Brand FOMO is real. As marketing trends and comms channels evolve on the daily, we’re lightening the load on your inbox. A cheat sheet before your next board meeting – here’s the low-down on the top 5 global trends impacting your brand. Buckle in for a sneak peek into the trends that will soon influence the market and audience perceptions in a big way.
- The metaverse – get ready to extend your reality with the next digital revolution. In a nutshell, it’s a virtual-reality world where users interact in a computer-generated space with other users. We are seeing brands make their move into this new ‘verse’ and corner out a name as first adopters in the space. Does your brand translate to the metaverse? Yes, if not now, it soon will. The metaverse offers a chance to play, connect, work, unwind, travel, and shop in a 3-dimensional, immersive experience. But it’s not only for FMCG but has applications for training the next generation of surgeons or fighter pilots. Preparedness and a thorough understanding of this space will mean the difference between it being a hit or a miss for your brand (according to HBR). Nike is charging ahead, patenting for virtual goods. Exploring new consumer behaviours around buying products and services directly from social experiences is known as “social commerce.” There’s talk of the development of ‘Earth 2’ to test scientific experiences as a rather frightening prospect. It’s a new game for brands ready to plunge into this uncharted territory.
- A return to tradition – as the world becomes increasingly digital and virtual, people, place and at long last, First Peoples’ culture are becoming more valued on a broader level. According to research by Know Your Country in 2020, 68% wish they had a better education about First Nations peoples’ cultures and their histories. There is an opportunity for brands to engage authentically and meaningfully with Indigenous culture. We know that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is something that the next generation wants from brands – action, not just lip service. For Australian brands, it’s a great opportunity. We are living amongst one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Ask what you can do to protect and celebrate this awe-inspiring part of our story. Where to start? Connect with some of these great agencies Speaking in colour, Bush to Bowl, Clothing the Gap, Nungala Creative, First Nation Start Up and Balarinji Agency.
- Power to the people – Bernard Salt, one of Australia’s leading media and business commentators, recently observed in The Australian that organisations are acting to protect their social licence to operate more than ever before. As the conflict in Ukraine broke out, fast food chains, retail groups and the big four consulting firms pulled out of Russia as a sign of no tolerance for this act of war. No one legally made them act, and they did it knowing the impact on their bottom line. It’s an excellent example of big organisations protecting their social license. Fulfilling your legal obligation or changing your logo to yellow and blue is no longer enough. Living your values and what you stand for should be a given. The first step is deciding what your brand stands for and the issues where your leadership can make a difference. Community consultation is key to making sure you’re listening and have a finger on the pulse. The reward is a strong connection with your staff and community, who will back you to help you achieve your vision.
- Social media is not community – people looking to connect are moving away from social media platforms, and brands are picking up the slack. Marketers are constantly looking for stickier ways to engage with their customers online. Some invest in their own community platforms to help gain insights and monitor sentiments and trends. Lego Ideas is a fantastic example of building community to drive new product development, Home Alone Lego anyone? But in turn, these brands are creating meaningful spaces for customers to interact meaningfully, for example Patagonia Action Works. Building community to test ideas, get honest feedback and build brand loyalty. Every brand or organisation would benefit from a two-way connection with their audience. Or will you stick with the meta social channels of old?
- Deepfake – How do you know you’re looking at a video of someone or if it’s a deep fake video. Advancements in technology have made it hard to tell. We are hardwired to be drawn to and trust the genuine article. Deepfake content is creating mistrust and security issues to boot for brands and personalities globally. It’s making it harder for consumers to trust and feel safe online and, as a result, are warier. Trust and being authentic is bigger than ever for brands. See if you can tell if this video of Tom Cruise is real or not (Hint… it’s not).
Regardless of what type of brand you’re managing, these top 5 global trends are a new challenge that will impact your marketing strategy and also represent a great opportunity. We’ll keep an eye out for you on these big market shifts and, as we always do, use insights to build smart strategies for our clients.