2018 State of Branding Report

Branding is a complex topic that is key to marketing success. Here is how it has evolved in 2018 and how it is expected to continue to change.

Branding In 2018

Branding is a complicated issue and indispensable part of modern marketing. Bynder and OnBrand have recently released a report that offers insight into the 2018 world of branding. They surveyed over 500 marketing decision-makers in order to craft their report.

Marketers must evolve with their audience to stay relevant and continue to grow. Read on to learn more about current trends and how businesses are utilizing and prioritizing them for growth.

SEE ALSO: Digital Branding Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

1. How to Personalize Through Tech

There are many ways to use tech strategies to help your product reach customers in today’s digital branding environment. However, not all of them will be the perfect fit for your products or audience. The key is not to use every tool and tactic, but to smartly use a few to the advantage of your business.

For example, Domino’s is one major player that has succeeded in personalizing through tech.

In 2017, Domino’s surpassed Pizza Hut in sales for the first time. They are both massive global names. Both even offer similar products. So, what did Domino’s do differently?

Domino’s developed an advertising campaign with agency Crispin Porter + Bogusk called AnyWare.



They expanded ordering to a number of more commonly used devices including:

  • Slack
  • Smart TVs
  • Amazon Alexa

They made ordering even easier for customers with user-friendly tech updates. And it really shows when it comes to sales.

2. Voice Assistants Are A Marketing Must

According to the 2018 State of Branding Report, 40% of respondents are planning on investing in voice assistant technology for marketing.


Some are already using voice assistant tech to offer catered results across niches.

SEE ALSO: Digital Brand Visibility: How Voice Search Changes Everything

However, others are creating entire products around it. These products feature voice tech as the main part of their functionality.

For example, safe driving app Drivemode is embracing this trend with great results. This app offers an eyes-free interface. It lets users to control all of the apps on their phone with their voice while they drive.

However, their success does not mean that every marketing plan must use voice technology. Doing something just for the sake of keeping up with trends often has lacking results. Genuinely consider the benefits and how it will integrate with your brand.

3. Influencer Marketing Remains On Trend

Social media is more influential than ever. Therefore, companies want to maintain effective social media presences. A well-executed social media presence can humanize a brand in a big way. A large part of this process is collaborating with influencers.

Consumers are largely suspicious of ads and many forms of marketing. However, they are more likely to trust each other. They also trust influencers they have been following for some length of time.  When enacted properly, an audience, the influencer, and companies all benefit from these collaborations. In fact, according to a Tomoson study, businesses make over $6 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.

However, influencer marketing is no easy task. You need a concise and airtight influencer marketing strategy that is informed by a solid content strategy.

SEE ALSO: A Cheat Sheet For Working With Social Media Influencers

It is no secret that visual content is a key part of digital marketing. Video content has boomed, and social media influencers are a large part of that. And the popularity of video content is only expected to increase. By the year 2021, it is estimated that 80% of consumer internet traffic will be from watching videos.

4. People Want to Buy from Brands with a Purpose

If you aim to entice the under 40 demographic, brand activism is a must. For example, Millennials and Generation Z value environmental and social causes. They also want the brands they interact with to value them.

So, exactly how important is this? In a study by Forbes, 75% of millennials said it matters to them that brands give back.

It is not enough for a brand to simply offer products. They must have a voice, personality, and recognizable core values. All of these should feel authentic. Consumers don’t just want to buy things from brands. They want to build relationships with brands. They want to feel these businesses are improving their lives and the world in some way.

Purpose-Based Branding Done Right

For example, South Asian clothing rental brand We Wear Us is doing this very well. They provide South Asian designers a place to sell their designs and tell their stories, and women around the world a way to access their designs and celebrate their culture affordably.

This is not framed as a simple clothing rental service, but as a brand that offers value to a global community. It is marketed and functions as a modern way to celebrate South Asian designers, culture, and women.

Many brands can benefit from picking a cause or community to be a part of and benefit. However, it must feel and be honest to be effective. Consumers are often smart and do not want to be pandered to or given empty promises.

5. Marketing Teams Are Going High Tech

In the 2018 State of Branding Report, when asked what their main priority of 2018 would be, a quarter of respondents said that their goal was to improve customer experience.


Who companies are investing in reflects this goal. Over half of respondents said they were investing in creative talent and technical talent. This includes:

  • Designers
  • Copywriters
  • Videographers
  • Developers
  • UX designers

Businesses want to ensure that their applications and products are seamless and user-friendly. They want them to have the right look and feel. Consequently, they are hiring those with the talent to take them to the next level.

SEE ALSO: A Content-first Approach to Redesigning Your Firm’s Website

Change is definitely on the horizon in the world of branding. Therefore, businesses must be ready to take advantage of these shifts to the fullest.

Brands Are Constantly Evolving

In brief, These trends are not rules or guarantees. They are not set in stone. Every brand is unique and every niche is unique. Also, different audiences will respond differently to different marketing and branding techniques. The world of digital branding and marketing is one that is constantly changing. So, as technology and consumers evolve, so must businesses.

Ultimately, the main trends of 2018 provide many things to consider. Ask yourself these questions about your brand:

  1. Are you using tech to personalize your brand?
  2. Is voice tech relevant to your brand?
  3. Are you using influencer marketing to your brand’s advantage?
  4. What is your brand’s purpose and are you communicating that purpose to consumers?
  5. Have you built a team with the right tech knowledge and creative skills to build your brand’s success?

Today’s world of digital marketing looks almost nothing like the one ten years ago. Keep that in mind as you build your brand.

What do you think the branding trends of 2019 will look like? Comment below…



Written by
Juntae DeLane

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