What’s the best way to approach trends in branding? Well, when it comes to building a brand, trends aren’t something to be ignored. Trends exist because they prove their usefulness. Everything from how customers think and feel about brands to what organizations can do to gain authenticity in their branding starts as a trend. It’s why trends matter so much to gauging the future.

Effective approaches to brand building, much like trends, change all the time. A digital strategy agency approaches brand building like the construction of a real building. A strong foundation, reliable pillars, and a healthy dose of uniqueness can make our brands stand out. For the future, brand-building trends like the ones we’ll explore below should be implemented in one way or another into all efforts in 2021 and beyond.

Sustainability Is Here to Stay

Branded sustainability initiatives can be a bit tricky. Many audiences have shown in the past decade to show a vested interest in the environment and keeping the Earth clean and green. While it’s important to show up for this cause as a brand, it can’t be in messaging only. 

One of the most crucial elements of any branded initiative is authenticity. In fact, environmental issues and their most passionate advocates are growing increasingly tired of brands pretending to care about sustainability. 

If your brand is truly interested in investing in sustainability as a core value, then there needs to be a real change to the way goods and services are produced. Everything from the origin of materials for manufacturing to the amount of power used to run offices and data servers play a role in sustainability. 

Not only does authentically embodying these values create authentic brand building, but it also can lead to cost reductions as well as the numerous positive impacts on the environment.

Staying Social on Social Media

Like many trends in brand building, social media proved to be less of a moment and more of a monumental shift in communicating with audiences. Instead of simply going away after a few years, social media is more impactful and influential than ever before. On social media, it’s easy to fall into a few traps. Firstly, we can often find ourselves using social media to simply relay information. 

While that’s certainly a use of the various platforms, companies should strive to relay emotions and feelings on top of information when building a stronger brand. From the images we use to the words we include in our posts, simply keeping audiences informed isn’t cutting it anymore.

Another tricky part of social media brand building is the use of paid advertising. The cost of social media ads and their value in terms of reach and engagement make them an effective tool for any brand or business. That said, how are the ads working for our brands outside of simply getting the word out about a product or service.

When it comes to using social media ads, don’t limit the use of these valuable paid posts for selling customers on a product or service. Instead, it can be incredibly impactful to invest these ads into working on branding. Feel free to use ads to promote, not something sold, but something customers can believe or get behind. By investing money on social media behind meaningful, thought-provoking ideas that lead our brands, we can build better connections with users than simply selling to them.

Kindness Winning Out

After 2020, one thing is proving to be wildly successful in branded campaigns: people want to hear good news. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every campaign has to announce something positive. Instead, what many industry insiders are finding is that kindness and positive tones in messaging are resonating with audiences. 

It might sound funny to state this as a trend. After all, what sort of branded marketing campaign would be negative? Well, we see them more often than we think. For example, brands that market themselves by tearing down the competition or talking about how much better they are exist. Likewise, many brands take a cynical approach to the language they use to try and be sarcastic or witty. From what we’re seeing across brand building in 2021, those days are gone for now.

What people really want to see is positive messaging and branding. A brand people want to engage with likely looks like something that could bring a force of light into their lives. Everything from logos to coloring can invoke the brand image customers want to see.

These trends in brand building are just a few of the many things we’re seeing take shape of the 2021 branded landscape. When it comes to trends, finding ways to incorporate what’s working in the industry, even if it’s just a few finer details, can make a big difference. Keep an eye on trends and follow what the users want. It works every time.