By Victoria Greenhall, marketing executive
With so many issues hitting the headlines in recent months, it is not surprising that many brands this year intend to capture what could be defined as the true meaning of Christmas for 2022, moving away from materialistic ideals and instead offering a compassionate voice in a time of political, social and economic turmoil. But what can we learn from this as we go into 2023?
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More of what matters
One of the key trends we will see coming to the forefront in 2023 is ‘hyper fatigue’. Many consumers are set to cut through the noise of mindless consumerism and the over-stimulation that comes hand-in-hand with the digital age. Instead, more and more of us will refocus our attention on what really matters to us.
In fact, some household names have already begun tackling this feeling of fatigue. Most notably, John Lewis touched the nation’s hearts in partnership with Action for Children and Who Cares Scotland? by highlighting how many children are currently in the care system in the UK and McDonald’s brought us an alternative Christmas list campaign, focusing on the importance of family this festive season. Arguably, Christmas 2022 will see many of us embark on a simpler season, spotlighting how we can make the most of what truly matters to us. Swapping extravagant gifts for laughter with family and friends will be key – along with more thoughtful presents under the Christmas tree.
This change in feeling among consumers will likely play a key role in how brands need to communicate their product or service offerings in the new year. This shift marks a good time to review your brand’s tone of voice and positioning to cut through the noise.
Predictive purchasing and marketing
The conscious consumer will not be left behind in 2022. The trend of intentional spending is likely to play a key role in decision-making and the journey that consumers take when they interact with brands. Factors like flexibility, durability and sustainability will be increasingly considered in their value equation.
This is where clear messaging comes in. Once your tone of voice is nailed, you need to figure out what you actually want to communicate to your target audiences and the best channels on which to do this. If you want to attract a certain consumer you need to carefully consider what they value and the process they are likely to undergo in order to reach need recognition and buy -in – not only for your product or service but on a deeper, more emotional level as well.
Values and the driver behind your brand are crucial to relationship-building and their longevity. A great example of how this buy-in can be developed is outdoor clothing company Patagonia, which has long been associated with sustainability and compassion. The reasons include transparency of supply chain processes, its charitable efforts and a strong focus on long-term goals instead of short-term gains.
One of the best ways to maintain successful, long-term relationships in 2023 is anticipated to be through the power of co-creation. Consumers increasingly want to be a part of brands that share their values and to feel that the brand can also make them a better person. They want to instigate positive change and wholeheartedly believe in the brands they consume.
A great way to initiate co-creation is through social media. Social platforms can act as a powerful tool for two-way communication in real-time, worldwide. However, this method does need to be managed as social media messages can easily spread like wildfire.
An example of how a social media campaign can backfire is highlighted by fashion house Balenciaga’s latest photoshoot showing child models posing with apparently bondage-themed bears to promote its new ‘Objects’ range. It caused an outcry, with claims that the images promoted the sexualisation of children. The company removed the images and apologised to its 14 million Instagram followers, while celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid have apparently revisited their associations with the brand following the negative public reaction. It is likely to be recorded in the marketing history books as a distasteful and ugly campaign.
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