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As 2017 wrapped up, we asked some of Spencer Brenneman, LLC’s favorites to share their thoughts on what’s to come in 2018 in terms of marketing and branding trends. Here they are! Don’t be shy! Add your thoughts, either in agreement or disagreement! We can take it! Reply here or contact us!

Kim Vanni

Designer, Art Director, and all-around Creative Chick
Kim Vanni, designs

While Millennial Pink may not disappear, bolder color palettes will be everywhere and juxtaposed in unexpected combinations, especially in photography and typography (Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet). Likewise, look for double-exposure treatments in graphics and type and a continuation of the geometric–print trend with new and bold textures/backgrounds. The counterbalance: hand-drawn graphics and fonts, and a minimalism reminiscent of deco- or even mid-century modern (with a twist, of course!).

Mark Halliday

Director of Marketing Operations and Demand Gen
ExaGrid Systems

For marketing and branding trends, 2018 will be the year marketing realizes that people don’t want to be marketed to, and that dwindling response rates from traditional marketing tactics and campaigns aren’t going to recover. It’s time for something new. I think you’ll see many companies start to seriously invest in developing unique, engaging content to attract, engage, and grow audiences. And to achieve this they’ll need to look beyond traditional marketing skills and recruit people with media savvy. Every company has a product or service, but many struggle to attract the audience to sell to. If you create an audience, the potential is limitless.

Ginna Hall

Senior Content Marketer
Visual IQ, A Nielsen Company

Happy 2018! This year, brands will get smarter about human behavior and start to apply this knowledge in new ways. We have twenty years of insight into how people travel across the internet and another ten into how they hop from device to device: smartphone, laptop, and tablet (sometimes while the TV is on). The technology is now in place to figure out not just how “personas” behave, but how individuals behave. For consumers, this may be a bit startling; for marketers, it’s very exciting.

Erika Alter

CMO, alva
Chief Marketer, ESA Marketing  

Whether B2C or B2B, AUTHENTICITY will remain key to maintaining strong stakeholder relationships, and therefore strong brand reputations in 2018. Social media is not going away, and anyone with an influential Twitter account has the power to make or break a brand.

Through my work with alva, I have been engaging with senior Comms and Marketing leaders who have had an integral role in helping their firms shift away from a short-term, shareholder-centric focus to long-term, sustainable relationships.

Leaders in Communications and Marketing are best positioned to leverage reputation intelligence and use that information to drive authentic business decisions and deliver a brand that successfully connects with all of their stakeholders.

Katharine Ramsden

Branded Content Consultant

Biggest marketing and branding trends? Ethics become a brand differentiator! It was once sufficient for organizations to apologize when they got things wrong. In 2018, companies will embrace issues beyond the traditional CSR agenda.

Increasingly, customers have demanded brands do the right thing, often via social media. The risk to brands of inaction and resulting reputational damage has coincided with a decline in trust and faith in governments, press, and corporations generally, and will create an opportunity for companies to step up.

Being proactive on issues concerning customers and employees will become a powerful point of brand differentiation and ethics will become a critical KPI.

Neal Strauss

Social Media Strategist

LinkedIn and Snapchat will be the 2 big platforms to watch, while the content of advertisements will change.

LinkedIn now has video, and we are seeing brands incorporate this into their marketing, sales, and even recruiting tactics as an additional way to engage with their target audience. Not only is the video content polished, but it is also ‘off the cuff’. I think we’ll be seeing many corporate leaders and influencers jumping on this trend to grow their connection.

2018 will be a “make or break” year for Snapchat. They need to prove to brands that their platform can help them achieve their goals (and make them money).

Finally, as Mark mentions above, you will see more businesses launching email and social media campaigns with engagement as the big idea. Keep an eye on the what and who of advertisements. I think we will see more person-to-person advertisements. Meaning the leadership, employees, or customers speaking with us, instead of the brand.

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