2020 has been a heck of a year for adaptive companies to really put their business savvy, technical expertise, and marketing skills to the test. Despite the psychological and emotional challenges we have all faced this year, companies are simultaneously experiencing the added pressures of promoting brand awareness and walking that fine line between conducting business and offering compassion.
This year, consumers have seen situationally-specific trends in branding that have reflected a need to soften and simplify the world around us. Many companies have capitalized on 2020’s branding design trends, often in aesthetic and tone, in order to convey the compassion and empathy that we have all been in need of throughout the year.
Aesthetic trends like minimalist web designs and free spirited typography have been the keys to keeping consumers as comfortable and calm as possible as we spend more and more time online. But what types of trends will brands want to carry beyond the superficial, and beyond 2020, as the world continues to change and adapt? To answer these questions, we’ll need to look ahead, beyond our challenges and toward adaptability and advancement, as people and businesses have always been able to do.
Communicating Personalized Information to your Target Audience
With the increase of consumer engagement with technology comes a variety of marketing advantages that companies were jumping on in 2020. One of these trending tactics is the use of consumer browsing and purchasing data to curate marketing campaigns and advertising objectives. Now more than ever, companies are able to personalize the content that their audiences are exposed to, often in real time.
Even small businesses can take advantage of these types of software and use the data therein for a wide range of long and short term goals. For the new business, building a brand becomes easier and easier as brand recognition increases. There are plenty of opportunities to present engaging and interactive content to a broad audience, laying the groundwork to make sales in the future.
While laying said groundwork, your business could market specific aspects of your product to a more refined group, which will be more receptive to audience-specific marketing. For example, a newly established boutique clothing company might have both a general awareness marketing campaign, as well as a campaign showcasing the environmental initiatives they’re taking through business. The second campaign could be curated specifically for customers who have previously viewed and purchased environmentally responsible products and services.
The best part is, even the smallest of businesses can employ software to apply both campaigns at the same time, reaching specific audiences with content they’re most likely to respond to. Personalization of this type has been very effective for businesses this year, and is likely to continue in 2021. Knowing your goals and creating a digital marketing plan can help you get a jump start on this type of marketing.
Connecting People to your Brand Story
With infinite amounts of information at our fingertips, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of the types of companies they deal with, and the faces behind those companies. This year we’ve seen an explosion in consumer interest in the story behind the brand, not just the product offered. Businesses need to give the consumer what they want: a connection that goes deeper than the transaction.
In 2020 we saw many brands taking the time to publicly display their start up stories, backgrounds and missions to the world, with the sole objective of further deepening that consumer-brand connection and reaching their ideal customer. Buyers didn’t just want to know, they needed to know the stories behind the brands they wanted to support. Many businesses were able to capitalize on that deeper human connection, an initiative that consumers are likely to respond to well beyond 2020.
If you’re able to make a connection between the brand story and the branding design and/or the branding logo, that’s even more advantageous. As brands compete within a market that seeks individualism, working on a logo that represents your brand’s goals and background can give you that brand recognition that will put your business head and shoulders above the rest.
Making the Offline, Human Connection
What began with social media live and interactive events for branding has upgraded to in-person and (socially distanced) opportunities to further that customer connection. These can include meet and greets, promotional events and even representation at bigger festivals and conventions that represent your brand’s values and personality.
Being constantly connected to our device in a world heavily reliant on technology makes the in-person interaction seem even more meaningful. The opportunity to connect to potential buyers in such a grounding way also helps to establish the face behind the brand. Heading into 2021, you’re likely to see consumers seeking breaks from company-customer interactions that are solely through a screen.
Connecting people to your brand story is especially important in laying the groundwork for showing off your responsible side. Like making that human connection and understanding a company’s values, the consumer has placed an immense amount of value on responsible business in 2020.
The world is always changing, but if 2020 has taught us nothing else, it has taught us the importance of sustainability and social justice, among other initiatives. Many people are looking for ways to add to the richness of humanity, and recognized this year that their purchases have power in doing so. Taking the time to promote your brand as a positive force in the world will promote business growth as well heading into 2021, and beyond.
This is another opportunity to incorporate your company’s beliefs and secondary objectives into your branding design. Making your logo and brand aesthetic overlap with your company’s principles will only make you more recognizable as the consumer places more and more emphasis on the importance of social responsibility through economics.
Marketing Changes For Your Small Businesses in 2021
Some of 2020’s branding trends are in their infancy stages, but are worth taking note of for future marketing and branding initiatives. One such example is how important brand values have become. Making these “truly human” connections between businesses and consumers are likely to remain for years to come. Is your brand accurately representing your mission, vision, and core-values? Are you creating the right experiences with your clients across all our customer touch-points? Now is the time to revisit and position your business for this shift in consumer mindset.