Brand strategy trends for small businesses 🚀

Make sure your brand is up to date with these 5 brand strategy trends!

1/2/2022

Keep your brand up-to-date

Your brand is not a static concept. Nor is your brand a thing you work on once because it is finished after that. No. Your brand is an organic being that should adapt to the demands and expectations of your target audience.

To make sure your brand is and stays up-to-date, it's a good idea to keep an eye on new branding trends. And to make your life a lot easier, we have listed and explained the best brand strategy trends of 2022 for you!

The 5 best brand strategy trends in 2022

An overview of the best brand strategy trends to keep an eye on.

  1. Flexible logos
  2. Inclusiveness and diversity
  3. Hashtags as part of your brand strategy
  4. Sustainability
  5. Targeted brands

1. Flexible logos

The days of a static logo are numbered. It used to be fine to have a logo in one form, because the logo was often used for printing. Nowadays, things are different... A logo has to be able to work as an Instagram profile picture, as a stamp, in videos and animations and of course online on websites and newsletters. A flexible logo is a logo that is made to be easily resized. We're not talking about reducing in scale, but in form and layout.

For example, on a business card you can use the entire logo of your brand, because there is more than enough space available. On your website, you then use a logo with a horizontal layout. On social media, for example, use only the symbol or the first letter of your logo. This way, you ensure that your brand is always recognisable, consistent and professional.

Whatever the size or location, Heinz has a logo for every situation

2. Inclusiveness and diversity

Ads with only white models are a no-go these days. On the other hand, advertisements with too remarkably diverse a cast are also viewed strangely. So you have to find the right balance. And once you have found that balance and communicate with your brand in an inclusive and diverse way, you will be rewarded. For example, a study by Google has shown that customers are more likely to make a purchase when they see an expression that communicates diversity and inclusiveness.

However, many companies are looked upon with a jaundiced eye, because there is also a lot of abuse of this trend. Only if you can prove that as a brand you really fight for inclusiveness and diversity, you will be supported by customers.

Dove is known for photography with a diverse and inclusive cast

3. Hashtags as part of your brand strategy

Hashtags are a great way to boost your social media content. For example, content with the right hashtags spreads up to 11% better than posts without hashtags. And all for free! But how can you use hashtags even more, now that they are so important? 

In addition to existing/official hashtags, you can also invent and promote your own hashtag. A good way to do that is, for example, by making up a hashtag slogan. A good example is Nike's #justdoit. This hashtag has been used in almost 21 million posts and generates FREE brand awareness for Nike. Whatever your hashtag may be, use your hashtag as often as possible and encourage your customers to do the same!

For Vathorst Fietsen we converted the brand essence (#snelweeropweg) into a fixed design element

4. Sustainability

In the space of about 10 years, sustainability has grown from a niche topic to one of the most important pillars for many companies. More and more consumers consider it important to buy sustainable products and to live healthier and more sustainably, even if they have to pay a higher price for them.

Not only do consumers like to buy sustainable products, they expect it. Many consumers have become very critical of the way companies produce their products and which materials they use.

Fortunately, many brands are already producing in a more sustainable way to meet their customers' needs. Alongside this positive development, however, a new problem has arisen: Green Washing.

Many companies are only too happy to put sustainable labels on their packaging in order to mislead their customers with marketing and design. There are also many companies that claim to produce more sustainably when they do not. At the end of the day, these companies all fail, because consumers nowadays do their homework before making a purchase.

So if you include sustainability as a core value and pillar of your business: Do it the right way and provide evidence such as certifications and official labels.

H&M and its new Conscious Exclusive line of sustainable clothing

5. Targeted brands

Purpose-driven brands are brands that solve an important problem or fulfil a social need. A good example of a purpose-driven brand is Tony's Chocolonely, which is committed to making the production of chocolate 100% slave-free.

Another good example is the brand Patagonia, which offers a repair service to help customers to repair their clothes in order to prevent them from buying additional clothes unnecessarily.

Purposeful brands use their purpose or mission as a superpower and this has a positive effect. Today, consumers buy products not only to fulfil their needs, but also to identify themselves.

By now, everyone in the Netherlands knows that you don't buy a Tony's Chocolonely chocolate bar just because it tastes great. We also understand all too well that people don't buy a Patagonia t-shirt just for the design.

2022 is the perfect year to take a few steps back with your brand and investigate whether there is a social problem you can do something about. Maybe a permanent partnership with a charity is the first step? One thing is for sure: purposeful brands get an edge and are ready for the future. 

Tony's Chocolonely places its purpose above all else

Conclusion

Consumer needs and expectations are constantly changing. For example, 2022 is all about consistency, inclusivity and diversity, hashtags, sustainability and purposeful brands. All of these things contribute to your brand moving closer to a target audience . And that's important. After all, it's not just the transactions that are important, but making a connection and creating a bond with your target audience.

So take these 5 brand strategy trends to heart and get to work on turning your brand into a brand 2.0. Good luck!

Maarten de Vries

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