What do we mean by social trends? These are trends and changes that affect the interests of us all as a society and often bring social responsibility in to question. For example, environmental issues often introduce new social trends such as ‘no-packaging packaging’ as an evolution of recycling, or the rise in #vegan or #crueltyfree products; we’re experiencing a sharp rise in discussion around this topic, particularly in the beauty industry.
Economic circumstance also affects social trends; the rise and struggles of Generation Rent and the rise in homelessness has focused the nation as a whole on what can be done to help individuals in these situations.
Health and wellbeing are also hugely vast and powerful social trends, mental health is frequently in the spotlight and encouragement to eat, act and live mindfully is rife.
Trends, by nature can change quickly and are constantly evolving; when branding a company or organisation we can’t accurately predict what future social trends will emerge in 10, 5 or even 1 years time.
Should you find or feel that you need a rethink or reshuffle to bring your brand into the present and equip yourself with a more current voice, panic not; without even thinking on the daunting task of a full ‘rebrand’, there’s plenty you can do to align your brand with current trends.
Firstly it’s important to only choose to align with those trends that are here to stay, don’t jump aboard every hashtag that comes your way, and be smart, focus on something that is close to your current values already, or complements your industry. Some of these changes will, obviously, often have to come from within as well as being portrayed in your brand voice and marketing efforts. If your company is getting onboard with the ‘no packaging’ trend, there needs to be discussions and actions in place to reduce the use of packaging as a company.
Get the word out
How do you make the change to your image? Get the word out there that this is where your focus as a brand is now, that these are your values. Here’s a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
- Hold an event… or a series of events. Depending on your industry, this could be a great way to get customers, other industry professionals, competitors even, talking about you (and in a good way). Without changing your values or branding you can make a display of how you have embraced this new ‘trend’.
- Partnering with brands; do you already have connections with a brand who would help associate you with #crueltyfree values or helping the homeless? Or if you don’t, make new partnerships and friendships in the right industry, association can be very useful here. You could even hold an event together.
- Reevaluating your values, do you need or want to change your mission statement or refresh your values, highlighting your new, socially aware commitment? It would be smart to follow this change with a positive, glowing Press Release.
Brand ‘Trends’ to get on board with now…
Security is a huge issue for many customers, users and individuals overall at the moment, and understandably so. Creating an honest and transparent personality as a brand is a trend that is going to stand the test of time and increase your status with the people that matter; a transparent brand is a trustworthy brand. Don’t be elusive, show your team, share updates from head office if and where this is appropriate, and of course, be upfront about data protection and security!
Make it easy for customers to get in touch and contact the people they need to contact, in the interest of keeping up with trends, you might look at the use of AI here, with call lines being phased out as a route to access for many.
Involve Your Customers
From micro influencers and brand ambassadors to the power of consumer reviews – it pays to have your customers involved in your brand and the use of Social Media makes this so accessible. The more engaged your customers are with your brand, the more you get from them in terms of support and also feedback and the more invested they become.
Give Your Company A Conscience
Pick your cause, if it’s the environment, a charity or even just your workers, be a company that has a conscience, who cares for something. It doesn’t have to be giving to a charity, being the company that looks after and values it’s workers is a good company to be, or a company that only uses recycled paper and stationery.
Put yourself in the spotlight, start your brainstorming sessions and get your brand aligned with those shifting social trends!