Imagine a Cadbury’s chocolate bar ...with bright yellow wrapping instead of the iconic Cadbury’s purple.
If Skype changed its emblematic sky blue logo ...to beige - it would instantly change perceptions.
That is why we take colour so seriously at Sambecketts. We know it counts in all visual communications.
The company which led the way in ‘the science of colour’ is Pantone. In 1963 they created the now legendary Pantone reference scheme – a way for designers and printers to identify specifically what shade of red was required or at a frighteningly nerdy level, how deep the tone of green.
At the Pantone Color Institute they publish the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report. The report forecasts the top colours we can expect to see from international fashion designers on the catwalk each season. This is the Spring 2018 collection. Take a look at their video above and see what you think?
Let’s try and get past the various buzzwords and overly-repeated phrases.
When marketing companies talk about your brand, declaring that: you must evolve or go bust, you must develop or shrink, I imagine two conflicting emotions collide: worry and scepticism. On the one hand you know that being informed about trends is a useful part of business growth and you worry about missing something important. On the other hand you know that your business has its own unique qualities, challenges, peculiarities, strengths and failings. You know that there is no such thing as a simple fix-all, sat waiting for your attention, hence that sceptical ‘one raised eyebrow’.
So here is what we think really counts and what you might consider about your brand development in Feb 2018.
There is a change happening and it might feel counter-intuitive at first. Most businesses would, typically, think that to be focused on customer happiness was a pretty good aspiration. Would you? Happy customer, repeat business, satisfied client, contract renewal. This is a service company mentality and great service is a wonderful starting point for businesses but times have changed and great service only gets you so far.
Believe it or not if you just focus on service your business could be vulnerable. The new breeds of successful companies act, instead, like product companies. What’s the difference? Product companies innovate. They refresh and improve whatever it is they are selling, both quickly and effectively. And with every new refreshment or improvement they offer better value. This Silicon Valley approach to customer retention, loyalty and growth is a trend which shows no sign of reducing – quite the reverse. Adopting a Product Company mentality into your culture will strengthen your brand.
For your brand to enjoy cultural relevance, you will need to embrace the openness of User-Generated content. With many companies that might simply be limited to customer reviews but even so, your ability to connect and create fidelity between what you want to give and what your customers get, will need professional attention. We believe that a powerful starting point will be the acceptance that Product Companies will lead the way in the next few years.
Product companies innovate. They refresh and improve whatever it is they are selling, both quickly and effectively. And with every new refreshment or improvement they offer better value. People continue to love culture more than products but the line between the two is blurring and will continue to do so. This isn’t just a call for more corporate social responsibility. There is a more authentic need for businesses to think deeply about their values and how, where and when to communicate. All meaningful relationships include discovering what makes each other tick. They involve both giving and taking. Big Data continues to personalise the marketing experience but intrusion is the drop under the high wire. Intrusion is the threat when a business wants to understand its customers. The art of listening, improving and adding value is the pole in the Tightrope Walker’s hands. To balance effectively, brands will need to make improvements which feel personal to their customers and respectful to the cultures where they meet.
Facebook explores a new way and AI splits the difference.
2018 ushers in a new era in Social Media advertising. Last autumn Facebook quietly introduced a new ‘explore’ feed. Why does this matter to companies? For years now Facebook has been reducing the free reach option.
In the past, companies could gather Facebook followers, upload content and enjoy considerable exposure through a traditional ‘organic’ process. Companies wanting to turbo-charge the reach could also use the boost feature (...it does what it says on the tin and boosts the post to reach more consumers). This paid boost option has gradually increased. The last credible stat on this was that organic had fallen to as low as 2% and now it seems likely that Facebook will, in 2018 end the free option completely.
Facebook feeds are at breaking point and testing has already begun in some countries to silence all company social content from the overcrowded news feed, transferring them all to ‘explore’ unless ad costs are paid. A new era indeed.
Is it worth it? The stats tell the story with consumers spending increasingly more time on social platforms – younger markets up to a staggering 9 hours a day. And the success of Facebook advertising is in its ability to target ads with phenomenal precision.
If your company wants to target women healthcare workers who live in Dorset, enjoy eating Mexican food and drive cars, Facebook can find them and share your posts accordingly. For agencies like Sambecketts working with companies to help them identify new markets this is an extraordinary opportunity. It takes skill to set up campaigns but those campaigns are more and more effective thanks to the new era of precision targeting. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also play an increasingly vital role this year in determining which ads are working on social platforms and the optimal second – yes second (not hour, not day, not minute – second!) for posting your content.
This kind of hyper-local, hyper-targeted and hyper-timed millisecond marketing will take much of the guesswork out of ad campaigns. But don’t be fooled that all of this incredible science will reduce the need for flair and creativity. Smart companies will still need to combine great creativity with emerging AI technology if they want to stay ahead of competitors.
The era of ‘going viral’ has changed. Going viral tells you nothing. It might stoke the ego of company owners but we now know that it doesn’t necessarily show-up on the bottom line. So one without the other simply won’t work – tech and creative still need each other. Even so, it is a mouth-watering prospect for marketing companies who want to deliver great results for clients. These algorithms are like footsoldiers for Creatives, able to alert them within milliseconds to what is working best and adjusting posts automatically to make sure only the most effective content is being seen.
If you want your company to take advantage of Social platform advertising call us for a chat. We would love to discuss your unique requirements, large or small.
January 2018 Keep it under your hat - the renting revolution moves into fashion
The trend for consumers demanding convenience and limitless choice at rock bottom prices shows no sign of slowing down. The music industry has long passed the tipping point with subscription sites like Spotify enjoying deeper and broader market share. People have become used to paying a flat, affordable monthly fee and having it all. Amazon did it with kindle and your bookshelf, Netflix with your TV and movie entertainment.
Now, the latest trend developing in the US is for rented clothing.
‘All you can wear’ deals where consumers pay a monthly fee to rent designer clothes for formal events, special occasions and (coming soon folks) everyday and work wear. If it grows at the rate retail analysts expect, it will be just one more in the domino effect of industry disruptions – this time, fashion.
Market leader, Rent the runway is bullish. Earlier this year co-founder Jennifer Hyman while announcing RTR had achieved over $100m sales last year said that they now aimed to ‘put Zara and H & M out of business’. A model of subscription where consumers will pay a monthly subscription of estimated between £100 - £150 per month to include every aspect of your wardrobe: clothes, accessories, bags – up to 4 items at a time and continuous refreshment throughout the month. The business says they provide ‘experiential marketing’ for young designers and brands, offering a younger market the chance to enjoy clothing, which typically would fall into an older market’s price bands. They offer sellers the chance for a much earlier connection with their customers and the increased exposure, they say, will have significant implications for increasing share and sales. For the consumer the attraction is obvious too – unlimited wardrobe options at consistent pricing levels.
Marketing and web analytics is playing a critical role as it establishes shipping and distribution models, pricing structures, buying behaviours and targeting as personalisation of choices becomes ever more ‘personal’. The race is now on for this trend to find you, meet your needs, get the pricing right for your pocket and simplify the entire retail experience, including bricks and mortar options for trying on and choosing your rental wardrobe in your lunch break or after work. The line between online and offline shopping will blur into an easier, more affordable, more convenient and flexible choice model and marketing analytics will navigate the change.