Ten brand & marketing trends for 2010

WM Circle Logo

By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 5, 2009

Ten brand & marketing trends for 2010

It appears that brands are heading for another turbluent year in 2010 according to Brand Keys' customer loyalty expert Robert Passikoff, who has compiled what he believes will be the year's ten main branding and marketing trends.

When Niels Bohr once quipped that "prediction is very difficult, especially about the future," the science of predictive customer loyalty metrics was perhaps a little known concept. Since then, Brand Keys has been compiling an industry-wide survey of branding and marketing trends, measuring the direction and speed of changing consumer values, providing 12-18 months warning of changes in the marketplace.

Having examined these measures, Passikoff suggests the following ten major trends for marketers as we head for 2010:

  1. Value is the new black Retail spending, even on sale items, will continue to be affected by "give me a reason to buy at all" thinking on the part of the average consumer. This spells trouble for brands that have no authentic meaning, regardless of whether they are high-end or low-end brands.  
  2. Brands become a surrogate for 'value' What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what's wrapped up in the brand, and what it stands for. For example, J Crew stands for a new era in "careful chic", and America's first family's support of the brand certainly won't hurt.  
  3. Brand differentiation comes from brand value The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic features continue to overwhelm the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, so true differentiation will be critical to brand success (and therefore to both sales and profitability as well).  
  4. No more 'because I said so' Brand values can be established as a brand identity but they must also exist believably in the mind of the consumer. A brand can't just say it stands for something - it has to prove it. The consumer will decide, making it more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that help with both differentiation and consumer engagement.  
  5. Consumer expectations are growing Brands are hardly keeping up with consumer expectations now, and every day consumers are adopting and devouring the latest technologies and innovations, hungering for more. The smart marketers of 2010 will identify and capitalise on unmet expectations, and those brands that understand where the strongest expectations are will be the ones that survive and prosper, recession or otherwise.  
  6. Old tricks won't work any more Consumers are now thoroughly wise to brands trying to play on their emotions for profit. In the wake of the various financial debacles of 2009, most consumers are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank adverts that claim "we're all in this together" when those banks have ruined so many credit lines and retirement plans. The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings, so celebrity values and brand values will need to be more authentic and well-aligned than ever before.  
  7. They won't need to know you to love you As the buying space becomes even more international and web-driven (and therefore more uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important. A brand with the right 'street cred' will be able to "go viral" in a matter of days, with awareness following rather than leading the cosumer conversation.  
  8. It's not just about the buzz Conversation and community is all important. If consumers trust the brand's online community, they will extend their trust to the brand. This is not only about word of mouth, but the right word of mouth within a community. This heralds the coming of a whole new era in customer care initiatives.  
  9. Talking to each other before talking to the brand Social Networking and the free exchange of information outside of the brand space can only increase. Expect more web sites using Facebook Connect to share information, and more companies becoming active members of LinkedIn, and you can expect Twitter users to spend more money online than those who don't tweet.  
  10. Engagement is not a marketing fad Engagement is the way that today's consumers do business. Marketers will come to accept that there are four engagement methods, including the platform (e.g. TV or online), the context (e.g. the programme or the web page), the message (e.g. the ad or the message), and the experience (e.g. the store or the event) - but there is only one objective: brand engagement. Marketers will continue realise that attaining real brand engagement is impossible using outdated attitudinal models.

"Accommodating these trends will require a paradigm change on the parts of some companies but, whether a brand does something about it or not, the future is where it's going to spend the rest of its life - and how long that life lasts is up to the brand marketer," concluded Passikoff.

More Info: