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4 Branding Trends to Watch For in 2022

In the last two years, we’ve witnessed the pandemic change the marketing landscape and just how quickly the industry can evolve. Lifestyle changes in the lockdown have made consumers conscious of their choices with regard to health, wellness, and inclusion which was reflected in the brands they engaged with.

Peloton tapped into this shift with their holiday campaign “When Your Workout is a Joy, It’s a Joy to Workout.” Headspace is another brand that picked up on the widespread but often overlooked ‘holiday dread’ and created exclusive in-app content ‘Happier Holidays’ to help navigate this period.

Whole Foods created an online educational program teaching their health-conscious consumers how to prepare new recipes using Whole Foods ingredients.

In 2022, we will see the impact of the pandemic hangover on how people interact with brands.

Staying current with industry changes is critical to staying relevant with your audience. To stay ahead of the curve, these are the branding trends to keep an eye out for in 2022:

 

  1. Video to remain a mainstay

Video content is best

A picture says a thousand words. So when thousands of pictures are put together to create a captivating video, imagine the impact it creates. With falling attention spans and the rising number of high-speed-powered smartphones, user preferences are shifting from long-form text to short videos or infographics. The coming of Instagram reels, YouTube shorts, and LinkedIn stories are proof of this.

Brands who want to focus on awareness and engagement must realign their content creation and marketing strategies to publish visually appealing content as an integral part of their content marketing strategy in 2022.

 

  1. Customer experience to be a hybrid of digital and physical 

customer experience

It is no surprise that the pandemic has brought about a wave of digitization for brands across industries with a large number of physical stores shutting down. Sales from e-commerce have gone from 13.6% to 19.5% in the last two years. This trend is expected to grow in the next five years.

Without building a strong brand and memorable customer experience in the virtual space, you risk little to no brand awareness, high customer acquisition costs and reduced remarketing and loyalty-building opportunities. The right balance of the digital and physical will give your customers a complete brand experience. Use online media for visual and informational branding and traditional channels for appealing to the other senses. Ralph Lauren did this successfully with a Snapchat collaboration. Users could take on different Snapchat avatars to virtually try on Ralph Lauren outfits and buy them via the app. This made the customer experience a wonderful union by adding fun and novelty to the online buying process.

 

  1. Audio Content

audio content

Marketers were thrown by the tremendous popularity of Clubhouse in 2021. This platform took the marketing industry by storm, and they did this without publishing any visual content. Major players including Twitter and Facebook rushed to invest in similar features. Notable names such as Slack, Shopify, and Sephora followed suit and launched their podcasts to expand their listener networks and this is expected to continue in 2022.

Closer to home, Dubai-based Huda Kattan, CEO of Huda Beauty shared the origin story of the beauty empire on ‘Breaking Beauty’ a trending UAE podcast that features successful women entrepreneurs.

While audio-only platforms may not have an immediate monetizing feature, they make a strong channel for increasing brand awareness and engagement.

 

  1. Influencer campaigns

influencer campaign

A majority of marketers already leverage influencer marketing but it is set to go from being a trend to becoming a tactic in 2022. A report states that it is among the top ROI generating trends. Brands need to collaborate with influencers who are part of the niche you operate in or have come under ‘micro-influencers.’ They will act as brand ambassadors except they are viewed as regular people which makes them more relatable, and audiences find it easier to trust their recommendations.

While it is important to stay abreast with new trends and changing consumer expectations, major business growth comes from a laser-sharp focus on your foundation. So while you adopt these new trends and or ask your branding agency to employ them into your strategy for 2022, don’t lose sight of the basics to ensure a strong bottom line.

We hope you find these trends useful and get a head start on your marketing campaigns in the new year!

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Blogs

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Branding by 8 is now Moonbox!

As the year 2021 comes to a close, we’re happy to share with you one of the biggest and most significant transformations we’ve worked on in a while.

Branding by 8, Element 8’s brand strategy and creative design arm, is now Moonbox, an independent brand consultancy. 

Branding is a strategic and continuous evolution, and while some moving parts work, others may become obsolete or require an upgrade. For this, we need to rebrand, a process just as important as creating a brand strategy from scratch. Together with the entire team, we took time to do some collective introspection, taking stock of where we are, what works and what we need to improve. A few critical things became apparent:

1. The audience perceives us as something we’re not.

  • We are NOT a website design and development agency. That’s Element 8‘s turf.
  • We are NOT a digital marketing and SEO company. That’s a function of another team at Element 8.
  • We are NOT a logo design company. Yes, we develop brand identity, but we are so much more than that.

2. The name ‘Branding by 8’ doesn’t fully represent who we are.

The name may be a dead giveaway for what we do. However, we get questions like, “Who’s 8?” or “Does the ‘8’ mean you only have 8 employees?” and the occasional “So do you make logos AND print business cards?” We need a name that speaks to what we do and actually tells a story–our story.

3. A department does not a brand make.

We want to step up to the next level, and to do that, we need to put out a clear message about who we are and what we are capable of. We are specialised, but that wasn’t the impression we were giving.

So, why Moonbox?

We drilled down on what our business is actually all about. It’s not about the nice and nifty logos; it’s not about the smooth taglines. It’s far more significant than that. We are in this game to make life better. We want people to engage with brands that improve how we see and do things. For brands to have that kind of superpower, first, they need to understand their purpose and catalyse change.

Transformation. That’s what branding is about.

The good kind of change gives you a sense of delight. It drives curiosity and inspiration, influences movement and serves as a guide. What better representation of that concept than the moon itself? Moonbox is all about capturing wonder, illumination and transformation.

What’s changed?

Apart from the look and feel, Moonbox focuses on its position as a distinct brand under Element 8 Group. We believe that having a unique identity is essential for us to carve out our own niche and be more competitive. We want to make the message clear and straightforward—we are not the branding department of a website development agency. We are an independent entity with its own area of expertise. To find out more, check out our About page.

How’s the rebrand going to affect your ongoing branding project?

Not much, really–other than it will become more awesome from here on out. While we are becoming a distinct entity, we are not flying solo. Moonbox is still part of Element 8 Group, and everything in the background is business as usual. The agreements we’ve signed as Element 8 will still be honoured, along with any invoices/receipts and documents.

We’re Moonbox, but you’re the real star!

We know you’ve read thank-you notes all your life but all of this would not have been possible without your support. Everything we’ve done is in service of transformation, and we hope that through our collaboration, we’ve helped kick-start a positive change in your organisation. In the future, we hope to make even bigger waves for your brand as we expand our capabilities as a team.

As our tagline goes, we invite you to capture wonder and make life better for all.

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Blogs

Avoid these mistakes to create an incredibly strong brand

No matter what the size of your business, the importance of a clear and consistent brand identity applies to you. Without a brand strategy, you risk selling products and services to a market that has no clear vision of who you are. This can eventually weaken your brand’s audience connection.  Studies say that brands with strong reputations have 31% higher shareholder returns. Such organizations also have a more engaged workforce which can help a brand grow by three to four times faster than its competitors. Seeing just how worthwhile branding is, let us look at some crucial branding mistakes to avoid:

1) Not having brand guidelines

With well-established brand guidelines, you can properly organize your content on your website, social pages, and other properties. A cohesive brand styling guide helps create consistent messaging across all channels. With a brand guide, customers are likely to be confused about what your business stands for. It could also undermine the trustworthiness of your brand. Keep in mind the tone, voice, and writing style of your brand while creating a guideline. Fonts, color schemes, and proper logo placement are other visual elements that strengthen your brand identity.

2) Overspending on product development

While product and marketing departments are different business units, product departments are often more trusted by stakeholders compared to the marketing units. This leads to higher budgets allotted to them, while marketing teams are required to prove positive ROIs for every activation they run. In cases where marketing teams request additional spends, they rarely get approval. They are also the first to be hit by company-wide budget cuts. Together, these factors lead to companies disproportionately spending on product development with budgets for communication activities lagging behind.  A strong brand reminds your customer why they should buy your product. Without this support, brands tend to experience a decline in customer loyalty and retention.

 

3) Targeting everyone or anyone

Any brand that thinks ‘everyone’ is their target audience is set to make a huge mistake. Focusing on everyone or the wrong audience means your brand has generic messaging. This further translates to low engagement and no sales.  Make sure to pick the right target audience for your brand. Ask yourself some of the following questions to define your target audience:

  • How old is your audience?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their needs?
  • What is their income?
  • What are they located?

Now that you know what to avoid to build a strong brand, here are some practices to strengthen your brand:

  1. Focus on one brand at a time. Generate brand awareness and don’t launch other brands till one brand is well into the brand advocacy stage.
  2. Spend time to make your brand popular. It is vital to have a good product, but never assume it will reach your audience on its own. By cutting your marketing budget you are actually reducing your business size in the long run.
  3. Create and maintain a wide range of branding assets and apply them where possible.

 

Creating and maintaining an effective brand isn’t something that can happen overnight as it involves consistency and dedication. We hope you’ll use the tips from this post and get one step closer to making sure your brand identity and messaging are on point.