What does branding mean?
A brand refers to ‘a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization,’ (Emotive Brand, 2021). Branding refers to the actions which you take to develop your brand. Your brand includes many different elements such as your logo, graphics, tone of voice, persona, and message. Modern marketing involves creating a story around your brand, the story should demonstrate who you are, and why your business came to exist.
Why is branding so important?
Branding is so important because it helps to differentiate your business from the competition. Using your brand you can show potential customers why you’re unique, and what sets you apart from the rest. Establishing a brand can help you to create a memorable business, and build recognition. Great branding helps you to create a distinctive style, and show customers your persona. With the right branding, you’ll achieve brand recognition across the market. If you’re looking to improve your branding, here are some of the top branding trends for 2022.
1 . Activist Brands
In 2022 we’ll be seeing an increasing number of activist brands. Consumers prefer brands that use their voices to make a difference. Businesses across the globe are making CSR part of their branding, whether it’s social justice or the environment. The key is to include activism in your brand personality, there are plenty of ways that you can do this including:
- Support charity work and campaign for positive change.
- Help customers to make a difference by using your products.
- Use social media to share your philanthropic values.
- Focus on inclusivity & diversity.
- Educate your audience about social justice issues.
2. Immersive Branding
In 2022 businesses will be using immersive experiences, to shape their brand storytelling. What exactly are immersive brand experiences? These experiences are about bringing your audience into the world of your brand. The idea is to engage your community, invite interaction, and establish a connection.
According to Rock Content, ‘ The immersive experience represents any brand action aiming to create a new, illusory environment for its audience.’ The idea is to ensure that the audience ‘feel part of what is being presented to them.’ There are plenty of different immersive experiences you might use, whether it’s a virtual reality experience, a digital game, or a themed event.
3. Quirky Elements
Quirky branding is set to be a hot trend in 2022. There are lots of ways to approach quirky branding, you might use humorous hand-drawn artwork, surreal imagery, or bizarre graphic design.
To create a quirky brand you need to think outside the box and dare to get creative. If your design work is quirky, you’ll need to represent this eccentricity in your tone of voice too. Branding is all about remaining consistent, this way you’ll help your audience to recognize you.
If your branding needs a revamp in 2022 don’t be afraid to shake it up with fun typography, clashing colors, and odd artwork. Eccentric branding is all about making a statement.
If you don’t like the sound of quirky and eccentric design work, not to worry, minimalism is still in vogue too!
Why is minimalism still so popular? It could be because customers want to understand a brand with zero effort! They want immediate clarity, (and this works well with plain branding). In 2022 we’ll be seeing plenty of simple logos and typography and neutral colors. It’s best to work with a graphic designer to create your logos and design work. Minimalist designs might look easy to produce, but it’s actually much trickier than you think!
5. Topical Elements
We’ve seen plenty of topical branding and marketing this year, and this is certainly going to continue throughout 2022. Many businesses are focusing on current affairs and using these topics to create their branding.
Topical branding is a great way to engage your audience, using shared values. Of course, there’s always the chance that you could cause controversy. It’s best to do plenty of target audience research beforehand. Before you get started, create guidelines, and discuss your approach with your team.
Ignoring inclusivity is a huge mistake, not just morally, but for your reputation. So many brands have come under fire for not being inclusive enough, (and you certainly don’t want to join the club)! It’s important to examine your company as a whole, from your staff to your values, the third parties you work with, and your marketing. Unless you build an inclusive brand now you’re going to need a rebranding later down the line.
7. Humanized Personas
To keep up with the latest trends you’ve got to humanize your brand. Customers don’t naturally trust corporations, but they trust their peers. Creating a credible brand is about developing a humanized persona that people will trust.
According to research from Finance Online, consumers like brands that are helpful, friendly, honest, funny, and trendy. Stats also showed that it was important to consumers that brands were politically correct. When you humanize your brand with these attributes it’s easier for customers to relate to you.
When you’re building your brand you’ll want to ensure that you come across as professional. Your audiences will judge your brand on everything, from your website to your social media content and your customer service. You’d be surprised how much small things make a difference. For example, using a business phone instead of your personal number will help you to present your brand as more credible. To read more, check out the Phone.com website.
Plenty of companies are using nostalgia as part of their branding, throw-backs to the past are a great way to make your audience feel all warm inside! Some brands are using 80’s style graphic designs, others are using 70’s music tracks for their ad campaigns.
Creating a nostalgic brand is about considering your target audience. To get a few cool ideas, check out these examples of nostalgic branding. When you’re looking to create an excellent branding campaign, what you need is a little inspiration.
9. Authentic Stories
Branding is all about telling stories, it’s about using the story of your company to engage your audience. In 2022 brands will start to focus on the stories of their audience. User-generated content is a fantastic way to shape a down-to-earth brand. The great thing about UGC is that it is inexpensive to produce, and it has an excellent engagement rate. Modern consumers are bored of glossy and perfect ads, they want authentic content produced by people just like them.
When you’re building your brand it’s a good idea to perform competitor research. By no means should you copy your competitors, but you should learn from them. Examine the different aspects of their brand, from their strengths to their weaknesses. Understanding the competition will help you to create a stronger brand. The key is to define your USP and use this to promote yourself.
Paying attention to the latest branding trends will help you to grow your business and thrive. Remember, it’s your brand that helps you to stand out. With so many similar companies in the market, it’s important that you find ways to set yourself apart. Don’t be afraid to get creative when you’re building your brand.
Taking a few risks could help you to build an incredibly memorable brand. Ensure that you gather plenty of feedback from your audience, with the right insights you’ll be able to make lots of improvements. With the right marketing tips and branding advice you’ll take your company from strength to strength.