Branding is always changing, but in today's digital age, it's evolving faster than ever. The internet and social media platforms have given businesses - ranging from one-person startups to mega-corporations – multiple ways to interact with consumers. Also, the technology which drives branding is advancing incredibly fast. This article will cover the two major trends that are dominating branding this year and help you stay abreast of them.
Focusing on longevity via data analysis will be more important than ever
In 2018, many startups and small businesses championed a race to the bottom of the funnel in an attempt to quickly garner as many customers as possible. We saw this in the rise of "free courses" marketed via social media by entrepreneurs who were looking to make a quick buck by selling their product or service at the end of their "free course." Of course, to call this a branding strategy that engenders any customer loyalty or longevity would be foolishness. It's a scene of continually changing sellers who replace one another by the day, and a constant conveyor belt of customers with no loyalty to one of these sellers over another.
In 2019, companies – particularly entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to grow – won't want to fall into the same trap. Where data analysis was once used to focus on generating as many leads as possible, it should now be focused on producing quality leads that you can follow up.
If you're able to create a strong brand image and utilize data to target customers who will keep returning to your brand for business, you'll succeed in 2019. This strategy is increasingly crucial as numerous online-only companies have started to realize the value of brick and mortar stores, which will only thrive on the back of a loyal customer base. With programs such as Adobe, Microsoft and SAP's hybrid Open Data Initiative debuting in 2019, you'll have more opportunities than ever to utilize data analysis to find the customers who will keep on coming back for more.
Consumer-centric, personal branding is more important than ever
In 2019, your company must not be afraid to have a social identity anymore. Today, companies that take risks and are willing to alienate some potential consumers to cultivate an authentic brand image will be more successful than their competitors. Take for example, the Nike "Just Do It" ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The backlash to the campaign was severe when it first kicked off, with demonstrators burning Nike merchandise and disavowing the company in protest. But the results? After airing that campaign, Nike's market value rose to a $6 billion all-time high, and shares were up over 36 percent for the year.
If there's one takeaway, it's that you can't be afraid of stirring up a little controversy with your brand if you want to succeed. While this mindset doesn't work in every industry, the majority of brands would do well to be a little more adventurous with their ad campaigns.
By combining advanced data analysis targeted at garnering long-term customers with adventurous branding campaigns, entrepreneurs and small businesses can gain the traction they need to grow and succeed in 2019. If you are interested in debuting an ad campaign that captures the image and ethos of your brand but don't quite know where to start, our team here at Flourish can help! We've worked with clients all across the US, and we'd love to work with you too. Click here to learn more.