For a small business, your brand is everything. It is your identity. It is how your customers know you and what they bond with. It is how they decide to buy from you, how they choose you over your rivals. Too few small businesses these days seem to concentrate their marketing efforts on establishing and building a brand. This just may give your competition the edge that they need to blow right by you. As things continue to shift, Forbes has recently gathered together and published some research that seems to present a road map of where branding strategies may be headed. The following is taken directly from that research:
- It goes without saying that a brand with a mission to better the world will foster deeper connections with its customers. Consumers are growing ever weary of purpose-less, profit-driven businesses. This trend will likely become a mainstay expectation from consumers as people begin choosing one brand over another based on shared values. But beware the critical eye of consumers everywhere. It’s easy for people to sniff out the superficial from the real. If you are after positive change in the world, be genuine and transparent about how you’re contributing to change.
- Memes are an incredible way for brands to break through to new audiences. Make a meme that strikes a chord, and you’re likely to see social shares and interaction skyrocket. In 2022, leverage the power of memes in your email newsletters, on social media, in videos and in blogs.
- Prepare to see more late ’90s and early 2000’s design styles hit the scene with bold colors, clashing patterns and quirky, handwritten fonts. Using design styles from previous eras conjures memories and a sense of familiarity between brand and consumer.
- The pandemic forced brands to pivot to hosting virtual events. For consumers, it opened up a whole new world of accessibility, one which they won’t soon be ready to let go of … if ever. Virtual events alleviate concerns over travel time, child care, transit and more. In 2022, anticipate that while a large portion of folks is operating “back to normal,” many will still favor at-home virtual experiences. Brands will do well by hosting mixed, multi-part sessions that cater to both audiences, from live videos and small Zoom-style workshops to in-person activations.
- In the heat of the pandemic, we heard constantly about the vital importance of human connection, social interaction and community. Quickly, brands heard the call and hopped on the trend to form online communities for their audiences to stay connected with both the brand and each other. This trend won’t be going out of style any time soon.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer