Brand Trends for 2022
At Elephant design, we are exploring what is this evolved role of brands in our lives. We believe that brands are no longer just experiences but beliefs and relationships. The challenge for 2022 will be to create new meaningful brand-consumer relationships by balancing purpose & new possibility with profit & affordability. We see future-thinking brands unlock new value and drive brand growth, by focusing on the following core human needs:
Living with the pandemic, consumers are looking to answer the question ‘Why are we here?’ ‘What positive impact can I create for the people and world around me?’ With this, the consumer’s expectation that brands and businesses have a raison d’etre larger than profits is now common.
To build a stronger emotional connection, brands need to build a deeper understanding of what is important to the communities they serve. As creators we can help businesses bring alignment of their purpose with all stakeholders, across all touchpoints.
From social media engagement to establishing a non-profit to combat hunger in India, Zomato responds to consumers and current affairs with humour and heart.
During the pandemic, Mondelez brought alive their new ‘Humaning’ approach to marketing, in the Cadbury’s ‘Not Just a Cadbury’ campaign. The brand used their platforms to support local business across India.
Amazon used their packaging to celebrate their seller partners. The ‘I am Amazon’ campaign communicated that this big business cares for our communities.
The pandemic forced us all to find delight in the everyday and to endure, giving rise to a strong sense of personal strength and individualism. With varied cultural backgrounds, body types, value systems, sexual orientation and gender, the growing population of Indian consumers expects more from brands. Brands will need to reflect a range of authentic experiences to connect with new consumers.
People want to see people like them and to associate with like-minded communities. They prefer brands that are reliable yet show their unique personality. We can help brands navigate their evolving audience, avoiding token diversity and create representations of real people with genuine experiences of belonging.
The successful Phonepe ‘Daddu and Gublu’ campaign “represented the new developing India that is ready to take up changes on its way.”
‘Fastrack – You do You’ campaign is about body celebration and positivity, a brand “manifesto for the youth that identifies with their fluidity, encouraging them to be true to themselves.”
McDonald’s launched the EatQual packaging to make their brand more accessible to specially-abled consumers.
Unprecedented natural disasters, cyber fraud, misuse of consumer data, shortage of food & supplies, and of course the pandemic, has left consumers feeling anxious and helpless, with a significant distrust of brands and big businesses. They want to make informed choices that are nature positive with the expectation that businesses hold the people’s interest first and are not all about profits.
Consumers are seeking out honest, ethical and sustainable brands to support. Brand creators should demonstrate that they are listening to the consumer and allow the consumer to make the choice that feels good to them.
Apple, a leading champion for consumer privacy, designed new features to shift control to the user, allowing them to opt in to data sharing, increase transparency of trackers and even released a report to educate users on ‘A day in the life of their data’.
To reach their sustainability goals, House of Kieraya, home to brands like ‘Furlenco’ and ‘Prava’, launched ‘Furbicle’. This ‘re-commerce’ brand gives furniture and appliances a second life, cutting down furniture waste in landfills and also broadens the consumer base for the company!
In the effort to be more socially and environmentally responsible, many e-commerce and D2C companies are considering alternate packaging materials.
Think Big Basket’s “You return, we recycle” movement, or Nykaa’s paper bubble wrap and personal care brand WOW Skin Science’s paper tube face wash packaging, each of which making considerable strides in reducing the use of plastic packaging.
We all want to escape the 'new normal', are seeking pleasure and to feel optimistic about the future. Consumers want fresh experiences and new possibilities as an antidote to the seemingly permanent state of caution and worry.
Lego challenges the perception of the real world, encouraging their consumers to get creative and re-imagine their world.
Netflix Party enables people to watch content together while being physically apart. Platforms like Fortnite are more than a game, they have become cultural and social hubs. Go to a concert, win branded merchandise, meet friends or make new connections, buy digital assets, inhabit a parallel world and live an extraordinary life.
The pandemic has shifted the way we consume and engage with brands forever. It has highlighted the interdependencies of today’s world, and served as a rude awakening to the consequences of our decisions. All of us are seeking control of our life and more meaningful choices.
Businesses are now operating in uncharted territory. As creators, we must continue to keep the consumer’s needs at the centre of our decision making, to unlock tremendous opportunities for brands in the new era.