Can we unsee the psychological and emotional stresses we faced this year? Of course not! It has been a roller coaster ride for the entire human civilization per se. But, amidst all the chaos, brands worldwide, are working towards brand awareness endeavors relentlessly following the recent branding trends. As they realize the significance of the fine line between running their business and offering compassion to their customers and employees.
The Flow of Trends!
This year has seen several situation-specific trends around us that upheld compassion and empathy both. Often through aesthetic designs, or user-generated content, minimalist web designs, free-spirited and unconventional typography. But what kind of emerging trends in branding we shall see in the year next is the question!
What does Brand Identity Entail?
Understanding the need to build a strong brand identity is the first step to stand out from peers and carve a name within the niche. Earlier, a ‘logo’ was confused with brand identity and marketers were fine with that misconception.
But as we move towards further branding advancements, just a company logo has ceased to be the only branding element for a company. Now, a logo is not enough; there are various other components that frame a comprehensive branding strategy.
Projecting the Future of Branding Trends!
But the question remains, in the ever-evolving digital landscape, how do we create a robust brand identity that will adapt with time, and that remains engraved in our target audience’s mind even after years go by? For that, a brand evangelist or a brand strategy developer must be thorough with the changing trends around, which directly impact the taste of the end customers.
With 2020 still chugging along, let’s explore a few branding trends that would dominate 2021, and some current trends that will be carried in the next year as well.
1. Making your Logo Adaptable and Scalable
Your brand needs to be everywhere to get noticed by all and sundry. To thrive in this digital age, your brand logo should change in shape and size on what it is being used for. One needs to create such shape-shifting logo designs that are scalable and adaptable, while still retaining the brand ethos. This is a trend that is already seen in 2020 and will be carried to 2021 as well. And how can you do this? Simple. Try to have a master logo for your company website and a simpler logo for your social media channels.
Another way of doing this is, by having a one-tone logo that you may use as watermarks on documents or photos. These variations can ensure consistency regardless of the layout it is being viewed on. This adaptability increases your chance of brand recall and gives a variation to your customers, helping them recognize your branding in different ways.
2. Connecting with Target Audience through Engaging Brand Stories
2020 branding trends saw a significant explosion in consumers’ interest in the background or back-story behind a brand, and not just the product itself. This trend has spawned mainly from the infinite amounts of information being available to us with just a click, and our budding interest in knowing the faces behind a company. That said, businesses must offer a deeper connection with their consumers that goes way beyond transactions.
In this year, several companies have stepped up to display their stories publicly on social media channels and initiate a human connection. These initiatives have helped them a lot in reaching their ideal prospects and drive growth. 2021 shall also be around such social connections and responses, whereby consumers are emotionally connected with the inspiring brand stories.
3. Developing a Simple & Minimal Brand Identity
2021 and the years beyond will be all about simplistic branding, because simple branding makes it easy for the customers to identify your brand amidst the thousand others. Brands will take a shift towards more minimalism and remove clutter from their existing branding.
An example of this can be Google, fashion labels like Balmain, Balenciaga, who have changed their logos to the simplest form possible – using simple, yet popular minimal typeface, sans-serif. Companies like Glossier, Uniqlo, etc., are leaning on fewer colors and more negative spaces, making their brand identity much blander. Such a unique brand management is giving them a better shot to become iconic. As it can be seen for Nike and Levi’s, who have the most recognizable branding no matter which backgrounds their logos are on.
4. Fusing Unique Video Content with Brand Graphic Designs
We saw a surge in videos incorporated with graphic designs from the end of 2019. This year too, there were plenty of such instances where video animations were fused within graphics. But branding design trends 2021 will be a hell lot of video contents, that will directly impact a company’s branding.
Marketers must find new ways of making videos work in perfect tandem with their branding materials. Brand-specific animations, GIFs, and short explainer videos can be an effective tactic to grab many more eyeballs than it is done now. One must channelize the brand message and values through video animations for better communication with prospects.
5. Leveraging ”Nostalgia” in Branding
Sometimes, amidst all the latest branding trends, hashtags, mandatory need for keeping up – can be extremely tiring for customers. On top of that, each day the trends change. Hence, maintaining the pace becomes a challenge. In such a scenario, a little blast from the past works like magic.
More and more marketers will start leveraging this tactic of nostalgic branding to get their message across. They would recapture the past memories of how things used to be and attach positive feelings to their products and services. Such a bid to evoke memories can boost the chances of brand recall to a great extent. Just like Spotify and Microsoft did, with a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s pop-cultures, comparing it to 2019. 2021 will see more of these.
6. Making your Branding more Responsible & Accountable
If anything we have learned from 2020, and are still doing so, is to be responsible. The sudden pandemic outbreak has taught us to be empathetic and cover for each other. Such a responsible mindset will reflect on the way branding would be done in 2021. Marketers and brands all over, will look for ways to make their branding effort more socially responsible and accountable.
Consumers will get to see the humane side of brands, thus establishing a positive force that withstands the test of time. All the branding trends of the future indicates the more socially responsible your branding is, the more recognizable it will be amongst your target audience.
7. Making Clever use of Minimalism
Taking a cue from point number 3, minimalistic branding endeavors are the next big thing, that we are going to witness in the next year. De-cluttering your message from the redundant elements and putting the sole emphasis on brand value, message and ideas, will be the norm for all brand strategists.
Although we have seen quite a few such instances where brands are flattening their logos with solid colors, shunning the gradients and complex typography, thus making it much simpler to communicate with their target group. Even we can see the glimpses of such minimalism reflected on the physical packaging to make the consumers easily understand the nature of the product inside. These adaptable ideas to eliminate clutter and embellishments provide more utility than one imagines.
8. Voicing Brand Ethos through Social Media Channels
Over the past 10-12 years, there has been a colossal change in social media culture all over the world. Now is a time when there’s a greater accessibility of the Internet. And thus, we are extensively exposed to the realm of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, that we cannot do away with. Most marketers have realized the significance of social media and thus, 90% of brands leverage social media for brand awareness.
Now in 2021, brands will give more importance to social media platforms to showcase their products and services, making it an integral part of their branding strategy. Brand evangelists will find new ways to maintain consistency on social media handles, such as maintaining visual consistency. Apart from visuals, company social media pages will echo the kind of voice a brand maintains – whether it is punny, or formal, or colloquial!
Consistency in terms of content will also be there, as per the respective platforms. For e.g., just as Twitter mostly supports textual content, while Pinterest and Instagram rely more on visuals. Branding through social media platforms is a trend that would dominate most of 2021 and the upcoming years.
9. Creating out-of-the-Box Landing Pages
Though landing pages are not a new thing and have been a vital component for branding, the coming years will see a boom in the development of engaging landing pages to acquire/convert leads, educate the target audience and generate a buzz. If you take a peek at visual branding trends 2021, there will be more and more landing pages showcasing motion, interactivity, and many other functionalities.
With a little help from scripting, landing pages will become super functional in making your message stand out. At the same time, boosting your SEO, conversion and marketing efforts.
10. Taking Resort to Official or Branded Hashtag
This year will see more usage of the official hashtags, owing to the fact that, hashtags have a great potential to augment customer engagement. A hashtag is like a steering that can usher someone through the social media ocean and find the specific product or brand or person they are searching for.
Likewise, official hashtags can bring brands closer to their target audience faster, as well as reinforce brand awareness. Stats say, 7 out of 10 hashtags are branded on Instagram alone. As part of branding efforts, brands would ask their customers to showcase their recent purchases while using the official hashtag of the brand. Such user-generated content are exceptionally potent for branding. Also, monitoring these can give you an idea of how your product is perceived by your target group.
If you have reached here by now, you might be desperate to know the branding trends in 2021! Just kidding! 🙂
How to build a brand in 2021 is what every one of us is searching for now. And now is the right time to revisit and reposition your brand, keeping the trends in mind. Some of the trends mentioned above are still in their early days, but are worth considering while planning for future branding strategies.
Creating a memorable brand identity might seem hard, but that’s not what it appears to be if the afore-mentioned trends are considered. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but keep yourself ready for any kind of change in the trend streak.
If you require any changes or modifications in your existing branding, we are just an email away. Our expert team stays constantly updated where the digital marketing industry is heading to, and can help you maneuver the trends and get preparedin 2021!