What do your brand, plant foods, Barbie dolls, and mineral water have in common? The truth is that it is enough.
There is now much debate as to whether bottled water is really a better choice than soda. Or that a plant-based diet is healthier than eating meat. And some people don’t like the pay gap between male and female professionals. Others are still considering whether there are enough variations of the Barbie doll.
Even subtle hints of a ubiquitous cultural trend can give your brand an edge over the competition. But whatever you do … it has to be authentic.
How to be aware of trends
Obviously, your marketing team needs to study, understand and embrace cultural trends to avoid time, money, and resources and potentially irritate or alienate consumers.
Begin this process with the following four steps.
- Know your audience
Knowing everything you can know about your audience should always be a marketing priority. It is the only way to accurately reach the right consumers, refine your brand message, motivate actions and keep your customers happy.
While reliable data should be the foundation of your marketing campaign, don’t just rely on numbers and numbers. And look beyond demographics, see cultural trends that are also important to your audience – what are they interested in? What are they passionate about? How do they spend their time? What are your expectations for the companies you do business with and the products you use?
- Do your cultural research
Discover the cultural trends that affect your audience and business now and shortly.
Well-known examples include the appearance of business icons and how startups remain competitive; the emergence of products, services, and opportunities for baby boomers; and how awareness trends have inspired companies to include offers that promote tranquility and balance. The impact of the millennium generation on society is also significant: from the redefinition of the American dream to its casual attitudes towards dresses, traditions, gender norms, and more.
Don’t forget to look for niche topics that directly impact your consumers or brand. For example, if you are selling food or drink, it can be useful to understand the nuances of the battle between soda and bottled water (consumers looking for options with less or no sugar, cost, packaging environmental impact, etc.).
- Create a message suggesting something
After learning about your audience and the cultural trends that influence them, it’s time to develop a message that (or better yet) aligns with a broader cultural history. Choose words that impress. Make your message simple but powerful. And make sure your brand’s message is creative, clear, and consistent.
For inspiration, check out the brands that redefined gender role norms with their simple and powerful posts. Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign, Under Armor’s I Will What I Want campaign, and P&G’s #LikeAGirl campaign was hailed for promoting empowerment, diversity, and opportunity for women.
Enhance your message with visual aids
In marketing messages, visual aids are often as important to the campaign as the written or spoken word. From videos to well-placed photos and labels, the right look can create an emotional connection with consumers, inspire them to act, and convince them of their cultural relevance.
Carefully consider ways to deliver footage to your audience, paying special attention to the newer, nontraditional paths that currently have the highest user engagement metrics.
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In a rapidly changing world, understanding cultural trends is essential to making your brand relevant and engaging your audience. Only then can you set up truly exciting, motivational, and successful marketing campaigns.