Starting a business is important as you can get to satisfy the needs of people while you make a profit. There are a lot of needs to be satisfied and this means that there are lots of business ventures you can delve into. Starting up a business is one thing and creating a brand is another thing. Starting a business is easier than establishing a brand. Starting a business means being able to produce a good or provide a service that can help make people’s lives easier. Establishing a brand, on the other hand, goes beyond this. This is because “a brand is a business venture that its customers will want to identify with”. It takes more than just producing a good or providing a service to ensure this. You are a brand if you are able to get into the mind of your customers. To understand what a brand is about, here are some game-changing trends to look forward in 2019.
More emphasis on engaging customers
The ideal way of developing a long lasting business enterprise has and always will be putting your customers first. Before now, firms were more focused on getting their customers to buy their products. The current trend is displacing that idea. These days and the ones to come, brands will become more personal than formal. There will be more focus on getting feedback, surveys and other methods that make customers feel like their opinions count. They will use these feedbacks as their FAQs. This way, customers will want to identify with such a brand.
Uniqueness in branding
Talking about brand identification, nothing makes it easier to enable a brand noticeable than its difference from other brands. The days when brands try to outperform each other as a means of standing out is gradually phasing out. The brand will no longer try to outperform each other by trying to do the same thing better than the other. Brand are gradually understanding that the best to stand out is to be different not really outperforming each other. In this light, brands will make more effort to play their own game and be the best at it. Instead of app companies trying to create the best call blocking app, magneto rich snippets they will instead focus on some additional apps that will make their own call blocking app differ from others.
AR and VR are taking centre stage
The line separating offline and online business will continue to blur thanks to the intervention of AR and VR. The online aspect of business will complement the online aspect of the business. Brands that produce eBooks will also make hard books. The offline aspect which is very close to the people will serve as a means of getting information from them which the online aspect can use to improve its services.
More focus will be given to playing
All works and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It seems that firms are getting a grip on this fact and are acting in line with it. This trend did not start today but it was not embraced as much as it is today. I remember when I will log in to the Manchester United football club’s official website to be able to play some of the games on the website. Many brands initially adopted the idea just to give their customers an opportunity to relax with no real intent. Things are gradually getting interesting as the games people are playing are now more than games. Coca Cola’s “coke freestyle machine” is a good example of games that are more than just games. While people who are playing the game see it as fun mixing fizzy drinks, Coca Cola sees those mixtures as potential recipes. They will consider producing a drink based on the most mixed drinks using the required recipes.
A continued rise in the use of chatbots
Are chatbots a trend or a necessity? I cannot really answer that. Maybe it is because they are both. People love attention but are quick to forget that they cannot always get it. This was and still a problem until catboats came into the picture. Chatbots can be traced to automated responses. These responses were considered stereotypical and they were barely satisfactory. Imagine getting a message such as “Welcome to worthy blog. Please drop a message and we will respond to you very soon”. Believe me, you will not be satisfied with such a response. Imagine a magneto 2 rich snippets giving you a similar response all through the weekend because it only works during weekdays. I can already imagine the frustration you will likely feel. The avoidance of such cases gave rise to the use of catboats. This is an advanced form of FAQs. The main difference is that it is more interactive than FAQs.
Blur in the line separating sales and marketing
I have a feeling these two departments may end becoming merged in the near future. Gone were the days when the act of advertising and making sales were seen as distinct. Those days when the marketing department goes out to get the customers and call the sales department to come and take orders from customers. This is no longer the case nowadays. Both sales and marketing departments are expanding. An expansion that makes them grow into one another and form an intertwined relationship. With brands emphasizing the importance of feedback, sales and marketing will do more than just fish out customers and sell to them. They will focus on getting personal with the customers and there may not be much to separate them at some point.
Brand imagery is still a necessity
This is a trend that is definitely standing its ground and will not lose its relevance anytime soon. The idea of brand uniqueness will ensure it stays in the fray. Brand imagery will go beyond the idea of logos. Brand imagery will compose of the vision, mission, motto, logo and colours of a brand. In a bid to make themselves stand out, brands will effectively unify these factors to ensure that their customers can easily identify them from the crowd. They also ensure that these factors make them look as appealing to a new or prospective customer.
While making these changes or adhering to some important aspects of their brands, brands will not take eyes off their products and services. The products or services a brand provides to its customers remain its number one branding strategy. No matter how appealing your brand outlook may seem, an awful product or service is enough to kill it. Brands will also pay attention to the quality delivery of its products and services.
Junaid Ali Qureshi is an e-commerce entrepreneur with a passion for emerging tech marketing and e-commerce development. Some of his current ventures include Progos Tech (an ecommerce development company) , Elabelz, Titan Tech and Smart Marketing.