Identifying trends and taking action before they become the rule.
It takes guts to change — especially for established brands — but when is the right time to change? When should a business look to renew their marketing strategy? Some say; once the market gets oversaturated with more of the same but is that too late?
After a long period of modernist experimentation with minimal, flat and solid coloured shapes, the world’s leading brands have become obsessed with gradients, 3D effects and shadows on their logos. Solid shapes were once a growing trend throughout the 90's and early 2000’s, until they became the norm…
I deeply believe this is the turning point for any brand. Once a specific approach becomes the norm, you need to do something difference to stand out. The other day I did some grocery shopping (as you do). This time, however, I decided to stay a little bit longer and appreciate the alcohol display behind the counter (as I am currently working on a project for a new rum brand). After a few seconds, one thing became apparent…
What did I learn?
Most of the established alcohol brands look and felt the same. The ones that stand out are lesser known brands — this makes sense because new brands take more risks in order to stand out. Have a look at the image above, does anything truly stand out? Is anything unique?
Famous labels such as Gordon’s Gin or Smirnoff Vodka have been using the same outdated and over-detailed, traditional branding for so long that newer brands such as ‘Haig Club’ can shine with a completely minimalistic look. That is how strategic marketing works — if you are aware of the growing trends, you can take advantage of them. Less is truly more!
The secret source.
Newer brands should be able to identify trends and realise when the market is stagnant. This applies for all aspects of branding and marketing, from design to business models and products to services. Everything that relates to people. It’s a double-edged sword; once the market achieves normality, your brand needs to stand out once again or fall into forgetfulness.
What about Marketing (I hear you say) — what are the current trends? Simply put, social media marketing is king. This form of modern marketing is highly undervalued but has huge potential (if you know how to use it). The problem is — people fear change. What does this mean for you? Well, smaller sharks (SME’s) have the opportunity to ‘ride the wave’ / newest trends by improving their brands and products.
Newer brands should be able to identify trends and realise when the market is stagnant.
The old replaces the new
New brands force old brands to change. We have seen it over and over again with marketing mediums; before television we had radio, before emails we had letters. Do people even use radio or written advertising anymore? Yes they do, but the ‘modern medium’ is always more successful.
Once the big sharks such as Apple, Coca Cola and McDonald’s start investing in these new trends, such as minimal typographic branding and social media marketing, then the small sharks won’t stand a chance. They will need to go back underground and search for the next trend (trust me, they have already started).
It’s a cultural thing. Underground visionaries create the trends which are eventually adopted by the big guys. If you are savvy enough, you can save time by going straight to the source.
So, wrapping it up: Always look for the new trend and invest in it straight away. Do not look back. You will get your ROI for being different and standing out.
Original article written by Mario A. Monteiro and curated by Selby Cary at :