The three things influencing corporate branding in 2016

corporate branding It’s out with the old and in with the new as corporate branding continues to evolve. Brands are eschewing traditional methods, as the focus shifts to that of the end experience of their customers. ‘Experience’ is the word du jour – with everything from social media campaigns, web design, video and events being tailored to provide customers with one that’s personal, enjoyable and convenient. We’ve rounded up the corporate branding trends to keep on your radar in 2016 – as predicted by marketing, corporate event and branding experts.

Authentic acts of kindness that put consumers first will rise in popularity

A strong undercurrent of the current zeitgeist – gratitude – is influencing the way corporate branding approaches their markets. As with any other marketing endeavour, authenticity wins hands down. As Lynn Gordon, writing for Marklives.com puts it: “Grateful brands appreciate loyalty and brand engagement”. In an age where consumers make the final call, this is a priceless corporate branding strategy. One of the first instances of corporate branding that used gratitude as its focus was Interflora UK’s ‘Twitter-ppreciation’campaign launched in 2010 – by sending flowers to followers who were having a bad day. MarkLives also reported that Airbnb’s 2015 #OneLessStranger campaign saw the company giving away $ 1 million in $10 increments, with recipients being encouraged to spend the money on reaching out to a friend or to forge new connections. 2016 will see more brands follow suit; SA telecoms giant Vodacom recently rolled out their ‘Give a happy’ campaign that gifted customers with airtime and data.

An increased focus on the psychology behind why we buy what we buy

In an effort to truly understand their customers, brands will delve deeper into the psychology of their consumers’ behaviour. After all, the more you understand your market, the better equipped you are to create something that garners their support. In particular, two major points of focus will be: reciprocity – the concept that “speaks to the human need (and tendency) to want to give something back when something is received” – as defined in this blog from SENSEI marketing, and social proof, defined by marketing automation software provider Hubspot as the “theory that people will adopt the beliefs or actions of a group of people they like or trust.” These two major psychological influences on buying behaviour will be incorporated into corporate branding strategies in order to assist companies in amplifying their brand presence, acknowledgment and advocacy.

Investing in events over traditional corporate branding efforts

According to business.com, “brands that host events are 43% more likely to build new relationships with target customers than those that chose not to do so.” As corporate branding continues its shift to smaller, more intimate experiences (as opposed to one-size-fits all mass campaigns), events will continue to be used as a powerful way to engage your market, gift them with an enjoyable experience, and deliver value. In addition, corporate events will become more streamlined and efficient for attendees – as brands scramble to reduce any pain points traditionally associated with attending a conference, expo or launch. We’ll see more and more events incorporate event technology like event management software that enables them to do this. Events as a means of corporate branding owe their power to the fact that they incorporate all major marketing trends of today: that of exceptional UX (user experience), authenticity and reciprocity.

Make sure your corporate branding and events are ahead of the pack. Download our Guide to Turning your Events into Marketing Gold to find out how.

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