Branding Tips, Tricks and Trends For Businesses In 2022

Branding Tips, Tricks and Trends For Businesses
One of the few good things the pandemic has awoken is Americans' entrepreneurial spirit. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 5.4 million new business applications in 2021, a jump from the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million. These are exciting times; after all, small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy, and it's a great way to set our nation towards a better economic future.

However, we also cannot deny that this presents plenty of problems for small businesses in any industry. More businesses opening up means more competition, more saturated markets, and brands having to fight tooth and nail to get themselves noticed by their target demographic.

Thankfully, there are plenty of digital and traditional marketing tools that can help brands reach audiences and convert that engagement into sales. One of those tools is solid brand identity. Whether your business is just starting or you're thinking of doing a massive re-brand, here are some branding and visual identity tips, tricks, and trends you need to know this year.

Adaptable Logos

An excellent brand logo must be five things:
  • Captivating or eye-catching
  • Memorable
  • Elegant or timeless
  • Look good whether it's big or small
  • Perfectly encapsulate the vibe of the brand

Once you have these five things down pat, you can now focus on a branding trend that is crucial during this cultural moment: An adaptable logo. This means that the logo must be scaled down or up depending on how you use it. The challenge here is creating a logo that can take on various forms or versions but is still recognizable to the eye. As the world continues to have multiple digital platforms and social networks, brands need to have shape-shifting logos that can adapt to any environment or condition.

Disruptive or Rule-Breaking

2022 is not the year of safety. While there is always room for elegance and simplicity, it would benefit brands greatly if they come up with content that's a bit disruptive or breaks the rules now and again. Here are some practical ways this can manifest:
  • Wild lettering that makes the eye do a double-take: Consider partnering with artists or graphic designers known for breaking the rules to create paradigm-shifting art.
  • Images that break standard rules or fundamental principles of photography: You can accomplish this through composition or post-processing. Suppose you want to get your message across through images. In that case, you must partner with a photographer or a product image editing professional or service known for understanding a brand's vision to get the results you need.

Brand Activism

There are no two ways about it: Today's consumers are conscious and all too aware of how their choices impact humanity and the environment. This is why as you come up with a strong visual identity for your brand, you cannot separate your brand activism from it.

Before you can incorporate your advocacy into your identity, you first need to determine which area of need you want your brand to help meet. Whether it's for the environment or something more related to social responsibility or ethical sourcing, you want to ensure that it is woven into your brand's visual identity, no matter how subtle.

A designer from New York transformed some of the most popular and recognizable logos globally as a statement of support for today's most marginalized communities or speaking out about our country's most pressing issues. Here are some examples of her edits and how she managed to use brands to weave advocacy into the logos:
  • Hershey's chocolates turned their logo into Her/She to advocate for the use of proper pronouns.
  • Vans turned their logo into "trans" and incorporated the colors purple and pink, which are the colors in the transgender flag, to champion the trans community.
  • Disney was turned into a "defund."

These are just some examples, and they are indeed clever. Here's a precaution, though: The last thing you want your brand to do is performative activism. It's one thing to voice public support through visual cues and posts, but it's another thing to put your money where your mouth is. Don't just incorporate your advocacy into your visual identity or content; make sure that the brand is doing something in more practical and helpful ways through corporate social responsibility (CSR).

To survive the incredibly saturated business world, brands need to learn how to ebb and flow as the world turns and trends come and go. To stay relevant, they must establish a strong brand or visual identity that catches the eye and manages to care about the things that their target demographic cares about.
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