What Will Branding Look Like in 2018?

Brand Building January 16, 2018

Figuring out ways to brand your company or your clients’ companies is never an easy task. There is so much noise out there in the marketing world. The average person sees 11 impressions per day on social media alone. Add to that television, radio and billboards, and you can imagine we are bombarded with as many as 4,000 ads per day. As a business, it is hard to stand out amid all that branding noise.

In 2018, expect advertisers to hone in on techniques that will make them stand out in such a crowded marketing landscape.

1. Music

One thing that is trending when it comes to branding is music. Finding a song that people can associate with your brand, particularly for any medium that allows for sound — television, radio, online — is a smart move. Think about some of the commercials from the past year that have stayed with you. Many of them have music and images and very few words. The focus is more on sound than anything else right now for these companies.

One example of this type of branding can be seen in Levi’s. It plays a catchy song and shows people going about their day, dancing and celebrating. At the end of the commercial, it uses some words and its logo with a tagline. This is effective because the music captures the consumer’s attention.

2. Storytelling

Brands will focus even more on storytelling in 2018 in an attempt to capture the attention of consumers. This can be the overall story of the company, how it started and its philosophies. It might be a story about a specific customer, a look at the product and the story behind it, or even more creative storytelling about the owners or leaders of the company. Storytelling works well in a crowded marketplace, because it puts a personality to the brand.

Brio! Ice Cream does a great job of sharing the story of the company founders on its landing page. It does this both with text and with a short video about the Koss brothers. Sharing your personal story and why you started the company or what you believe in can help attract new customers. It builds a level of trust with you and your product. Don’t you trust someone you know over someone you don’t in most cases?

3. Giving Customers a Reason to Believe and Imagine

One big shift with marketing strategy has gone beyond even storytelling, especially with B2B branding. You must now tell a story in a way that allows the business to see how your product or service can impact their own brand. You must be able to tell them how they can apply these things to their own strategies in a creative way that is also personalized to that business.

Take a look at how GE accomplishes this for businesses. It uses this strategy on YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms. One example is its Tumblr post/video about how it can measure the performance of Olympic athletes. It shows the athletes in motion as their activity is measured.

4. Vehicle Wraps

Even though vehicle wraps have been around for a while, they are gaining in popularity if wrapped vehicles on the road are anything to go by. This type of branding works particularly well for businesses that have a fleet of vehicles, as those vehicles are seen out and about by hundreds of people every day. The vehicles become moving billboards, but are at eye level with everyone else on the road. People are far more likely to pay attention to a vehicle billboard than one set off in the far distance on the interstate.

Keep in mind that a wrap is also another way to brand your company. Each vehicle in your fleet should have the same overall design. It is an opportunity to use your brand colors and logo so consumers remember it for future reference. Take a look at the wrap design on the Planet Fitness vehicles. It is bold, bright and utilizes the company’s colors, showing off a bit of personality.

5. Campaigns With Empathy

The world is striving to become a better place, and consumers appreciate a company that has empathy toward others. Creating an online campaign that has a purpose behind it can drive your company branding to a new level. People who also believe in that cause are more likely to get behind what you’re doing. You can create a campaign with a hashtag.

Try to team up with celebrities and online influences who also believe in your cause. Just make sure it is one you are passionate and authentic about.

6. Take Your Email Marketing up a Notch

Believe it or not, email marketing still works. Email has a $38 per $1 return on investment, which is massive. One of the reasons for such stellar results has to do with the highly targeted nature of building a mailing list. People who are already interested in your company, or something you have to offer, sign up for your list. You have already vetted them before they ever reach your list because of this. It is like taking your top customers and marketing directly to their clones. It works extremely well.

7. Facebook Lead Ads

Speaking of highly targeted advertising, you’ll also want to brand yourself on Facebook through some targeted ads. You can create a lead ad, which essentially drives the person to take some action. For example, you can encourage them to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a free guide. You also can sell your product directly.

Make sure that any campaigns you run on Facebook match one another in tone, personality and imaging. This will keep your brand in the mind of those Facebook users who see ads from you.

8. Vlogging

You already know blogging can be effective to pull in interested consumers who want to read about your expertise, but vlogging is also riding in popularity, particularly for certain business types. Statistically, people share videos more often with others — 92 percent of mobile users share videos with other people they know. Adding a weekly vlog is a smart business strategy to build your audience and authority.

Branding changes drastically from one year to the next. Taking a look at what is trending, and studying what others in your industry are doing, can go a long way toward helping you build a strong marketing plan. 2018 is sure to see even more changes in the way companies brand. Looking at these eight ideas will give you a head start on the competition.

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