The shifting market trends
For business owners, market trends are indeed a crucial factor to consider when making business decisions to stay relevant in the industry. There are several typical market trends, some of which include advertising methods and customer demands.
In the past few years, advertising methods have drastically transformed, from print and TV mediums to social media like Facebook, Twitter, instagrams, googleplus and mobile applications. The ways companies reach customers to advertise their products are completely different. Company representatives can directly influence customers without any media intervention, interactions are more frequent, transparent, and unswerving. Looking back, companies relied on print ads in magazines and TV ads with maximum durations of one minute, which restricted them in the way they communicated their products, and meant that one mistake could ruin it all.
With the rapid growth of social media, companies have the freedom to control their advertising closely. For example, the Dumb Ways to Die campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia was initially advertised on YouTube in the form of a video with a catchy song and bubbly animated characters giving a right message.
The campaign was then followed by a mobile application starring the same animated characters trying to escape deadly events. Another important point that we can grasp from the campaign, which was not based on a product — in this case, it was mere safety instructions for public trains – is that the focus was on creating a branding environment that would convey an important message in the end. Surely, this new method of advertising forces companies to utilize many elements to deliver a message, meaning the impact of the message is greater because it touches customers in many ways.
Moreover, customer demand is also changing, especially in retail. Back then, customers were more interested in saving money by buying the cheapest items that still looked like a million bucks. Nowadays, it is different. People are drawn to the idea of investment pieces and quality goods. This is proven by how many “In the Making” videos are uploaded by major luxury brands on YouTube, showing that customers are highly attentive to the craft and dexterity displayed by a fashion house, before making a decision to purchase. These shifts have forced companies to restructure their marketing strategies. Here, branding plays an important part in keeping things consistent. Any marketing strategies that a company undertakes cannot be executed well if the branding above it all is not strong and comprehensive.
When everything changes because of a trend, the essence and soul of a brand should remain the same. Figuratively, a man still has elements of his childhood personality, even if he becomes the CEO of a certain company. The same is true for a brand. A brand must have been built on something great and visionary, which should be kept all along. although the market may change.
Branding is a collective culmination of many aspects that results in an impactful image in the eyes of people. Branding is also a process that is time consuming. The image has to be built bit by bit and, after a certain amount of time, a great result can be achieved.
All in all, branding is a slowly evolving process that involves many different parties, and the key to great branding is imagination and consistency. Branding can be really discreet, but it has to be emotionally touching. Once a strong brand is established within a company, no matter what kinds of advertising methods or customer behavior are trending now or in the future, a company will remain relevant and strong.
The author is a senior brand consultant at brand and identity agency DM-IDHolland