5 Startup Branding Trends to Watch for in 2019

5 Startup Branding Trends to Watch for in 2019

Illustrations, minimalism and millennials are among the trends you should be paying attention to for your branding strategy. With Google incorporating art and illustration into its own onboarding processes and Facebook adding illustrations to its branding, companies are using art to connect to audiences, to become more personable, and easier to connect with. Because of this, we are continually seeing branding trends shift to up their appeal to millennial tastes. As such, brands are catching on to this trend and marketing themselves towards young people's changing perceptions. The Gillette ad was a good example of a brand trying to appeal to younger age groups. The extension .com is still king, but the scarcity of exact-match domains is forcing many businesses to get creative with their domain names and social media handles. Additionally, some exact match domains are already in use -- domain phrases allow companies to use names in different industries. Each of these five trends is all about appealing to your target audience as a way to find success. If you're looking into some new marketing strategies for the new year, consider these approaches to branding. Related: From Branding to Recruiting, Check Out the 10 Business Trends to Make Next Year a Success Being true to yourself is still the way to go when it comes to branding.

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Illustrations, minimalism and millennials are among the trends you should be paying attention to for your branding strategy.

5 Startup Branding Trends to Watch for in 2019

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to starting a new business, all entrepreneurs want to be ahead of the game and up to date on the latest trends. Still, it can be hard to predict what is changing in the complex and intricate world of branding.

From naming techniques and brand campaigning, here are five trends for new and growing businesses to watch out for:

1. Illustrating, for engagement

Brands are constantly searching for new ways to engage audiences, and many of them are discovering that art and illustration is a good way to go about this.

Jennifer Hom, an illustrator working for Airbnb, noted that brands are realizing the power of illustration. “Companies are starting to understand its value — that the images can inform and delight their audience,” Hom wrote in a recent case study.

More and more businesses are incorporating art and artists into their branding arcs. With Google incorporating art and illustration into its own onboarding processes and Facebook adding illustrations to its branding, companies are using art to connect to audiences, to become more personable, and easier to connect with.

Google calendar uses these illustrations to help users achieve their goals.

Image credit: Google design on Medium

Facebook’s illustrations for security tips and tutorials

Image credit: Facebook

Whether it is the use of animation in marketing videos, partnerships with artists for new product lines or illustrations for websites, art has emerged as a popular way to engage audiences. In 2019, in fact, it’s a branding trend precisely because of its ability to humanize and differentiate brands while deepening consumers’ brand connections and maybe their brand loyalty, too.

Related: 6 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Explode Your Brand Awareness in 2018

2. Incorporating minimalism to the max

Connected to the art trend is the minimalist trend; in fact, we’ve seen a sharp uptick in minimalist branding, and it seems likely to stay a while. With Marie Kondo’s hit books (and her Netflix show, Tidying Up), brands are going to start asking themselves, “Does it spark joy?” just the way Kondo counsels her clients to do before they throw something out, as they rid their homes of clutter.

Minimalism makes sense because it’s visually appealing. It may especially be helpful in the case of B2B companies simplifying processes through tools like Intercom and Salesforce.

Back-to-basics minimalism is also resonating with customer-facing businesses like Brandless, which focuses on being straightforward and essential.Minimalism is essentially a bare-bones, pared-down approach that applies clean colors, simple graphics and easy-to-understand processes and interfaces.

3. Reflecting millennials’ influence

Millennials are gaining buying power, and more decision-making power because, well, they’re now adults with jobs and incomes. Because of this, we are continually seeing branding trends shift to up their appeal to millennial tastes.

While proclamations are subsiding about “the latest industry the millennials have killed,” it is true that this age cohort holds sway over the future of many industries.

Another thing to remember about millennials is that they are known to be more politically driven than baby boomers, and that they shop with brands that appeal to their moral standards. As such, brands are catching on to this trend and marketing themselves towards young people’s changing perceptions.

In this light, we recently saw Gillette reap mixed responses from its user base for its ad critiquing toxic masculinity. While some customers balked at the ad and called it accusatory, others praised the shaving company for its bold, progressive stance.

Regardless of the various opinions the ad prompted, it did make…

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