What future for brands in 2019?
8 Jan, 2019
The 2018 edition of the Trend Obs entitled “America: I am what I do” places the year 2019 under the sign of positivism and the desire to believe in a more beautiful world.
Let’s take stock: what impact for brands and how can they position themselves?
A desire to beautify the world
The study reveals a desire to work for a more beautiful world and emphasizes the shift from environmental considerations to societal issues. Consumers demand meaning and authenticity, which means that brands must be part of this process, each in their own way, and take part in social debates.
3 out of 5 French people consider that companies today have a more important role than governments in creating a better future.
First, it is essential that brands do their introspection and define their project before surfing on this wave. Societal commitments must be aligned with:
– activity, like Kinder who is involved in childhood
– the manufacturing process and brand actions
– the various stakeholders – consumers, employees, suppliers and influencers. Fleury Michon and the “Come and check” campaign are a good example of this.
Thibaut Nguyen, Director of Trends and Foresight at Ipsos alerte: “Getting into brand engagement will not be enough in the medium and long term. If all brands are committed to improving society, they will have to assert their uniqueness in a different way. In this case, creating more value in the product will become a must again: demanding design, quality materials, authenticity… And also offer it everywhere, at affordable prices. »
All companies will find it difficult to switch all indicators to green, which points to an increase in social washing.
It is urgent for brands to consider CSR as a real growth driver and not as a marketing argument.
The come back of the “American dream”
The second key point of the study echoes the promise of the American dream: the right to be different, the freedom to do business and a world where everyone has opportunities. A trend driven by technological progress that “opens up the professions of tomorrow, the possibilities of social advancement and appears to be an engine of growth,” Thibaut Nguyen emphasizes.
This means that brands must put the individual at the centre and invent new ways of doing things. There are many possibilities:
#1 Re-enchanting the daily routine, a role greatly facilitated by the development of new technologies. Meaningful products and services are favoured by consumers. The quest for spirituality is also essential as a vector of happiness. In this vein, the Thermes d’Allevard has shown itself to be avant-garde by developing in 2012 an application to fight against the evil of the 21st century, stress. Through breathing exercises, Respirelax helps users to regain calm and serenity on a daily basis.
#2 Advocate openness and diversity, such as Airbnb and its campaign #WeAccept (2017) or more recently H&M which, to celebrate the official month of pride, launched a capsule collection to support the LGBTQ+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender).
#3 Support entrepreneurship projects as does the Contrex brand, which has partnered with the “Paris Pionnières” women’s incubator and the Ulule crowdfunding platform to support and help women get started!
Be “nice winners”
In the world of agencies, many of us work for mass consumption brands and at the same time want to live in the wilderness to raise goats and cultivate their own vegetable garden…
The third and last emerging trend points to this contradiction of our time: Emmanuel Macron’s famous “at the same time” which assembles opposites.
“It’s a form of realistic angelicism,” observes Thibaut Nguyen. “Want to build bridges between the real world and its ideal world“. Aspiring to succeed materially while being committed to a humanitarian cause, illustrates the “nice winner”.
In a polarized world where you have to constantly choose sides, the study reveals that not everything is white or black but that it is a question of shades of grey.
On the business side, this means making your brand shine while improving the composition and traceability of products at the risk of being overtaken… First initiated by BIO entities, transparency is no longer optional for brands and this applies to all sectors. The success of the Yuka application only confirms this trend.
Consumers have become consumer actors. They no longer buy blindly and trust responsible brands. A good example? Oh My Cream – concept store offering beauty products with impeccable compositions.
On your marks, get set, clean up!