Branding - Global Trends

POSITIONING   |   POSTED ON 16.05.2016

5 International Brand Trends You Can Take Local

Staying on top of the latest trends is vital to your business survival. But it’s not about being first, it’s about being the best. So, even if you’re a little late to these latest international brand trends there still could be the possibility that your brand can do it like no other and reap the benefits. While these trends have already crossed borders, the best place to start is local!

Sympathetic Pricing

For any brand that embraces human virtues like compassion, empathy and authenticity the trend of sympathetic pricing is reshaping consumerism across the globe.

Sympathetic pricing is an opportunity to help out in times of struggle, to share social problems and to alleviate your customers’ daily lifestyle pain points. Consider offering targeted discounts and deal that hone in on individual pain points and/or shared challenges. It’s all about empathy and showing that your brand has a human side that truly understands. It’s essentially the polar opposite of price gouging.

What pain points do your customers face of a daily basis? What are the shared local challenges and issues that concern them? How can you offer a targeted deal or discount to offer assistance?

Messaging Apps

Gaining popular in Asia and from a beginning of emojis, messaging apps are fast becoming the new remote control for daily life. Not convinced of their power? Consider this:

Messaging apps are opened an average of nine times per users, against an average of twice per day for all apps. – Flurry, April 2016

The monthly active users for Facebook Messenger is 900 million; for WeChat: 700 million; for WhatsApp: 1 billion, and for QQ: 860 million.
– Facebook, April 2016 / Quest Mobile, April 2016 / Whatsapp, February 2016 / Tencent, November 2015

While customers ramp up their mobile media time they are also becoming more and more specific about the small number of social apps they use. To take advantage of this, your brand needs to be there. What can you provide through a messaging app? Customer service? A Q&A service? A human representative? You need to be in the right place and the right time.

The New Norm

More and more people (customers) are ditching the conventional and forging on with a new, self-constructed lifestyle and belief system. Okay, so this isn’t ‘new’ but with increased urbanisation, global and constant connectivity, widening divide between rich and poor and increased choices for the uptake of the new norm is accelerating particularly surrounding issues such as gender roles, sexuality, ageing, family structure and marriage.

As a brand, embrace the new norm by empowering, encouraging and celebrating new, non-traditional, out of the box mindsets and lifestyles. The new norm can look vastly different from place to place but this makes local adaption all the more powerful for your brand. No one is going to be screaming new social conventions from the rooftops so it’s important you look out for the signals and keep your finger on the changing attitudes within your community.

You can apply this trend to create new products, services, campaigns, and even to overhaul your internal culture. It will be good for your brand and your heart too.

The Multitasker

Initially, physical products embedded with multiple functions and features were the brainchild of entrepreneurs – think the fridge that promised to order more milk when the bottle was getting low – but then things began to change and the multitasking product was taken up by not-for-profits and developing countries. The idea of something to make our lives that bit easier or more convenient was actually saving lives. Particularly when affordability is of the utmost importance and/or resources are scarce, products and services that solve multiple needs are adored.  Not only can these products be functional (multi-functional) but they captivate by being exciting and innovative.

Can you adapt your existing product, or its packaging, into a multi-purpose item that provides value or even saves lives for consumers in an emerging market?

Open Arms

In 2015 we saw a global movement of peoples in the Middle East and Europe not seen since WWII: the European Union say 1 million refugees arrived in Europe in 2015 and predict a further 3 million will arrive in 2016. What does this have to do with your brand?

Well, while some people protest and fight to protect their backyard from ‘outsiders’, plenty will welcome newcomers on a human and economic level – and they’ll look to brands to support them.

The opportunities here aren’t limited to charitable initiatives that support refugees and their plight. There are boundless opportunities to adapt this trend for your brand and your location and help local consumers interact with new arrivals, share their own heritage or celebrate their culture with open arms.

While this might seem like a contentious issue and one likely to turn customers away from your brand, and it might be a good one to stay away from…it can earn you adulation and loyalty from many. No trend or social issue is risk free…you can never please all of the people all of the time. But, often with the biggest risk comes the biggest reward.

For more information on how your brand can implement any of these trends in your local community just contact the brand agency Liquid Creativity, your local branding specialist.


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