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Branding Trends of Every Marketer Needs to Know

Branding Trends

What Every Marketer Needs to Know.

It’s been a busy time in the world of marketing. There is always talk about how marketing is a constantly evolving industry but this has never been truer. In the past six months, we’ve seen the announcement of in-app shopping on Instagram, the continued rise of Influencers, and a newfound interest in the power of Generation X. With so much happening it can be hard to focus on what is actually going to be the next BIG thing in marketing. What every marketer needs to know are the branding trends for the year and beyond. These areas have already made a splash and are what everyone will be concentrating on for the next several months. 

It’s Time To Get Playful

“Play is a deeply held human desire. Changing behaviours, new tools, and emerging expectations related to having a good time impact everyone. Whether you work for Asia’s busiest airport, design apparel for Adidas, or run your own small business, play should be on your radar.” (TrendWatching, 2018)

When brands start to talk about getting “playful” in 2019. There are two different paths that they could go down. One is an old marketing strategy that is changing for the digital age, the second is the rise of a new sport that has been on the radar for a few years now. 

Let’s Talk about Gamification.

For those that don’t know gamification is using elements of game playing and applying it to other areas. Think about how credit card companies provide points for using cards or the ability to become a Top Fan on Facebook pages. By creating these elements people are encouraged to use the service more. Brands have been using gamification to get consumers to purchase goods for decades. McDonald’s Monopoly competition isn’t the most subtle but it does show how by creating a game-like environment people are more likely to get involved. This is only set to increase as gaming is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Think about it, play isn’t just for kids anymore. Look anywhere and you’ll see a range of generations on their mobile device playing games like FruitNinja to Candy Crush or even Tetris. As 2019 continues to keep an eye out for the ways that brands start to incorporate more levels of gamification into their offerings. This trend extends past consumers to employees with Target and Amazon both using gamification to increase their staff’s productivity.

Branding Trends in 2019 - Mc Donalds + Monopoly

courtesy of McDonald’s Ireland

eSports: The Newest “Sport” Around

Whether or not you believe that eSports is a true sport, their global dominance is something that can’t be ignored. Global eSports revenue is projected to rise by 27% in 2019 up to $1.1 Billion. This means more brands and corporations will not only sponsor teams but tournaments and other offers. Coca-Cola, Toyota, and T-Mobile are only just a few of the top tier brands that have signed up for sponsorship for games leagues or video game corporations. Don’t be surprised if product placements in relevant video games become more noticeable.

Get Chatty: Why Your Brand Might Need a Chatbot and Voice Search

Chatbots are Here for Good

Discussions on chatbots have been taking place for ages but they have grown from something for larger brands to something that is being discussed for smaller businesses. Chatbots like Jarvis can be incorporated into Facebook Messenger to help with messages that come to your business throughout the day. There are even chatbots to help with customer service on your website. One of the best examples of the power of chatbots is KLM’s partnership with Facebook Messenger. You can now check-in via Messenger and this option is available to all customers.

Branding Trends in 2019 - KLM Airways app assistant

courtesy of KLM Airlines

Talking to the Robots

Did you know “20% of all search queries are voice search.” This fact comes directly from Google and it follows a trend that’s been growing for years. Amazon, Google, and even Apple have been encouraging people to use the voice search option for years. Consumers may have been talking to Alexa and Siri for quick answers but now they are talking shop. What does this mean for marketers? It means that it’s time to think local, revamp your SEO strategy and most importantly to think about how your consumers find your business. If a consumer asks Siri for the “best restaurant near me”, then it’s never been more important to rank high. Siri isn’t going to read the whole page of options.

The best way to create a voice search strategy is by using a marketing concept that Google has called Micro-Moments. By choosing which moments best aligns with the start of the customer journey you can optimise your landing page for voice search to complete the query. Having a marketing strategy for voice search is essential for helping to improve your SEO, ensure that you have the correct one in place with our guide on how to dominate local search.

The Secret is Out About Influencers

 “Influencer marketing is at an inflection point. Brands promoting products via influential individuals is no longer a secret – consumers know they are being marketed to, while still consuming influencer content.”  (Gartner, 2018)


It’s no longer a secret that influencers are often being paid to promote brands and products in their content. This isn’t a huge problem as consumers still consume this content and it shows no signs of slowing down. As consumers are getting savvier about which influencers they follow and trust, it has fallen on marketers to choose the right influencers for them.

What this means is that the shift towards “niche” influencers will grow. You’ll see brands start to partner with influencers that have a follower count as low as 10K. For brands, it’s a winning scenario. They can pay less for influencer content while reaching more of the consumers that matter. 

Aimee Connolly is a popular Irish makeup artist and influencer who has a modest but engaging 98K followers on Instagram. Fans consider her to be authentic and more interested in promoting products that she believes in versus selling them specific products. It’s this level of trust that makes her more influential than those with larger accounts. Consumers have long been weary on advertising and this is starting to trickle into influencer marketing as well. This will make both marketers and influencers more selective about who they partner with.

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Packing for Monaco this weekend and I’m so excited for a bit of 🌞🎉 Some of the travel essentials coming with me include my @SudocremIreland 15g pot for life’s little emergencies – so handy when I need to soothe and protect my skin on the go! I don’t know about you but I find Sudocrem great when I get a breakout on my face with stress or for a cut on my hand. Plus it’s water repellent 🙌🏼 Perfect for hols! I also decant some make-up to save on space(more on stories!)… my laptop just in case there’s a work (‘emergency) 😅, a good book (one of my favourite parts of a holiday), my phone (obviously 🤪) and an adapter which I’ve probably bought a million of in my life time and always lose them! 😅 What are your packing essentials? Any packing tips that I need to know about!? Let me know 👇🏼 You can pick up your handy 15g #Sudocrem in Penneys, Dunnes Stores, Applegreen Garage Forecourts & Pharmacies nationwide ✨ #LLE #Travelgram #sp

A post shared by Aimee Connolly – Makeup Artist (@aimeeconnolly_com) on


The ultimate goal for a brand is to establish a good relationship with influencers that will lead to organic mentions. These have been proven to show the most levels of positivity from consumers.

Work Together: Co-Branding

The textbook definition of co-branding is two or more brand names marketing a product or service. This shouldn’t be confused with co-marketing which is when brands collaborate to market and advertise complimentary services. A prime example of co-marketing is Red Bull and GoPro both brands target people who like to live to the extreme so it makes sense. While co-branding can be seen in Starbucks and Spotify. Employees get access to Spotify Premium and they use that to curate specific playlists. Patrons are then able to access these playlists through the Starbucks Mobile App. The music played in Starbucks is a large part of creating their inviting atmosphere so for Spotify to influence the playlists is a smart marketing tactic.

Branding Trends in 2019 - Starbucks and Spotify

courtesy of Starbucks

This year, more brands will seek to team up for the benefits that come with co-branding. It helps to increase resources and place your brand in front of a new set of consumers. There are some cons to co-branding as the brand is now attached to another. But if the marketing is done right and both brands have a good image it will create huge gains in the long run.

Take A Stand

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR will be discussed more frequently in the months to come. This is a broad term that includes a large number of areas from reducing carbon footprints, becoming more eco-friendly, increasing employee benefits, or even something as simple as donating a playground to a local school. Consumers want brands to more involved in the world beyond trying to sell goods and services.

“92% of consumers have a more positive image of companies that support social issues and environmental efforts” (Forbes, 2018)

The trick for getting involved is that your involvement has to be genuine. This works well for companies like Patagonia where their dedication to the environment is a core part of the brand. While giving back is great regardless of the motivation or intention, if you make CSR apart of your marketing strategy it should be something that relates to your brand and image.

Be Fake with AR + VR

Pokémon Go exploded onto the scene about 3 years ago but since then there hasn’t been another huge cultural phenomenon in the AR scene. This very well could change in 2019. As stated above, gaming is becoming a larger industry and reaching millions of people. AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) will become huge players in this space. The price of VR headsets is continuing to drop and AR is being rolled in more ways. Facebook is helping to bring these technologies to the masses with their VR headset, Oculus and Spark, an AR studio that lets brands use the technology in their advertising. Expect to see more brands that allow you to try on clothes, sunglasses, and view furniture in your apartment. Maybe no other brand will generate the same amount of buzz as Pokémon Go but that could very well be a sign of just how normalised it has become. Look into ways that your brand could implement simple AR into your marketing. 

Branding Trends in 2019 - AR + VR

courtesy of Facebook

These are only our top picks for the biggest branding trends in 2019 but there is still so much to discuss. As with anything in marketing, in the next 6 months, a completely different trend can take the industry by storm. 

All of these branding trends may seem overwhelming but not all of them would be a good fit for your company or brand. The key to anything in marketing is authenticity to ensure that when people receive your message, they engage with it and trust it.

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