While technology will dominate marketing direction in 2016, from virtual reality to tapping into smart everything, there are four exciting trends that will see brands strive to make a more authentic impact.
The "Science of Alliance" is strong. This looks set to become more commonplace, particularly in the luxury retail sector where upper-end brands (on their own) are struggling to be relevant to the younger wave of consumers. A pairing that caught our eye last year was between Hermes and Apple Watch
But more to the point of authentic, the eight year partnership between Centrum® and the SA Emergency Rescue Services set the bar high in terms of co-branding in South Africa. We're sure to see similar alliances strive to make a social impact in the future.
Who could forget the #PLAYWITHOREO pop-up café in Rosebank? A delicious innovation, made even sweeter by being temporary. Social media played its part - spreading FOMO throughout the country and giving the brand longevity though visible online customer feedback.
Also The Street Store
, "The world's first rent-free, premises-free, free pop-up clothing store for the homeless, found entirely on the street..." How amazing was that? The more emphasis we put on quality and creating value the more likely we are to enter (and create) the wonderful world of impactful pop-ups.
Up-cycling is about recognising the value in old or discarded things. Seeing something differently and transforming it. This story
about old payphones in New York City being used as super-fast, free Wi-Fi kiosks is inspiring.
South Africa already has a strong culture of up-cycling - whether it is actual city centres, specific buildings or the humble plastic bag. It's only a matter of time before our big brands start designing their products or packaging in such a way that they have value beyond their original use.
Brands like Unilever are making sure that they share their commitment to a "Bright Future" as are KFC with their ongoing Add Hope campaign, and many others. Brands that don't have a strategy for authentic change in place will need to focus on finding one and sharing it in 2016.
Bernadette Jiwa recently wrote an article
highlighting the three marketing superpowers of Judgement, Empathy and Timing - all of which resonate with how we see brand positioning in 2016. So let's do it wisely and kindly and as soon as possible.