At this time of year, it’s customary for bloggers and other industry pundits to look back at trends in the business — and extrapolate what it all means for the future.
Well, it’s been quite a year at Partners & Harrison, with lots of new projects and the addition of high profile clients like American University.
In the branding business, every year brings its share of insights. Here’s what we saw in 2015.
1. Digital technology continues to shrink timelines — everyone seems to be working on speed dial. And in some cases, 24/7.
2. Websites and microsites are becoming increasingly visual and cinematic. Large, visceral photography and video have become the norm, with copy being kept to a minimum.
3. Packaging design is getting more creative (in terms of form factor) and visually appealing as more and more companies realize the importance of brand design in influencing consumers’ buying habits at the point of sale.
4. Corporate responsibility and citizenship seemed to dominate many campaigns thematically this year. Consumers want to know what companies stand for as much as what they sell. (This year’s Super Bowl contained a plethora of socially-conscious advertising. A few standouts were Coca Cola and Dove.)
5. Experiential marketing — the growing importance of brand experiences and their emotional component — remains a dominant trend. We truly have entered the “human era” of branding and marketing.
6. And of course, the upcoming presidential election is dominating all forms of media — social as well as traditional.
Well, that’s the year as we saw it. Here’s to new exciting trends and clients in 2016. It’s still a fun business — and one that’s constantly changing.
Photo: Jim Hickcox (Creative Commons)
TV is still the most effective advertising medium. That’s the finding of a new study conducted by marketing-analytics company MarketShare. From 2009 to 2014, TV outperformed digital and offline channels in driving sales and new accounts for major advertisers.
“TV is the giant megaphone,” said Isaac Weber, MarketShare’s vice president of strategy. “When you want to get a message out, that’s still really the most powerful means to do it.”
One word of caution, though, especially for brands with smaller ad budgets: TV, while efficient in terms of results, is expensive to do right. And TV advertising with poor production values doesn’t do anybody any good.
If you have the money for a quality execution, TV advertising still rules. But you can’t do it on the cheap. (Don’t even try.)
Photo: Eric Driggers (Creative Commons)
Fortune has just published its list of Most Admired Companies for 2015.
Not surprisingly, tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon top the list. (Berkshire Hathaway edged out Amazon for the #3 spot. Amazon made fourth place.)
Starbucks, Disney, Southwest Airlines, American Express, GE and Coca Cola make up the rest of the top 10.
The list is based on a survey in which top corporate executives, directors and analysts are asked to rate global companies in their respective industries based on a variety of criteria, including investment value and social responsibility.
As branding experts, we look closely at this list each year to determine trends and what they mean. Here are some interesting observations.
It will be interesting to see if it stays there.
Photo: Brandon Watts (Creative Commons)