Recently, someone asked me to step up to the plate and predict 2010 brand trends. Well, here are 10 stunningly accurate 2010 predictions from the branding crystal ball… enjoy!
(1) Marketing metrics will flourish in 2010. In 2011, marketers will begin to realize that the metrics alone will not salvage their failing brands. As quarterly upticks on marketing dashboards become real time, marketing damage control teams will trip over themselves scrambling to be accountable for sales by the millisecond. Brands that survive the melee will have learned to lead by example and purpose rather than just cater to analytic trends of the moment… And/ or a deeper understanding of what those numbers imply. Not just living in the moment, but brands’ future reasons for being. Nearly every demographic today is more concerned with their future then ever before in modern history.
(2) More financial & banking institutions, large & small, will fail—driven by (a) a consumer backlash against 29.9% credit card interest rates and other forms of legalized usury; (b) general job losses that force a new wave of foreclosures on traditionally secure demographics. Newer, more relevant bank brands emerge.
(3) Credit Cards as we know them will begin to disappear, replaced increasingly by prepaid debit cards. We’ll get new names and brands for these.
(4) Accountability will kill many well-known and major brands—from automobiles to kids’ toys. These brands must deliver on promise or become irrelevant, dying the slow death of commodity brands. Or the quick death of brands that misrepresent who they are. The divide between relevant brands and irrelevant brands will come to an apex in 2010. New players in a given brand space will be more authentic, more relevant, deliver in practice on all touchpoints, and gain market share—overwhelming the status quo brands, or absorbed by status quo brands trying to salvage themselves.
(5) Major US automobile companies will fail in the absence of further government bailouts. Governments will begin to examine buying back rights of way for trains and other alternative transportation modes. More relevant upstart auto/ transportation brands will get the attention they deserve.
See Brand Integrity Blog article, “Brand Demotorization” from January 2009:
(6) Death of the barking 30-second commercial. Rise in brand advertising. Any medium. As audiences reach the boiling point in an over-saturated world of media, and the fact that only 6% of audiences believe an ad is telling the truth anyway—ad dollars will be pulled out of trad 30-second TV spots (or the ones reformatted for online) faster than you can say “buy it now”. Experiential branding—virtual and real—will fill the void, along with branded efforts that offer real value (on physical, intangible, or emotional levels) in product, message, and experience.
(7) Facebook finally gets smarter about digital music/video distribution, aggregation, and streaming—doing a better job integrating artists, publishers, and fans. MySpace will never get this fast enough, despite building a brand around the music scene. MySpace continues to lose market share to Facebook. Once Facebook gets onboard with serious music & video integration, MySpace is left in the dust.
(8) Internet Video/ Broadcast makes Broadcast Television a novelty… in the same way that newspapers and magazines are folding due to content explosion on the Internet, so will the TV as we know it. See #6 above as one of several smoking guns.
(9) Store brands (house brands), like Trader Joe’s (although not necessarily Trader Joe’s store brands), sales will soar in 2010 throughout traditional commodities like food, energy, and other lower tier priced supplies. Manufacturer brands in these categories will need to offer a more than just a cute jingle to justify their existence in today’s market.
(10) Branding will become increasingly important in 2010 from positioning, building, and management standpoints, as companies begin to realize the only way to sustainability is through holistic and kinetic brand integration. Brands will be in motion more, but increasingly so in order to stay true to their brands and relevant to audiences.