The start of a new year is the perfect time to celebrate your branding and applaud what you’ve done well for the past year. But before you pop open the champagne, you’ll also want to take a good look at what’s not working—and how you can improve in the coming year. Here are four ways to build a better brand in 2017:
Play up visual content
Visual content started forty thousand years ago with cave paintings. Today, websites have replaced cave walls—but visual content is still the go-to way of communicating. Video has become the most popular format; Facebook, for instance, is expecting its 3.8 billion daily video views to increase by 75% this year. But since some products don’t translate well to video content (and since it can be tough getting started if you’ve never used video before), it’s a good idea to check out other visual content trends for 2017.
Restyle your logo
Technically, logos could fall into the “visual content” category, but they’re far different from other types of marketing images. While those images convey your brand’s style, they don’t convey what your brand is. Logos are the core of a brand’s identity, the one symbol that customers use to assess and recognize a company. That said, your brand’s identity evolves over the years—and your logo needs to evolve with it in order to stay relevant. Whether they choose to do in-house projects or work with a logo design professional, brands will restyle their logos to convey a more modern identity this year.
Create conversation experiences
Chatbots are computer programs that have human-like conversation capabilities, letting customers “chat” with a brand about its products and services. Customers can now use chatbots to ask about hotel vacancies, request help pairing drinks with their dinner, or create the ultimate online shopping experience. While the setup process can be pretty extensive, these tools position your brand on the cutting edge of technology and give customers the instant gratification they crave.
Focus on sustainable practices
Millennials have a bad rap for a lot of things, but they’re shaping society in a positive way with their save-the-world mentality and sense of environmental responsibility. If you want to appeal to this audience in 2017, join them. Recent surveys revealed that the number of brands shifting to more sustainable practices had increased by 24% within six years—and was projected to continue growing as more millennials enter the workforce. Using sustainable production processes or creating green office spaces are marketing strategies that will not only help your brand—they will have lasting value for the world around you.
One more note on branding trends for 2017: you can go as big as you want. If you’ve got the time and money, go all-out to create a custom chatbot, start a YouTube channel, or switch to totally green practices. Or start small with updated visual content, a restyled logo, or greener habits in the office. Whatever you decide to do, just be sure you stay true to your brand’s identity—because there is no bigger trend in 2017 than the strive for authenticity.