Every year there are new trends in branding. Sometimes the trends relate to particular color schemes or specific branding archetypes (See this article if you’re unsure about branding archetypes). But the one thing all trends have in common is that they come and go. So the question is should you follow trends. Or does that make a brand inauthentic?
There’s a lot to weigh up when making that decision.
First, should you follow them? It depends on what the trend is and if it helps you reach and serve your market, authentically. I added the authentically because branding authenticity is a must.
A Few Questions to Help You Make the Best Decision for Your Brand:
- Is this just a temporary fad or something with substance? You can use this question to help determine if you want to get behind something or not. Let’s take social media for example. When it first came out, it could have appeared to be just a fad. But when assessing its use, you could see it had the potential to be valuable. It offers users communication platforms to connect with each other. There’s nothing inherently new about social media. The base concept is for people to connect, speak with each other, share things of interest. What’s new about social media is the vehicle for connection. The online platforms themselves are new tools, but the purpose behind it isn’t new.
- Will this benefit my audience now and in the future? Trends are timely. But sometimes they don’t last long. . You only adopt them for the here and now.
- Will it take us off our path? Unfortunately, many brands have made big changes based solely on what’s trending and not thinking through how the trend is way off path for them. Not every new ‘methodology’ or platform or concept is for your business, no matter how bright and shiny it may seem. Will this trend enhance your business in some way? You don’t need to follow trends just because they’re popular. Will your clients and customers benefit from you engaging with the trend? How about your team members?
- Do we have the resources to do this well? Every new endeavor requires an investment of resources, be it time, finances, or manpower – or all three. Do you have the budget to take this on? Is your team already overloaded? How will you reasonably take on this new trend without putting a dent in the work you already do?
- Does this align with what we already had planned for the next …..(quarter/year)? It’s great to be in the present moment, but in business, you must also be thinking ahead. Oftentimes far ahead. Everything you do now impacts your business in the future. Assess your plans against this new trend and make sure you won’t be hurting another area of your brand in the future by engaging in the current trend.
Trends are often fantastic ways to engage with potential customers and clients. When a company jumps on a trend, it can show they are aware of what’s popular and current. Those are a few of the upsides. But like anything, engaging with trends in your business may have a few downsides to consider. Always remain in tune with your mission, be authentic, and stay consistent with your branding style. Trends come and go. Some of them may be a good fit for you and others may not. The key is to put them through a filter. Ask yourself – and team members – the right questions before you align with a trend. The right questions may help you avoid a wrong turn.