What should business people keep tabs on for the rest of the year? When it comes to marketing and branding, writes author, coaching consultant and Shibumi Creative Works founder Matthew E. May, the most relevant trends for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses are:
1. Abstract is the new concrete. Names—for products, for companies—will get more abstract. The implication of this is that you need to become a better storyteller.
2. Boomers—they’re baaack! The 47- to 65-year-old demographic is an afterthought for most marketers. That means the estimated 77 million boomers in the United States are undermessaged and underserved.
3. Trending is trending. It’s become a bit of a cliché, but customer and market trends are changing at the speed of a hockey puck on ice. Easy ways to hunt for trends via Twitter include Trendsmap, Topsy and Trendistic.
4. The photo’s the thing. It’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. Over 90 billion images have been uploaded to Facebook. According to Russ Meyer of brand strategy consultancy Landor, “To be successful in 2012 and beyond, brands will have to follow the trail blazed by consumers in regularly sharing relevant images online.”
5. Tablets, tablets everywhere. “The tablet is the first true crossover device for use both at home and out in the world,” writes Landor’s David Keefe. “And brands are starting to understand the tablet’s relevance to retail.”
6. Creativity takes center stage. How can companies rapidly and efficiently infuse innovation across their entire culture, capitalize on the new ideas they spawn, and create value for customers and equity in their brands? If your company’s DNA doesn’t carry the gene for nimble creativity, you may not make it to 2013.
To read more from Matthew May, go to www.matthewemay.com.