Identifying trends and taking action before it becomes the rule.
It takes guts to change.
Especially for established brands. But when should brands update? When should a business look for renewing their branding and marketing?
I would say, once the market gets oversaturated with more of the same.
For instance, after a long period of modernist experimentation with minimal, flat and solid colored shape, the top brands became obsessed with gradients, 3D effects and shadows on their logos. These were once a trend, they have been considered visionary all through out the nineties and early two thousands, until they became the norm.
I deeply believe this is the turning point right there. Once a specific approach becomes the norm for most, it means it is time for you to get your brand together and make it stand out again. The other day I went to do some grocery shopping. As I am currently working on a full branding project for a new rum brand, I've decided to stay a bit longer after completing my purchase so I could appreciate the alcoholic and spirit displays behind the counter.
What did I realize?
Most of those brands looked and felt the same. The ones who stood out were the less known brands, which makes sense because new brands take more risks in order to stand out.
Have a look at the image, does any thing really stand out? That is how the market works, and I believe if you are aware enough, you can take advantage of it.
Famous labels such as 'Gordon's' and 'Smirnoff' have been using the same dated and over detailed/traditional branding for so long, that newer brands such as 'Haig Club' come with a completely minimal and clean approach and stand out straight away. It really is the true meaning of 'Less is more'.
And that is the whole point. Newer brands should be able to identify trends and realize when the market is stagnant. That does not only apply for branding and marketing, but for design, business models, products and services. Pretty much everything which relates to business and people.
It is a double edge sword, once the market hits a normality, your brand is in between the line of getting a new image and standing out once again, or just fall into forgetfulness.
Let's have a look at the subject of Marketing. What are the current trends? Social media marketing. Highly undervalued but with HUGE results(if you know how to use it). Not a lot of people have jumped on it because they are still stuck on the period of giving up on what they are used to and CHANGE.
What does this mean?
Small sharks have a greater chance to generate results for their brands and products.
We all have seen it over and over again: the radio got replaced by television, the letters got replaced by e-mails. Do they still exist? Yes, but which of them leads the market when it comes to marketing?
Once the big sharks such as Apple, Coca Cola and McDonald's start investing most of their budgets on these new trends such as minimal typographic branding and social media marketing, then the small sharks won't stand a chance and will need to go back to the underground and search for the next trend.
(And trust me, they have already started).
It is a cultural thing. Underground visionaries create the trends which eventually get to the top guys. If we are savvy enough, we can save time by going straight to the source without waiting and take the risk.
So, wrapping it up: Always look for the new trend and invest on it straight away. Do not look back. You will get your ROI for being different and standing out.