What can help you to differentiate yourself from the competitors in the same niche of the market? You may manipulate the prices and be the best manufacturer of the prime quality stuff, but there is only one thing making your business unique among the others. Branding builds a visible line for your customers between you and your competitors.

Today’s consumers are immune to the screaming promotional slogans, the battle for the customers intensifies every new day. The companies have to consider the field of interests of their audience so that it reflects in their branding strategy. So that, let’s see how branding trends will look in 2018.

Brand humanization and personalization

In 2018 it is rather a strange thing to stumble upon the company, that acts like a robot and provides communication in a job interview style. The consumers in 2018 expect brands to communicate with them in a rather humane way, speaking the informal language. But still, provide perfect service. Having a humane communication with the brand makes your audience more loyal and involved in the life of your product.

Social networks are an easy way to engage more people in the conversation, let them speak, and speak for yourself. Create a character for your brand, that would be responsive for the humane part of your brand. Let it be less serious and more humorous it his behaviour. Make it easier for the customers to reach you, use widely the possibilities of today’s technologies. Provide more channels of communication via live chats, forums and social network pages.

Look at the example of brand humanization by Progressive Insurance in their commercials:

Generation Z in focus

Millenials are the main age group for the marketers. But, if we are talking about 2018, it is time to look to the future. The oldest Generation Z members are already 22 years old. Till 2020 about 40% of all consumers will be Generation Z so that it is time to consider new rules in advance.

Purpose-driven marketing

Business is okay, and everybody understands that. But, it is better, when your attempt to sell something is reinforced with some motive. That is how purpose-driven marketing works. Due to the statistics, 91% of Millenials prefer the brand, that has some idea behind its business. The consumers of Generation Y and Z tend to have a clear understanding what is the ideology of the company. For the customer, it means the right choice in supporting the corresponding to his personal ideas. For your business, it means converting the purchase process from “money to product exchange” to “supporting the idea”.

Customer service and chatbots

Will it be contradictory to the humanization strategy? Absolutely no. And how we will explain why. Even if your brand is already humanized, it doesn’t mean, that your customer’s satisfaction is boosted to the happiness limit. One of the most valuable factors of the customer satisfaction is a speed of reaction. And while it is still difficult to have enough human resources to make a quick response to all the customer questions, chat-bots may be helpful there. For the overall overview of the customer service tips, check out our material on the theme.

Influencer marketing

Newcomers into the marketing world are pretty sceptic towards what advertising brings to them. So that influencer marketing becomes a great alternative to the classic model of advertising the product. Because of the internet rapidly growing and the young audience being constantly involved in the life of different bloggers and media persons, it is needless anymore to search for influencers only among the Hollywood actors. The members of Generations Y and Z tend to trust their choice to more alike persons as they are. So that it opens up a new power for the brands to advertise their products with the help of popular blog writers and youtube channel owners.

Simplicity

First, take a look at the image below:

As you can see, with the years, brand logos became simpler. But it is not only about the design and visual part of the branding. Simplicity led to the creation of a Global Simplicity Index, which shows the result of the survey, that was conducted in nine countries (with total 14 000+ people). The result shows, that consumers are more likely to communicate and recommend the brand with simpler service, communication form and overall experience.

Social listening

Social listening has a tight connection with your brand human side, as it is performed through the same channels of interaction. What does it mean? The logically obvious way to know what people think about your brand is to listen to them. Since there a lot of social networks, that people share their opinions with the help of hashtags, it becomes pretty simple to find mentions about you. Your brand is what your clients think of. And when you have that kind of information, you are capable to work with it, give feedback and improve those fields which your customers consider problematic.

Conclusion

2018 might bring lots of surprises. But perhaps the most pleasant for the business owners is that the brands now can breath out and get rid of all the annoying attributes of business ethics and speak with their customers in everyday language. The listed above trends do not oblige you to follow them, but be acknowledged is always a great thing.