One of the best examples of brands engaging customers into their branding strategy is the Starbucks White cup contest. Going beyond digital In recent years, branding shifted from traditional ways and physical marketing to the digital world. Customer behavior in the digital world shows that many of them are searching for ways to stay away from technology, therefore one of the basics of branding in 2019 will be taking the communication to the “phigital”. Takeaway As Coca-cola did, brands will have to take their digital communication into physical and create the phigital experience. Create engaging phigital activities that will help your brand stand out and be remarkable. Micro instead of macro influencers Influencer marketing is already a huge tool for brands to showcase themselves and it should be in the list of the basics of branding in 2019. Despite this, these celebrities have a great influence on how people are viewing your brand. In many cases, micro influencers have a more engaging audience. Moreover, followers view micro influencers as a “human being like themselves” and not like celebrities. To use micro influencers, brands should determine their core audience, find the things that unite them and choose an influencer that could have a natural connection to their products or service.
Thanks to new technology, customers are receiving thousands of advertisements from different brands each day.
With this fast and continuous communication, many brands find it hard to stay remarkable and keep their name at the top of the mind of the customer.
Despite the dense communication from companies, customers would not even notice if approximately 70 percent of brands ceased to exist tomorrow.
The worst thing that brands could do is to bore customers and stay unnoticed. Hence it is not surprising that branding basics in 2019 is all about the customer and creating lifelong communications with them.
In 2018 we saw a significant increase in digital technologies as Instagram became one of the leading channels, and chatbots were advanced to a proven tool for better communication. In 2019, branding will turn to the human side. While technology will stay an essential part of the interaction with customers, companies will have to create a brand that is compassionate, based on values and builds an active community.
Here are five trends that will define your branding strategy in 2019.
#1. Brands defined around values
We are in an era where millennials are the majority of customers and the main target for companies. This is why branding has taken another turn. Millennials look at a product through the brand and its values. If you want your brand to shine you must be sure your values reflect the new generation and can stick to it. This is exactly what Nike did on its 30-year anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.
This campaign was the best way to emphasize the core values of the brand “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” On the anniversary of the campaign, Nike released a very controversial ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback. Kaepernick was heavily criticized for his decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
Nike’s decision to create the ad with Colin heated up the controversy and even led to hundreds of customers burning Nike clothes. However, the tagline “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything” showcased the brand’s values in the best way.
A survey of the UK and US customers proved that this bold statement by Nike had strengthened the loyalty of its customers. As Nike CEO Mark Parker stated, they have seen record engagement with the brand after this new ad.
While Nike chose the most controversial athlete at the time and could see the possible negative outcome of the ad, they stuck to their values and once again proved the power of their motto “Just Do It.”
Even though they put their reputation at risk for many customers they boldly stuck to their values and created momentum. This approach will lead brands to the hearts of their customers and be one of the basics of branding in 2019. If you want to be memorable, create a brand around your values and stick to them even if it means sacrificing everything.
#2. Celebrity branding campaigns
Connecting with various influencers to establish a better perception of a brand is a tactic that is used by both conservative and new age companies. This is why financial companies are still spending millions to get their logos on the shirts of footballers, or anywhere on F1 racing cars.
While it may cost a fortune to feature a celebrity in your branding campaign or get a title sponsorship of a football team, some companies are actually doing it the smart way. Squeezing maximum exposure out of their relationships with celebrities. A prime example of this is actually eToro’s new video, which features Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor from the Game of Thrones. Hodor (Kristian) is displayed standing in an elevator listening to people crying HODL! (which means to hold your crypto assets). Effectively including nostalgia and humor in their campaign, while still relating to one of the company’s core products – online cryptocurrency trading.