target audience.
As such, it included 80s gaming classics, Stranger Things photo moments, and a secret upside- down world. All intended to thrill and delight the audience.
When Trends Are Not Important for Brands
“Nobody ever said you need to be popular to succeed.”
This line from Spike Lee’s Inside Man (2002) sums up the importance of being consistent in the eyes of your audience. Just because a trend (or a name, hashtag, etc.) is popular among your audience, it doesn’t mean that it will help you more. Many trends come and go without leaving a lasting impact on how your brand is perceived.
Not to mention that trends can generate confusion among your customers and prospects if they don’t resonate with your brand vision. And your brand vision is not something you want to compromise, as it’s one of the four branding elements that make up who you are as a business.
So, should all brands follow trends? Although it might be tempting to take advantage of trends, a brand that continuously does so can lose its distinctive character. In other words, just because a trend seems important, it might not be as important as establishing a solid brand identity in the eyes of the consumers.
What’s Trending for Your Brand?
If we are to admit that the only constant is change, then we must acknowledge that trends are part of our everyday reality. As a result, brands should not be afraid to embrace trends and integrate them into their brand marketing efforts, when appropriate.
Now let’s go back to our initial question: What’s trending these days? Well, it’s up to you to find out.
Whether you want to grasp the basics of branding for your new business, want to work on your brand strategy, are stuck with your brand visuals or want to find branding tips on how to grow your business, check out:
- Foundations — Learn the basics of branding
- Strategy — Plan your brand strategy
- Build Story — Build a brand 1: Your brand story
- Build Visuals — Build a brand 2: Your brand visuals
- Management — Control your brand: Brand management
- Growth — Grow your brand: Brand marketing
- Improvement — Improve your brand: The rebrand
- Measurement — Measure your brand: Brand analytics and KPIs