2018 Trends

The year 2017 brought many changes in business. We should see what awaits us in 2018.
Let's take look at the future of marketing, branding, design.

1. Brands
... a strategic approach

We all know that product design and the right type of communication have a strong influence on purchasing decisions. This determines the ever more dynamic transition from "intuitive" branding, in which an initial research with a gross segmentation of the audience was sufficient, towards a more rational and calculated approach, where research and analysis become a phenomenon present in each of the stages of development new brands.

This is the transition from the stage where the client approves the new works not based on "I do / don't like it" and "will be visible enough on the shelf", but based on exact mathematics that takes into account first of all, their impact on long-term brand development.

This new approach entails another change: the campaign-based branding approach, where promo campaigns are the main focus of brand-managers, to an integrated brand strategy where the aim is a unique and coherent communication over time, and campaigns are only elements that are part of the global strategy.

2. "More" minimalist packaging
... Clean label

The desire of consumers to be fully informed about the product has motivated some manufacturers to include the maximum amount of information in the packaging design. At the same time, being aware that the first contact of a buyer with the product has a shorter duration, other brands have decided to go on minimalism.

A study by Mintel shows that for 39% of French people the presence of too much information on the packaging reduces the level of confidence in the product. At the same time, a too minimalist design can create more confusion instead of making it easier for the buyer to make a choice.
Let the barricades fall! After many years in which manufacturers and designers have made quite lots of experiments in packaging design, the optimal solution will finally crystallize in 2018. Visual communication will focus on presenting key product qualities, making purchasing decisions simpler and eliminating excess information and call-to-action. And for innovative manufacturers, a decisive step will be the implementation of functional packaging.

3. Not-So-Flat Design

Graphic design can not boast great revolutions in recent years. The well-established trend, Flat Design, maintains its position, but 2018 will drive it in a new direction.

The experience of interacting with brands involves less offline contact and more online contact, especially mobile, a trend that causes a number of important changes.

If until recently, the online presence of product brands was more of an adaptation for the web, we are now at the stage when any new brand is being developed taking into account equally the requirements of the modern web from the very beginning.

Among the main "symptoms" of this change, we can emphasize that "Flat Design" will evolve to "Not-So-Flat Design", increasingly using irregular shapes, often rounded, more vivid and expressive colors, irregular gradients.

4. Immersive Experiences

The biggest fight is given for the attention of consumers. And any weapon is used, interactivity being the most recent "obsession" in the field.

The year 2018 will be dominated by enormous growth in interactivity, and instruments will range from simpler ones, such as animation as part of online navigation, to mass use of VR / AR in various marketing tactics.

Augmented and Virtual Reality allow for a more interactive, profound and compelling experience with brands. And most importantly, these technologies become simpler to use and fit almost any type of product. Starting with the virtual visit to the apartment that you want, up to the usual matching of furniture inside your living room.

5. Lifestyle branding
... New generation - New expectations

A study by Ofcom in the UK highlighted some very important figures that will strongly influence the relationship between Generation Z consumers and brands: for 24% of adolescents the main source of anxiety is their appearance, the way they look, and 52% of girls aged 13 to 15 years are most affected.

Brands who want to build a long-lasting relationship with this generation will have to support and become more involved in their health and well-being education. And the ones who will benefit most are companies that will tell young people that they accept and like them as they are, instead of imposing increasingly rigorous standards of physical appearance.

6. Personalization
...& Experiential Marketing

Predictive Analytics, Real-Time Feedback, Machine Learning. All of these new technologies help companies to deepen the personalization of their products and services. Personalization (or even hyper-personalization) is a logical step in the development of Data-Driven Marketing. Split tests (the renowned A/B testing) have been replaced by segmentation, which gradually gives way to personalization, customization, especially in the context of growing Business Intelligence systems.

Hyper-personalization will be one of the key elements that will revolutionize both consumer retention and sales in general. And the practical application of these methods is already showing great results - starting with e-mail marketing, more flexible than ever, and Amazon's personalized recommendation system, up to the opportunity to create your own shoe design in just 15 minutes.

7. Customer Journey Management

Previous years have demonstrated the importance of a well-calculated Customer Journey. 2018 is the year when the accumulated knowledge will be directed to reducing "bumps" at all stages of consumer interaction with the brand, carefully managing all the touchpoints from pre-purchase to managing the post-purchase relationship with each consumer.

And here, of course, we are helped by the countless marketing automation solutions, the number of which grows at an exponential pace, and thanks to their integration services, consistent and automated management of the consumer's "journey" becomes accessible even to micro-businesses .

8. Transparency & Ethics Economics

Last year was just a preview of consumer requirements towards brands. Their adoption of public opinion on political and general interest points to a change of focus in the brand-buyer relationship. Brands cease to be simple "factors" involved in the economic process with a product or service, but become instead agents of influence in society and even politics, which must represent the interests of their consumers and their employees. It is a new territory for companies, a mined one, in which the main players will be involved (rather by force), and their "route" on this new field will be examined closely by consumers and will serve in many cases as a decisive element in the choice brands.

Another aspect of this phenomenon is the increasing demand for transparency. Customers are no longer satisfied with the knowledge of "legal information" about the product, but also with transparency in employee policy, impact on environment, social responsibility and a wealth of other factors which until recently were only optional in brands to customers "reporting".
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