The power of understanding branding trends.
As with all aspects of brand and marketing, consumers and businesses over time build firm associations between how a category of brands look and what that means for the way they associate the positioning of those businesses. As categories evolve, new entrants and second and third tier brands look to the market leaders for guidance on brand image. Consciously or unconsciously through this approach and the approach of the designers they engage to create their brand’s image, categories begin to share a common palette of visual language. Consumers and businesses then respond to that language as it becomes the unofficial cue to represent the positive aspects of the category whether that be; cutting edge technology, luxury, wellbeing, corporate leadership, etc.
Why are brand trends important?
The importance for brands, their owners and managers is that by understanding the mechanics of these trends they are able to leverage them to their advantage. For every individual brand their is a different opportunity to be gained from the branding trends based on their brand strategy. For instance, for a new brand looking to enter the healthcare category with a proposition based on their new, game changing tech, they can leverage the trends in brand visual language by ensuring they adopt design elements that look similar but different to the trend in the healthcare category whilst strongly adopting the visual language of tech brands. Likewise a new entrant into the B2B financial services category can leverage the trends in brand design by studying and adopting the ‘code’ of their category very closely, creating a brand identity that more strongly evokes the code of the category than even the category leaders’ brand images. By taking this approach they provide an immediate confidence, trust and belief in their business from the B2B client cohort.
How to crack the brand visual language code.
There’s no shortcut to cracking the code for a brand’s category. The only sound approach is to audit the category by identifying the market leaders, capturing all aspects of their brand identity and brand communications and breaking it down through detailed assessment of the many layers of brand visual language. Once done, we lay-out all the individual elements, identify the strongest patterns and reconstruct them into the ‘category code’. By then overlapping the identified code with thew brand strategy we can provide a design strategy brief, directing the design requirements of the identity and secondary visual language to best leverage the code for the benefit of the business.
The impact of coronavirus and the inherent business risks for brands.
Over time the trends in brand visual language shift. Some trends in some categories may last a decade, others for only a year. On average the trends in brand visual language shift every three-to-four years which is why most market leaders regularly update their brand identity. This is also why many brand owners and managers who do not regularly assess their brand’s positioning find themselves wondering why their brand suddenly appears out of date and is losing relevance with their market.
Occasionally we see a more significant and accelerated shift in these trends such as the current shift being impacted by the coronavirus. The social impact of the global pandemic is changing markets all over the world and across most categories materially and at speed. Banking executives are talking about the shift in consumer behavior change relating to online money management that has occurred over the last three months taking five-to-ten years in normal circumstances.
These greatly accelerated trends will mean that brand visual language for categories will be evolving at the same speed. The relevance to brands is that the shift will provide opportunity for those who identify it quickly and shift their brand visual language to match. For those brands distracted by other things, they are likely to find their brands disconnecting from the way consumers and businesses are now viewing their categories. This disconnection from brand relevance is an early indicator for loss of marketshare.
2020 Brand identity trends.
Each year LogoLounge publishes a report on what it sees as the trends in logo design. Having undertaken a comprehensive study of these same trends ourselves a decade ago we understand the investment of time and energy required for this exercise. Although not having the depth of research we undertook for our study and focusing just on the logo design layer of brand visual language, the LogoLounge report provides an interesting and informative read.
Pictured below are examples of some of the trends LogoLounge have identified in their 2020 research. You can find their full report with more detail to read or download here…
Leveraging the changing trends for your brand.
If you have seen your category and market shifting over the last months, now is the perfect time to develop your own brand strategy for getting ahead of the curve and remaining relevant and connected to your audience. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we can work with you to chart the changes in your category and develop a design strategy to competitively reposition your brand to take advantage of the changes happening in these extraordinary times.
Truly Deeply is an Australian-based branding agency with 30 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. Our deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. We have a deep expertise working with corporate, retail, food & beverage, health and property clients. Find out more here
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LogoLounge.com is the world’s largest logo search engine. For less than $10 per month (billed annually), members get unlimited uploads and access to more than 250,000 logos from designers across the globe. You can find their full report with more detail to read or download here…