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Influential Branding Trends of 2018


Influential Branding Trends of 2018

As we shift into the increasingly digital world of branding, we are seeing major changes in branding visually, functionally and strategically. Take a look at what’s to come for branding in 2018.

Digital, Digital, Digital

While we are far beyond marketing’s paradigm shift to digital media, we continue to see an increasing importance in the use of image-based social media. With over 800 million active users on Instagram and 2 billion (yes, billion) active users on Facebook, building a brand with a strong social media presence is practically as important as having a decent credit score. Your online reputation is the first thing customers, vendors and potential partners are likely to reference when determining the value and strength of your business. An easy-to-find, visually appealing digital presence is no longer an option for growing brands, but a full-fledged necessity.

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Authenticity and Accessibility

A call for transparency from major brands is the seismic result of the mass proliferation of media. We are seeing a digital landscape that looks templated and unoriginal, and consumers are no longer feeding into it. Brands from the likes of Amazon to Man Repeller to Gucci are pioneers for authenticity in branding and marketing. Nowadays, we are seeing product manufacturing processes via Instagram Stories and Facebook Livestream; companies are utilizing customer feedback via social media to improve products and services; brands are no longer veering away from controversial political discourse; and a “better-than-thou,” unattainable attitude no longer attracts consumers to big brands in the way that it used to.

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Simplicity is Key

This trend is all encompassing; from logo design and graphics, to packaging and overall customer experience, more and more brands are looking towards subtraction rather than addition to add value. Today’s chaotic, technologically-driven lifestyle calls for easy-to-find packaging with clear messaging to help consumers find relief from busy shelves and cluttered ecommerce.

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Color of the Year

Every year, Pantone chooses a color to represent the cultural climate of the coming year. Ultra Violet (18-3838), a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful” shade of purple, was attributed to 2018. Intended to inspire an inventive and imaginative year, the color is already lighting the path for new branding and design trends. In package design, Ultra Violet offers a new complexity and nuance that caters to our appetite for originality; in graphic design, Ultra Violet carries a multi-dimensional feeling and hints of innovation, empowerment, luxury and mystique. This color is dominating yet meditative, set to evoke ideas of revival and renewal in the coming year. Check out our thoughts on Pantone’s 2017 color of the year here.

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Influencer Marketing

Most brands now recognize influencer marketing as the industry’s top “go-to” strategy. Last year’s greatest struggle was figuring out how to best leverage influencer marketing and measure it in terms of definable business results. Thankfully, emerging services like Fohr Card and TapInfluence made this easy for businesses in 2017. According to TapInfluence, over 73% of marketers claim they have a budget dedicated to influencer marketing. Influencer Orchestration Network (ION) found that over 71% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase an item based on social media references. This new generation of celebrity is transformative… but the craziest development? Computer-generated influencers are surfacing and creating a whirlwind effect. Posting images with celebrities, endorsing products and brand collaborations are only a few elements of fashion’s first CG influencer. As we head into 2018, influencers will remain defining voices in consumer marketing; brands will continue to give advertising control to influential brand advocates; and the line between entertainment and advertising will continue to blur.

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