2014 brand and advertising trends

New Yearsby Tony Fannin, CEO/Partner, BE Branded  |  

It’s a new year and this may be the time when some of the trends started over the last couple of years begin to become “mainstream”. Here are just a few trends to look out for:

Increased mobile spending – In recent years, time spent with mobile and online heavily outweighs time spent in front of the TV. People spent about 80% of their time online or with their mobile devices. Oddly, marketing spending is completely reversed (80% of marketer’s budgets was spent on TV commercials). Mobile will now start commanding more of the marketing dollars and the time spent will become more in balance with budgets. Mobile will be the primary platform for getting your advertising message to your customers. We all use mobile for research, discovery and entertainment. Advertising dollars will start being spent accordingly. If you want more ROI on your advertising, have a robust mobile and digital plan.

Hardware will drive tech – Tech has been the hot segment for business. Specifically, software. Now, that category has become flooded and commoditized. Many software platforms are still trying to figure out how to make money. Hardware will become the main catalyst for innovation and growth in technology. Tech wearables, new devices and products that incorporate software. The marketing play will be more about design, cool products and even fashion. For example, Apple has hired the CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, to take over their Apple stores. Tech will no longer be just about functionality and data. It will be about great design and products. (Maybe Steve Jobs got it right, it’s about great design.) 

Increase of digital and physical stores – It used to be many online companies criticized their retail brethren for having brick-and-mortar stores. Now, many of these same brands are building brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon is opening physical grocery stores in test markets. Microsoft has started to open stores (copying the look and feel of Apple stores). Google is planning to open physical stores in major U.S. cities to sell Google products. On the other hand, stores such as Best Buys, Target and WalMart have made great strides in integrating their brick-and-mortar and digital strategies at  more effective levels. Best Buys even had a holiday campaign poking fun at themselves with the “show rooming” phenomenon.

Design makes the difference – It used to be, great technology is all you need. Now, great design is what makes one brand different from another. Even Google is hiring more designers to help them appeal to a more design-sensitive public. Web site data has shown people spend more time with a well designed site than just a content driven one. This also feeds into the hardware trend. Apple has it right, great design  makes their products more distinct and “loved”. I don’t hear many say, “I love my Galaxy 4.”, but I do often hear, “I just love my iPhone.” Apple newest iPhone release is a good example. The new gold color is a home run, especially among women and teen girls.

In summary, as a brand, it’s about beautiful design, being mobile and integrating online and brick-and-mortar. It still goes back to core principles, no one tactic stands alone.



About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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