Being aware of branding trends can enable you to create targeted advertisements that will effectively reach your target audience. It can also help you avoid dangerous pitfalls that will highlight your business for all the wrong reasons. Here are some particularly important branding trends for 2018 that companies in every industry would do well to be aware of.

Branding Based on Integrity and Ethics

In times past, delivering top quality products and/or services at a good price was good enough for any business in just about any industry. This is no longer the case. If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to show that you are committed to something more than making money and keeping customers happy. Here are some examples of companies that have caught onto this trend and are using it to their advantage:

  • Pink Plumber has committed to giving back a portion of the income generated from every single job to fighting breast cancer. It's part of their identity as evidenced not only by the company name and logo but also the fact they openly advertise how much they have donated to date.
  • REI made news in 2015 when it closed all of its stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, paid its workers the same hourly wage they would have received for a regular day's work and then encouraged its employees to spend time outdoors. What is more, the store has done this for three years running and there is no evidence that the closure has hurt its sales. In fact, REI has not only enjoyed strong growth since it began shutting down for Thanksgiving and Black Friday but has also experienced a surge of young patrons.

Branding and Influencers

It has been common knowledge for the last few years that companies need the help of influencers in order to effectively reach their target audiences. While potential customers may be leery of doing business with a company they have never heard of, they will happily do so if someone they trust has recommended this company to them.

However, the cooperation between influencers and companies is one of the most important branding trends for 2018. Instead of enlisting influencers to promote their products and/or services, companies are turning to influencers to ask for help in designing or tweaking the products and/or services offered. This means that a company may become more closely associated with an influencer than ever before as customers know that the influencer is not just touting the products in order to get paid but actually had a hand in designing the products and so is genuinely enthusiastic about them.

Ditching Gender Stereotypes

Another branding trend that is well worth paying attention to this year is the trend to think outside the box and ditch gender stereotypes. Large companies such as Google, Unilever, Facebook and Alibaba have already gotten on board with this new trend; however, it's not just a trend for international corporations with a nearly unlimited advertising budget. Even small companies can embrace this move and create advertisements that appeal to people who don't fit conventional stereotypes. Here are some tips to bear in mind as you consider this trend:

  • Take some time to think about your target audience.
  • Create ads that appeal to potential customers who aren't often reached by conventional advertisements
  • Consider your advertising message carefully so you don't offend anyone. After all, chances are that at least some people in your target audience do fit conventional stereotypes.

Other Important Branding Trends

  • Make trustworthiness a priority when presenting yourself. Your website, logo, privacy policy and social media interactions should showcase your brand as a reputable company that puts a premium on protecting customer information.
  • Go colorful. Now is the time to ditch the black and white or monochrome logo designs and embrace colorful designs that match well with your products and/or services.
  • Integrate technology with your products and/or services as much as possible. You want to become known as the company with cutting edge tools and customization options that makes it easy for any customer to get what they want, when they want it.

Branding plays an important role in the success of any business and it's not a static field. Modern technology, customer expectations and ever-changing ideas about what is and is not acceptable continually impact important branding trends. This means that you need to stay abreast of trending branding news to ensure your company is sending out the right message to the right audience at all times. Thankfully, successful business branding is not something you need to pull off on your own. Brandgy has extensive experience in this field and even offers fully branded websites complete with logo, website design and other amenities to help you get started on the right foot. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you successfully build and maintain the right brand name for your company.