1. Green is the New Rose Quartz
After their highly accurate Rose Quartz prediction for 2016 Pantone Colour Institute has announced 2017 will be the year of ‘greenery.” Or more specifically Pantone 15-0343 which has been selected for it’s “refreshing and revitalising shade” and for being “symbolic of new beginnings.” As Beatrice Wiseman, executive director of the Pantone explains “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalise, Greenery symbolises the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” So, from the clothes we stand in, to the rooms we slouch in expect to see it sprouting up around you in the months ahead.
2. Modern Retro
Reinterpreting the past is not a new idea in graphic design, there has always been a culture of looking back to move forward. However, recently there has been an increase in ‘Modern Retro’, which looks to more recent decades such as the 80s and 90’s. We have seen an emerging 90’s nostalgia in fashion trends throughout 2016, set to continue in 2017 and filter through into the wider design world. Borrowing stylistic qualities and themes from the past creates an inevitable sense of nostalgia, which can provide an immediate connection with the user. Some visual cues to look out for: retro patterns and shapes, technology – looking to old technology to create desired aesthetic, think pixels, video games, television graphics, music videos and iconic gadgets, geometric shapes and retro colour palettes, such as bold brights and neons. From movie posters to food packaging, this trend is set to be the ‘new old’ aesthetic this year.
3. Location Based Advertising
Location-based advertising may not mean much to you but you’ll almost inevitably interact with this tech numerous times daily. The crux is that most folk have their mobiles on them at all times during transit and don’t opt-out of sharing location data with their myriad of apps. Clever apps. Apps that have started to target you, in real time with personalised content. Imagine you’re up in the Highlands – your phone buzzes. 50% off in Starbucks. Nearest one is 50 miles away. Wonderful. Swipe. You get the same message in central Edinburgh, a glance across the road and there it is – boom. Incidentally, Starbucks did this and 100% more people entered the store as a result. This is a very simple explanation but demonstrates on a basic level what LBA does – it can extend to targeting you based on time of day, language/dialects, personal preference for almost anything – the opportunities are endless. Watch this space.
Chatbots really took off 2016 and this year they are only going to get bigger. Chatbots mean that instead of consumers having to download multiple apps to communicate with businesses they can talk directly with these ‘chatbots’ to find out product info, customer service queries and even conduct transactions.
News sites like CNN and the Wall Street Journal have chatbots that give people the option to chat directly to receive breaking news and stock prices and there’s even a MemeGenBot, that yep, you guessed it, generates a meme for you.
Chatbots allow consumers to engage with businesses on a more real-time, personal level, and even though it’s a simulation it’s far more genuine and reliable than other marketing mediums.
5. Influencer Marketing
It could be argued that influencer marketing is nothing new; companies have been using influential individuals like celebrities to promote and share products for years. However it’s the type of influential individual that is changing… 2017 will see more and more brands teaming up with bloggers and vloggers to create new and engaging content instead of the usual celebrity collaboration. What makes these bloggers different to celebrities is the fact that they are far more humanized, accessible and approachable – and have a social following that some brands could only dream of. These bloggers are internet celebrities and have a whole community of followers at their beckoning call – who also trust every word they say. By teaming up with said bloggers businesses can tap into a huge number of potential new consumers and gain exposure like never before.
6. Protein/Sports Nutrition Marketing
In the past protein powders and bars used to be things that were only really associated with bodybuilders and Olympic athletes. However in todays clean eating and gym-focused society it’s not uncommon to find these products in the cupboards of everyday exercisers. People want to incorporate said protein drinks/bars/powders into their everyday lives in order to live a healthier and well-rounded lifestyle.
Emma Clifford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said: “Fuelling the shift towards the mainstream use is the growing availability and visibility of accessible snacks and drinks from sports nutrition brands.” In 2017 it wouldn’t be surprising to see more and more food/drink brands focusing on protein content and marketing this accordingly, we could even see brands such as Red Bull and Lucozade releasing a high protein drink.
7. Live Video
Live video certainly isn’t a surprising trend for 2017 but it’s one that is only going to get bigger this year. It first became popular via the streaming app Periscope back in 2015 and the idea of live streaming on social apps started to gain traction with Facebook Live in 2016. Today live video can be found on almost every app apart from Pinterest, and companies/businesses are able to stream content to their consumers in real time at the click of a button. Live video taps into the idea of creating a more immediate and authentic type of engagement with consumers and helps to humanize companies. Live video is the future for businesses and those who don’t plan to embrace it will only get left behind.
8. Blurred Lines… Working Without Walls (…Or Borders)
We’ve seen this sort of approach in the past with small businesses. However, given the pressures on the global economy and risks associated, companies are now looking towards a more fluid and cost-effective way of working. Agencies are looking at how they can build a global client base without the large overhead costs usually associated. Given the ability to exploit advances in technology and cloud based services such as Google docs and Dropbox as well as chat apps such as Slack, companies can abandon the restraints of an office in each location they want to operate in. Thus, allowing them to grow and acquire market opportunities domestically and internationally quicker and easier. Agencies without a head office and fixed locations will be a flourishing trend in 2017 and beyond due to the nature of the ability to grow a business and a client base without the expensive overheads of the past.
9. Brand with a Conscious
(Un)fortunately consumers and brands of the 21st century don’t have the luxury of ignorance and naivety towards the impact of our actions towards the environment. There are no longer excuses of having a lack of awareness on the effect we have on the world, not just towards the environment but our impact on different cultures also. We now live in an age where consumers have more control over brands than they used to. Through the evolution of technology, and social platforms the idea of co-creation is no longer an option for brands to opt in or opt out of. Consumers opinions will be heard, brands can be damaged in a fraction of the time they used to and it isn’t as simple as a quick publicity stunt to make companies look good again. The change in this brand-consumer relationship, the consumers desire to play their part in environmental change as well as an increasing choice for consumers to jump from product to product, brands now need to gain trust and loyalty through an actionable and honest sustainability brand strategy. The development of this conscious, we believe, will determine a brands position in the marketplace within, as short as, a few years.
10. Immersive Content
2016 was the year we saw millions of people walking around glued to their phones all in the name of Pokémon Go. It was also the year the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR were released – all in all it was a pretty big tech breakthrough year for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
With so many VR and AR tech being released in just one year we can only imagine what’s in store for 2017. This type of tech use to be limited to the gaming community, but thanks to todays technological advances, it’s now easier than ever to get your hands on one. It provides consumers with a unique and far more memorable interaction and with companies like Facebook, Snapchat and Google who have already heavily invested in this type of content, we predict some pretty big growth for VR and AR in 2017.
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