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The new 2013 year is almost here. As you have probably heard, 13 is a number that symbolizes many different things. In religion, 13 stands for the number of guests who were present at the Last Supper and the number of the tribes in Israel. In science, there are 13 basic constants of physics. Also, the volume relationship between the Sun and the Earth is equal to 1310. In shopping terms, 13 articles make the so-called “baker’s dozen”. In anthology, on the other hand, there are Aztecs’ 13 skies.
Now, this versatile number moves into the branding and marketing industry. Here are 13 trends for 2013 that may turn out to be quite crucial for brand managers and marketers:
Customer expectations – In the last 10 years, the expectations of clients increased with about 28% on the average. However, brands from various sectors managed to give them barely 8%. Obviously, this does not cover even one half of the desired percentage. Measurements of real expectations that are accurate provide brands with more advantages and show them what they need to do in order to satisfy their clients.
Personalized products and services – Consumers now know that they have the upper hand and are able to set the pace in market. As a result, today more of them want to be offered personalized services and products. That leads to the customization of products and brands to certain groups of consumers. In the future, the significance of a brand’s customization will grow along that of ROI of loyalty and profitability made-to-order.
Constant connection with the customers – Retailing through the Internet is becoming and everyday activity. That is why now clients want to have a constant connection to the brands they prefer in various ways. Therefore, companies should start to offer their products at online retail stores (e.g. Amazon) or provide material kiosks (e.g. Groupon). In short, brands should give their customers more and different access to their services and products.
New apps – Voice assistants or voice assistance apps will gain more popularity. They will be made available for a broader range of electronic devices so that they can offer fast and personal support to the clients whose expectations increase with every day.
Brands become endangered species – The number of real brands will greatly decrease. The instances of brands that satisfy clients have turned into a model which they use to estimate the value of services and products. The name brands will continue to apply for them. However, clients will see them as placeholders of a category. Advantage will have companies which know how to make their clients fans.
Stories that can make a difference – Brands which have the ambition to succeed and to build emotional connections with their customers should use stories. They will need to fill the gap between the brand’s image and its emotional aspects. In that way brands will be able to come up with stories that will be engaging, interesting and entertaining.
Eco-friendly doesn’t always mean easy – Fair-trade, eco-friendly design and production, as well as consumption that is socially conscious will become more and more popular in shopping, producing and selling. However, corporate responsibility and sustainability will rise because of the brands’ better connection with their customers and the clients’ access to the activities of the brands.
Social sensitivity – Today, the choice and the habits of consumers are, more than ever, influenced by their friends and the social networks. But brands should know that peer-to-peer communication can go in one of these three directions: good, bad and boring. In other words, companies are more likely to become indifferent to their clients. That can have a massive effect on the brands. Therefore, successful will be only those who know everything about these networks and their users.
Mobile devices take over the world – The popularity of mobile devices will continue to rise. Clients now prefer to use these mobile technology to connect with their preferred brands. Do you google on your tablet the price of a Burberry bag before flashing your credit card at the store? That is why companies have to find a way to incorporate mobile technologies in their business. Customized or targeted mobile campaigns are one thing they should try. Also, they should adapt their sites and promo materials for mobile use.
Evolution of the apps – Next year, people will continue to use applications. However, in 2013, apps won’t simply fall into categories like GPS, media and games. Applications will become a tool that will remind, monitor, learn, suggest and know the preferences of the user. So, brands will need to offer such intimate and emotional services to their customers.
Brand presence in the social networks is a must – Almost every company has a social page. Today, brands no longer wonder if they should create a page in some social network, but how to manage the page. Brands need to think of new content and new ways to connect with people and offer deals and promos. However, they should do that after they consider their category and the type of the social website they use. Companies will use more tools similar to Digital Platforms GPS to help them navigate in the online social world.
Coping with the overflow – The number of services and products offered today is constantly increasing. Brands are using more platforms and streams to promote them. However, that floods the market with marketing and messaging. Now it is not enough to be different from the rest. Brands will also need to take the time and find interesting pre-launch activities if they want to be noticed.
Engagement will be more important than ever – Brands need to engage their less active clients. Otherwise, they risk losing them. To increase engagement with their customers, companies should try to engage people in every possible way – though content marketing, various messages, social platforms, programs and etc. Also, brands should never lose the focus of this activity, which is to engage more clients.
You have probably heard that the number 13 is considered by some to bring bad luck. That, however, is the case only with brands that don’t pay attention to these trends that are expected to affect engagement, marketing and branding in 2013.
*By New Media Group – the most powerful independent content marketer and social media services provider in Dubai and the wider region. The firm publishes www.dubaichronicle.com, www.gulfnewswire.com, www.bride-wedding.info, www.christmas-newyear.com and it is preparing the launch of www.abudhabichronicle.com. For enquiries, please write to Info@newmediagroup.biz.