I’m writing this about 2/3rd of the way through January 2022. So far this month, I’ve been bombarded with ‘New start, New you’ / ‘This is what you need to do to be happy/popular/fulfilled’ emails and social media content.
So many emails, telling you about colour of the year; design trends that are really going to wow your audience; have you seen the latest bundle of fonts that are popular right now?
It is easy to be swayed into believing that whatever problem you have; it can be fixed by the shiny new thing that ‘everyone’ is talking about.
The issue with following trends is, they are just that. Trendy. Fashionable for a while, with a lot of eyes on them, but soon enough trends are yesterday’s news and quickly the fashionable becomes cringe worthy.
Fashionable colour schemes and popular fonts aren’t the way to build a solid brand.
Branding works best when it’s representing your values, your passion, and your purpose within your business.
When you’ve chosen an aesthetic to show off those points then you have branding that will stand the test of time and not need to be supplemented by gimmicks.
My other issue with trends is the amount of people who are all essentially doing the same thing. I love working with businesses who class themselves as being stand out in their field. The words unique, bespoke, custom come up a lot when I ask clients to describe themselves and their services. This no longer becomes applicable if you’re following the latest fashion for brands. Then your brand becomes, generic, general or, dare I say it common (gasp). Totally the opposite of what you were hoping to achieve.
But surely there must be a way to keep up to date with the latest fads?
Yes, my friends there is. You just need to be selective in what you pick and why.
Let’s look at reels. Originally from Tiktok, these little videos were thought to be gimmicky and short lived. Now we have seen them introduced on Instagram in a massive way with Facebook not far behind. Here, the method of posting is the trend and ways to use reels have been formed to suit your advantage, because not every reels has to be a dance routine or miming song.
Another good way to use trends is as a guide to seeing how/where your audience is viewing content and what types of visual content they are looking for. For instance, carousel posts on Instagram are amongst the highest engaging content, but they have been amongst the lowest method of content on the platform. Would the trend of carousels help your brand?
When you start to evaluate what other businesses are doing, and spotting trends as they develop, the key to knowing which ones will suit your business, is to have a solid understanding of your business’ values, and purpose.
It’s so important to know these aspects of your brand, as your values and purpose are the foundation that your brand stands on. The first task we do in all my branding projects is to spend the first chunk just clarifying and setting values into place. It’s only once that is done, that the rest of the branding can be properly evaluated. Once you know what your brand stands for it’s easy to know if you and your branding can pull of a finger pointing reel or if your more of a talk to camera stories type person.
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When you feel your head being turned towards the shiny new thing, I’ve got three conditions for you to think over before you start to use the latest trend.
Look at your brand values. Think on how this trend will enhance my business; which values does this resonate with. If it’s not a truly positive response then let this fad pass you by. It’s not for you.
Audit your branding. Really this one is something I’d recommend you doing regularly anyway but it’s especially important in this case. Ask yourself, why do you feel the need to switch colours or fonts? Is your current branding not representing you anymore? If there’s a real reason, not just the new one is prettier then yes maybe you could swap it out. But remember that you need to be consistent and stick with your decision.
Trust your instincts. This brand is you and your business. You know in your heart of hearts what is right for it. If you think that fun Tiktoks are going to enhance your brand and appeal to your clients, then go for it! However, if you’re not sure, there’s nothing wrong with holding back.
The key to great branding is consistently using visuals that authentically represent your business and appeal to your clients. These take time to develop and evolve into a brand that you love. Give your brand the respect it deserves, let it stand out. Let it make it’s own mark and maybe others will start to see you as the trend setter.
I cover all these aspects during the discovery phase in my brand identity packages. If you feel that your branding isn’t hitting the right mark anymore, book a call and I can take you through solutions for your brand identity that will make you feel in control of your brand again.