With the beginning of the New Year, let us try to beat all the turmoil and bedlam of the preceding year and focus on our positive outlook of 2021. It’s time to be a little more courageous and energetic to plan the next 12 months.
With all the pandemic and suffering, 2020 was not less than unwarranted mayhem. The marketing trend, similarly, went haywire in some aspects, while some predictions did come true. Many ideas and propositions got their life while others didn’t even get the spotlight. Moreover, many concepts and theories had to be reshaped to sustain a healthy and burgeoning market landscape.
E-commerce saw its rise in 2020, with the world actually turning into a small global market. Social media forums and video conferencing became the new normal, as people connected to each other while staying safe in their own spaces. All these changes brought about a total change in the way brands are endorsed.
While turning the chapter to the New Year, let us all look into some of the marketing trends that will surface in 2021:
1. Social Media influencers and live streaming
The pandemic forced the government to take necessary actions to prevent more casualties. Staying home was one crucial safety measure that restricted many social gatherings, launches, and other business events. Hence, in-person socialization with friends and family became impossible.
However, staying at home reshaped the entire socialization concept, with digital meetings coming to the rescue. Live video streaming started to surface, which was readily taken by brands for their product endorsement. Celebrities and social media influencers also used the platform to connect to the world.
A survey reflects this upsurge in the use of social media platforms where live streaming on Facebook increased by 50%, live viewing on Instagram pitched up to 70% on the graph. At the same time, TikTok viewership spiked up with the increased following in 2020. In the following year, 2021, there is still a good chance of a continuous rise in the trajectory.
Live streaming by these influencers instills trust in the viewers as they start to connect with what the influencers are selling or endorsing.
World’s biggest online shopping, Amazon, went to Amazon Live during the lockdown. Also, influencers began to promote their favorite brands during their live streams while attaching links. Livestreams were shoppable, which meant that viewers could click away from the product and purchase while watching their favorite celebrities or influencers.
Many makeup brands invited influencers to promote their brand on live video streaming. NYX Pro Makeup adopted one such strategy to promote their products through influencers for their Annual Pride celebrations.
2. Goal-driven and Compassionate campaigning by brands
The report published by the Hootsuite Social Trends for 2021:
“The brand which would sweep into the lives of the customer, through the social media platforms and by engaging conversations would be the smartest of all.”
The central idea behind this is the essential need for transparency.
Trusting a brand is the most crucial factor in deciding if the consumer will invest in the product. Trusting becomes impossible when consumers fail to connect with what they are shown because they will not invest in the product, which appears to be hazy or unclear to them. Therefore, the connection is the key for brands who want to retain their trust in 2021.
In these pressing times, brands are also learning to survive the tidal turbulence. They have to research deeper so that their market value is not sacrificed. A report from Deloitte states a fundamental fact; brands need to understand to their core that “what are their priorities and whom they intend to provide services.”
We have seen brands doing charities and compassionate branding during the past year, but this trend will keep on rising in 2021 as well.
We’ll keep on seeing more brands running campaigns as the Hilton’s did by sloganeering #HotelsForHeroes, where they welcomed medical officers free of cost, or Chanel’s contribution to the pandemic by making face masks.
3. Customer experience to be improved by UGC
With all the pandemic and lockdown, customer experience has gained immense value to augment any brand’s sales.
Consumers are eager to invest in a brand that makes shopping worth enjoying and the entire experience worth remembering. Having bad experiences in the past, they now look for proof and reassurance before purchasing.
The user-generated content (UGC), in terms of connective content, would tick all the boxes.
• It is encouraging and relatable • Brands can connect with the consumer anywhere, anytime• It helps the brand in generating tons more content against a downfall resulting from the stay-at-home SOPs and preventive measures • It constructs and fortifies communities
UGC has been an effective tool for brands in the past. It has enabled brands to bridge a healthy relationship with the consumer while providing social proof. UGC seems to thrive even better in 2021.
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4. An emphasis on sustainability
With the increase in environmental protection awareness, 81% of consumers staunchly believe that companies should take the necessary steps to improve the environment.
This huge percentage is not as surprising as it appears. Brands have been taking such measures over the past years as there is a shift in the packaging of the products, there is a change being observed in the materials being used. Hence, the companies are now shifting towards a more sustainable future.
The pursuit of a greener planet with reduced pollution continues to remain in the limelight. Consumers are prone to purchase those brands that are goal-oriented and are mindful of the circumstances. With the delicate market, brands have to be cognizant of this purposeful stance to sustain in the year 2021.
The Ocean Cleanup is an example of a brand that has performed exceptionally well. They made a product, launched in October, which was made up of the plastic collected from the Garbage Patch at the Great Pacific.
5. Inclusivity will be a vital tool
A major key to withstand this huge turbulence is inclusivity, an issue that was also in the limelight in the year 2020. The Black Lives Matter movement signifying the prevalent racial issues propagates the idea of comprehensive branding, which is for all people.
Accenture’s research delineates the very trend of inclusivity in the culture where 41% of consumers shift from reluctant retailers to review their racist views. Also, 29% of the consumers are ready to switch their brands if they fail to reflect on identity and diversity.
Are you looking forward to 2021?
The sudden and unwarranted nature of 2020 has forced brands to rethink and reshape their connection with the customers. Lockdown and subsequent stay-at-home orders made people stuck at home, but they spent a lot of their free time on online shopping. This situation led the brands to craft out more human-centric ways to connect and bridge with their buyers.
However, in the following year, 2021, we will keep on seeing this trend. Live video streaming will become more common, brands with a goodwill model will steal the show, and UGC will continue to help the brands reshape their market strategy according to the latest trends.