The fundamentals of how we live are changing. Working culture is undergoing a massive change and brands need to keep up in order to attract the talent they’ll need, to win.
Technology isn’t just complementing our analog world, it’s reinventing the way we think about living, learning, working, shopping, socialising, trading and organising.
Not only is technology changing the way we think, it’s also raising the bar on consumer expectation; customers around the world are forever wanting more and becoming less willing to compromise.
In the next 12 months, brands should make more concise and considered choices about what they stand for, who they serve and what they do. Now is the time for companies to carry the torch for social good and latch onto the unprecedented opportunity to stand up and stand out.
So, what are the main trending pillars of 2019?
Trend #1 – Companies to offer more than just paying their team a wage
In recent past, most companies have thought that simply employing people and paying their wages was enough evidence to demonstrate that they “care”.
However, many progressive companies are waking up to the broader responsibilities they have as employers – both to their employees and to the communities they reside in.
In 2019 every brand should consider providing appropriate solutions for supporting growing families, rewarding staff with perks and providing support for physical and/or mental wellness, as well as giving back to their communities that have helped them thrive successfully for so long.
Trend #2 – Marketing and HR to become unlikely allies
Brand marketing experts and HR specialists are likely to join forces this year to drive greater value from the inside out, from how they engage with employees right through to on-boarding new customers.
As demand for more connectivity increases across all touchpoints, the need for end-to-end experience design will require closer relationships between people and products. Employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and employee retention are the foundations key to delivering those relationships.
Trend #3 – Your brand should avoid getting stuck in the “vanilla zone”
We’re noticing a strong emerging trend of mutual opposition within companies right now.
Rather than poorly attempting to be “all things to all men” in a vanilla and pedestrian pattern, companies are refining their messaging and realigning their “path” with the cold decision yet important decision of whether they want to be known as either the LOW-COST proposition OR the HIGH-END experience.
Consumers will pay a premium for brands that provide a unique out-of-this world experience BUT they also appreciate brands that provide what they need at a low cost too, it’s important not to blue the lines here.
In 2019, brands that operate in the vanilla zone, offering utilitarian value without a distinct point of difference, will likely fail.
Trend #4 – Your brand should enforce an end to gender generalisation
Companies need to consider the role gender plays in their business and adopt a decisive stance for current employees and future hires.
Historically, when companies designed products for consumers, the first decision they would make was whether their business, product or proposition was intended for EITHER men or for women.
As gender becomes more inclusive and nuanced, the conventional gender decision is no longer the best starting point when creating a brand persona.
Trend #5 – Trust is the biggest battlefield for businesses
If you turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a topic on a company breaching the trust of their customers’ sensitive data. Search engines, social media sites, charities, publications and others are all equally guilty of putting their own greed and interests ahead of the people they serve.
Customers are now more capable than ever to see straight through an organisation. And these organisations are being judged as much by their behaviours as they are by their products or services.
Trust and transparency with clientele will trump everything in 2019 – and beyond.