Top 3 Branding Trends of 2015

by Brandfolder

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Today, we can be easily exposed to over 5,000 advertisements a day. No wonder branding is more important than ever before. How else can you break through the sea of noise as a business?

By adapting these 3 “human” branding trends. But, how does a brand become “humanized”?

Having a real, living, breathing human being represent you is a possibility.

One of our earliest clients, Sphero, won the 2015 Best Ambassador and Celebrity Campaign Shorty Award for their partnership with the fun-loving and slightly geeky Zach Braff. It was a collaboration of human and brand that made total sense and delighted fans from both camps.

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(Shout out to Sphero on creating the new Star Wars droid, BB-8, aka “the coolest Star Wars toy ever” today on #ForceFriday!)

Funny enough, Connie Birdsall of Lippincott posted a great article about branding trends at the beginning of this year proclaiming that “we’re entering a new ‘Human Era’ for branding.”

We rounded up the top 3 trends that Human Era brands are using to connect with their consumers and build a loyal following.

1. Transparency

In this age of instant information and social media, companies can’t hide in their ivory towers the way they used to. Consumers are more empowered and critical than ever, thanks to that thing called Web 2.0.

But this also means that consumers are ready and willing to embrace brands who they can relate to as people.

Look at beloved social media management tool, Buffer, and how they very openly admitted they had made a mistake. Buffer switched over to a flat, self-managed hierarchy in late 2014 and realized 9 months later that it was not the enlightened startup path they thought it would be. Their following didn’t even bat an eyelash after the announcement, and if anything, they felt more affinity towards the growing startup for coming forward.

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2. Caring

Unless you’re in law or finance, today’s consumer does not expect you to be hyper-polished and ice-cold. We want to know that you’ve got a heart and that it may even bleed occasionally.

Southwest, the famously outlandish and fun airline, definitely has a heart, literally – there’s a heart logo underneath all their planes. From free checked bags, to no last-minute cancellation fees, to how their mission vision is “to become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline,” everything about the Southwest brand shows that they care.

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  1. Humor

You can be the most intelligent, caring, good-natured person around, but there’s something everybody loves about the person who can make you laugh. Brands are no different.

A hardware store probably isn’t what you think of first when it comes to funny brands. But Lowe’s and their hilarious and helpful “Fix In Six” Vines are exactly that.

Handy and humorous? Yes, please.

What does it all mean?

The best brands are the ones who embrace their ‘human’ side. They recognize that success lies in connecting with consumers like they would with an old friend or a trusted mentor. This is evident by the fact that marketing avenues like content marketing and SEO are booming this year; people resonate with brands who reach out to them via relevant, helpful, and authentic means.

What other branding trends of 2015 do you see happening? Shout out in the comments below and let us know!

Jae Sung is a storyteller who’s obsessed with all things digital and the Digital Content Manager for Brandfolder, the simplest tool to manage, update, and share all your brand assets. She’s been a copywriter, SEO, and professional sneakerhead in previous lives. Follow her on Twitter for the latest in content marketing, branding, and tech.