How Trends Can Serve or Fail Your Branding Process

It’s easy to see how cur­rent trends can be a big influ­ence when in the process of cre­at­ing or reshap­ing your brand – espe­cial­ly your logo. But trends are trends for a rea­son. By def­i­n­i­tion they rep­re­sent some­thing of-the-moment, while the goal of any brand is the exact opposite!

Branding, Design strategy, Trends

Your brand is meant to be time­less, authen­tic to your mis­sion, val­ues, and ser­vices or prod­ucts — what makes your busi­ness unique. You don’t define suc­cess by imi­tat­ing oth­ers. That’s how brands die.

NCD finds it crit­i­cal to estab­lish your brand’s integri­ty from the get go and build on that, form­ing a sol­id, reli­able, iden­ti­fi­able rep­u­ta­tion that can grow as you grow.  You won’t achieve that by fol­low­ing a trend, like the cur­rent hip­ster logo for exam­ple, which is not a true fit if you’re a den­tist office, or finan­cial ser­vice. Your brand is your ulti­mate ID, the foun­da­tion upon which you build every­thing else.

How Trends can Serve or Fail your branding process 

While it’s impor­tant in busi­ness to be up on what’s cur­rent to best reach and serve your mar­ket, beware the hoopla around trends. With all the trend reports, blogs, watch­ers and pre­dic­tions, it can be easy in our all–too-fast dig­i­tal age to feel out of the loop unless you’re on top of – let alone a cre­ator of — what’s new, what’s hot and what’s next.…

Bear in mind, there are two kinds of trends: those that are fleet­ing, and those few that get enough trac­tion to build into a mar­ket shift. For exam­ple, web­sites today require a respon­sive design to adhere to our busy rou­tines, where check­ing infor­ma­tion on a phone is far more acces­si­ble than a com­put­er. While respon­sive design start­ed as a trend, it quick­ly became an indus­try stan­dard that now affects both the expe­ri­ence of a user and prof­its of the company.

We at Nicte Cre­ative Design guide our clients to use trends for their great­est val­ue: your research. Your first ques­tion should be to clar­i­fy the needs of your company’s demo­graph­ic, then study any trends in your indus­try to learn from the most effec­tive. Then ask: what is the appeal of those trends to YOU? How can you make it your own, stand out, com­mu­ni­cate your own val­ues with­out falling into a trend?

Lever­age your research with strate­gic design and get assis­tance incor­po­rat­ing the time­less ele­ments of those trends into your visu­als, prod­ucts or ser­vices and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns!  A pro will check that there’s no copy­right infringe­ment that can cause poten­tial­ly hefty fines — tough for any com­pa­ny, but a con­se­quence that could finan­cial­ly dec­i­mate one new to the market.

NCD guar­an­tees this to be true: Peo­ple who real­ly want to invest in your brand will not do it based on a trend, which always change – just like fash­ion. Some may come back into style decades lat­er, but you don’t want to date your­self!  Use trends to bet­ter what you offer and sharp­en your eye to what trends may be becom­ing game chang­ers so you can get ahead of them in your prod­ucts and ser­vices. But as far as design­ing your brand goes, longevi­ty is key!

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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  1. Great arti­cle on how trends can fail the brand­ing process. Here are some addi­tion­al action­able tips that can help busi­ness­es avoid falling vic­tim to trendy branding:

    Focus on brand val­ues: To build a strong and endur­ing brand, it’s impor­tant to focus on your brand’s val­ues and mis­sion rather than just fol­low­ing the lat­est trends. Devel­op a clear brand strat­e­gy that high­lights your brand’s unique sell­ing propo­si­tion and com­mu­ni­cates your brand val­ues and mission.

    Empha­size authen­tic­i­ty: Con­sumers are increas­ing­ly drawn to brands that are authen­tic and gen­uine. Empha­size authen­tic­i­ty in your brand­ing efforts by using real cus­tomer sto­ries, cre­at­ing relat­able con­tent, and high­light­ing your brand’s unique per­son­al­i­ty and voice.

    Con­sid­er the long-term: Trendy brand­ing may offer short-term gains, but it’s impor­tant to con­sid­er the long-term impact on your brand. Will the trend still be rel­e­vant in a few years? Is it con­sis­tent with your brand’s val­ues and mis­sion? Avoid short-term think­ing and focus on build­ing a strong, endur­ing brand.

    Be cre­ative: Effec­tive brand­ing requires cre­ativ­i­ty and orig­i­nal­i­ty. Instead of sim­ply fol­low­ing the lat­est trends, use cre­ativ­i­ty to devel­op a unique brand iden­ti­ty that stands out from the com­pe­ti­tion. Exper­i­ment with dif­fer­ent design ele­ments, col­ors, and mes­sag­ing to cre­ate a unique and mem­o­rable brand.

    Test and iter­ate: The brand­ing process is not a one-time event, but rather an ongo­ing process of test­ing and iter­at­ing. Use data and feed­back to con­tin­u­al­ly refine your brand strat­e­gy and mes­sag­ing, and adapt to changes in the mar­ket and con­sumer preferences.

    Over­all, avoid­ing trendy brand­ing requires a focus on authen­tic­i­ty, cre­ativ­i­ty, and a long-term per­spec­tive. By fol­low­ing these action­able tips, busi­ness­es can build strong and endur­ing brands that stand the test of time and res­onate with their tar­get audience.

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