Branding Trends

Top 10 Branding Trends in 2019 Part 1

This is a two-part series, so be sure to check out the second part, of Top 10 Branding Trends 2019. We’re sharing with you key insights on trends shaping the industry in the year ahead so you can leverage this inside knowledge to stay ahead of the curve — and leave your competitors way behind.

In today’s post, we’re reflecting on some of the most influential trends of 2018, together with new ones gathering momentum for 2019 and how collectively they’re going to make an even greater impact on business and the world of brand building in the year ahead.

The branding and marketing landscape is forever evolving, it’s fundamentally about driving growth and the future is certainly looking bright — for those who are prepared to embrace change, apply a strong brand strategy and leverage it to the full.

As a business, it is important to understand the plethora of technology out there to help differentiate your brand and drive brand equity. There’s no denying the amount of noise and clutter we’re all bombarded with on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s hard to identify and find what you need because of the overwhelming volume competing for attention. Brands need to be more strategic than ever before to stand out and make themselves heard so they can give their ideal customers a compelling reason to buy and continue to nurture that relationship.

The following posts look at how brands are implementing playful tactics to ensure a more engaged customer, through user behaviour techniques and advances in AI and Chatbots. We explain the importance of organic influencers and how sales and marketing can dance in unison to improve brand equity and the importance of mobile.

What to Expect in Top 10 Branding Trends 2019, Part 2:

  1. Leveraging voice search
  2. Legislative branding is more than just activism
  3. Branding will be influenced by the ‘Lab Rat’ phenomenon
  4. Branding initiatives and product innovation likely to be shared
  5. AI branding forced to show transparency

1. Brands Implementing Playful Interactions in Their Brand Strategy Will Win

As identified by TrendWatching 2018 [1] “Play is a deeply held human desire. Changing behaviours, new tools, and emerging expectations related to having a good time impact everyone. Whether you work for Asia’s busiest airport, design apparel for Adidas, or run your own small business, play should be on your radar.” There are six key reasons why your brand should implement a playful element as part of your marketing arsenal to achieve greater impact.

  1. Spending on play is growing – [1] “Global consumer spend on gaming will grow to $180 billion by 2021, an annual growth rate of 10% from 2017 – 2021.
  2. Play can breakthrough to saturated audiences – Nielsen (2018) reports have stated that the average American spends [1] “11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. Offering new ideas for brands to leverage rich and engaging content.
  3. In an ageing world, play isn’t just for kids – We are all aware of the importance of play and general well being and recent studies have shown that it plays an integral part on your mental health.
  4. In anxious markets, consumers crave escapism – [1] “56% of people in 28 countries feel their country is on the wrong track.” therefore people are yearning for a distraction and [1] “44% of gamers say the biggest benefit is improved emotional well-being.”
  5. In booming economies, stressed out citizens also need escapism – [1] “Even optimistic countries like China, where 91% are happy with the direction of where the country is headed,” are also showing signs of fatigue where their sleep has dropped from an average of 8 hours to 6 hours, therefore they need something to help them escape.

Play leads to happier employees. Happier employees lead to increased productivity and happier customers – [1] “In an era of radical transparency your internal culture is your brand so you need to keep it in optimum condition to thrive”

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy so you can effectively identify and leverage brand trends to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our branding workshops because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.

In fact, the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, brand strategy process using big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively.

Alternatively, you can opt for a DIY approach with the Personality Profile Performer™— a step-by-step branding ecourse you can use yourself to make your brand highly recognisable and loved.

How Nigeria Nigeria’s Diamond Bank Implemented Play

In March 2018, Nigerian financial service provider Diamond Bank introduced a digital platform allowing people to plan their financial future, save, chat, and update their financial knowledge while playing games. Created in partnership with Women’s World Banking, Dreamville aimed to engage specifically with young people to promote financial literacy. The service is supported by Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and funded with aid from the UK government.

How Pokemon Go Implemented Play for Good

In April 2018, Pokémon Go partnered with ocean conservation organization Mission Blue and local NGOs to offer game players a chance to win rewards for collecting garbage. Timed to coincide with Earth Day, each event lasted 48 hours, with available rewards depending on the total number of people who participated, and each entrant receiving a special avatar item. Cleanups took place across the globe in countries such as Bulgaria, China, and Japan.

Want to discover more about building your standout, highly profitable, №1 brand working with us?

Get in touch because we lead you through your brand building journey, whether you’re a well-established business hungry to seriously accelerate your expansion and take things to the next level or in the early years of rapid growth spurts.  

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  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30, Mon – Fri weekdays) 

2. The Rise of Chatbots and Your Branding Strategy

Artificial Intelligence, AI, Machine Learning and Bitcoin, arguably the most used words in 2018, where people are either profoundly concerned or extremely optimistic about what the future holds. There is no denying that Artificial Intelligence is here to stay and brands that embrace the technology will have a unique competitive advantage.

In 2019 we’ll see the rise of the Chatbot, which already made considerable strides in 2018.  However, like all new technology, we’re often reluctant to be the guinea pig and would much rather prefer someone else take the first plunge. Check out the video below to broaden your knowledge about what a Chatbot is:

Chatbots are a handy tool to ensure your customers have consistent interaction with your brand and eliminate the need to source a representative who doesn’t have your brands best interest at heart or hasn’t been thoroughly brand inducted. The term has consistently risen year after year, as shown in the google trends image below.

Branding Trends

Image via Google Trends

What’s incredible about the Chatbot is that it allows you to create an artificial experience with your customers, through your digital channels, that is not only consistent with your brand but it’s also smart enough to determine the demographics of your customer base. [2] As stated by CMS Wire (2018),  your chatbot should represent your demographic and brands who invest in virtual assistants must consider the delicate politics of gender, personality, and accents when developing a (literal) brand voice, and “be sensitive to any underlying bias,”

Mastercard Chatbot Case Study

Let’s take a look at Mastercard’s Facebook Bot which can assist with functions in the past that could only be done by humans, such as:

  • Review account information
  • List purchase history
  • Monitor spend levels
  • Provide Mastercard cardholder benefits
  • Help with financial literacy

     Branding Trends

Chatbots enable you to improve your customer care and become considered an innovative brand that uses technology to make a more seamless customer experience. There is no doubt we will see a rise of chatbots in 2019 as the technology becomes more advanced and accessible to every company.  For a live demonstration of the Mastercard chatbot, check out the Youtube video below:

Related: Five Tips for Getting Your $1Tn Brand Personality Right

3. Organic Brand Influencers Used in Brand Strategy Will Have the Greatest Impact for Growth

According to a Gartner Report (2018), [3] “Influencer marketing is at an inflexion point. Brands promoting products via influential individuals is no longer a secret – consumers know they being marketed to, while still consuming influencer content.”  

Regarding what effective partnerships look like, [3] “Gartner L2 found that in aggregate, influencers have a slightly negative impact on brand handle engagement when mentioned in posts, while usually getting boosts when saying brands in their post.”  

Therefore in 2019, the focus will not be on partnering with influencers, the trend will be about finding the right fit with the best influencer that warrants a long-lasting relationship where the brand enjoys organic mentions as opposed to a sponsored post because you have converted them into brand activates through a nurtured relationship. However be mindful about what they post and ensure it ties into your brand strategy. If it doesn’t you should reach out to the influencer to rectify the situation.

Branding Trends

Image via Gartner L2

How Beats By Dre used Influencer Marketing

Beats By Dre, a Billion Dollar company discovered an insight on how to influence the younger generation in a fairly saturated market that was dominated by major brands such as Sonos, Sennheiser, and Bose. They realized the best way they could penetrate the market was to use influencers in the music world to feature the headphones in their music videos.

Artists were sent free pairs to try out for themselves and encouraged them to provide feedback so they could create a remarkable product. [4] “They launched and put Beats into music videos and the artists into their adverts.”  It created a breakout success and gave them the all clear to diversify their product line into speakers and earbuds.

Branding Trends

Image via Beats By Dre

The use of influencers will continue to soar in 2019, and you can expect to see both B2B and B2C brands getting creative with whom they decide to partner with. Check out Neil Patel, explain how Beats became a success in the video below:

Related: How to use influencers to Grow your Brand and Open New Markets

4. Collaboration Between Sales and Marketing Will Drive Brand Equity Growth

Since 2012, marketing technology has grown exponentially, software developers have been quick to pounce on the opportunity because of the return on investment opportunities and low overhead costs. There were only 350 marketing technology platforms in 2012, in 2018 there are nearly 7000. The below image gives you an idea of how saturated the landscape is, making it more of a commodity, which is good news for us because it will drive down price as the supply increases.

Branding Trends

Image ©Marketing Technology Media LLC,

Sharpspring, a Marketing Technology company based out of Florida in the US, have condensed the saturated market into a multi-purpose powerful tool that can handle, CRM, Email, Forms, Automation, Website Visitor ID, Landing Pages, Blogs, Analytics, and Social and is one of the most affordable products on the market. According to a report by Highspot (2018),[5] only 66% of companies surveyed are using sales enablement automation tools in 2018 but 75% using it said they can’t live without it.

Branding Trends

In the past, salespeople relied on various CRM platforms such as SalesForce and Zoho to stay on track with previous pitches and interactions with clients. It would also be their responsibility to keep it up to date and follow up with clients via email or phone call.

However, with recent advances in AI and machine learning, there is now a level of intuitiveness that will be hard to beat by a hardworking salesperson. Automating strategic emails at the right time, in the B2B environment is often crucial but you need to be on top of your game, keeping your eye on current affairs. More often than not B2B sales is all about timing and building relationships.

Related: How to measure the Strength and Effectiveness of your Brand

Twitter converted 90% of their Sales Team to use Sales Enablement tool

Twitter, managed to get 90% of their sales team to use the sales enablement tool, called Highspot.  They have over 1200 salespeople working for the company, and they struggled to find a content management solution that met its needs.

As stated by Highspot (2018), [6]”Sales reps regularly reported that they could not find important content and the content management platform they had also made it difficult to maintain an organized environment.” The team was able to customize sales decks seamlessly without jeopardizing previous pitches. However, the most significant takeaway was that it enabled Twitter’s marketing team to solve their most significant problems. [6] “For the first time, the marketing team could finally get insight into the content that sales reps used to engage with prospects thereby enabling them to stay ‘on brand’ and coach the team on how best to present the company’s long-term vision.

In 2019, we will see a stronger collaboration between sales and marketing teams in both B2B and B2C companies. Sales Enablement tools such as Highspot will ensure your sales team highlight the overall strategic vision of your brand which will have a profound impact on improving the customer lifetime value, thus building a stronger brand equity over time.

Want to discover more about your standout, №1 powerhouse, premium priced brand working with us so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind?

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
  2. Allow us to create a customised plan for you
  3. Let’s implement the plan together  
  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

5. Mobile Ready Brands will Improve Market Share

We’re all aware of the computing capabilities of mobile devices, many consumers have even decided to give up their laptop in exchange for an iPad or Tablet device because of the practicality. Google has also announced it’s now favouring mobile-friendly websites in SEO with their ‘mobile-first-indexing’ feature.  According to Moz (2018) [7]” means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index and the baseline for how they determine rankings.”

From a brand experience perspective, there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link you read in an article on your mobile device that takes you to an unresponsive, and poorly designed desktop only website where you can’t read or navigate around any of the content. At the end of the day, whether you are B2B or B2C, you need to be mindful of your customer’s User Experience (UX) on both your desktop and mobile website but now more than ever your mobile device.

Hubspot Mobile Experience Vs Desktop Website Experience

Branding Trends

Images via Hubspot Mobile Site

Branding Trends

Image via Hubspot Desktop Website

Hubspot is a B2B marketing technology company that is based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Dublin, Ireland specializing in inbound marketing strategies. The company is a perfect example of a digital innovator offering a seamless branding and user experience when it comes to their mobile and website. Not only is the site user-friendly and easy to navigate, but the look and feel is exactly the same.

Continue reading the Top 10 Branding Trends of 2019, Part 2 Here

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