5 Brand Trends for 2013

I don’t have a crystal ball, but that doesn’t stop me from having some opinions about what the year to come has in store. Check out my five predictions for brand trends in 2013 and let me know what you think in the comment section below!

1. The Royal Waiting

Anything Kate Middleton wears while baking the royal bun in the oven is sure to be an instant hit.  And it’s a pretty safe bet that the Duchess won’t be wearing anything too sexy or body clinging while she’s waiting for her royal heir to hatch. Will we be seeing a throw back to the formless maternity dresses and peter pan collars of Lady Diana? Probably not. You can bet Kate will continue to build her own personal brand with a maternity look that’s stylish, practical, and demure all at the same time. There’s likely a relatively unknown British maternity designer that’s about to become a household name. Look for knock-offs to appear immediately in the stores. Topshop may even start a maternity line.

2. Instagram becomes the new Facebook for tweens

Many tweens (ages 10-12) aren’t allowed to have Facebook accounts, but many others have their own iPads (or at least constant access to the family device). Bottom line: these almost-teenagers want to share everything, and pictures have always been worth a thousand words. Will this set still want to graduate to Facebook when their parents finally give the ‘okay’, or will they eventually fuel the growth of Instagram as the hottest social media channel? I predict the latter.

3. Blind Agency Pitches

The best part of the immensely popular talent show “The Voice” is the first weeks when the judges choose contestants based solely on their singing ability. Chairs facing away from the stage, the performers’ appearance has no influence on whether they make it on to one of the judge’s teams. I think agencies will soon be asked to pitch in a similar way. I mean, I can just imagine potential clients sitting enthroned in over-sized leather chairs, fingers hovering over big red buttons. Perhaps the strength of a small, relatively obscure agency’s simply brilliant core idea will finally have the chance to trump the dog and pony shows that many of the larger agencies have come to rely on.

[sc:optin]

4. I Heart Brooklyn

This younger-brother borough has long been creeping up on its more popular counterpart (Manhattan) as the coolest place to see and be seen in the NY metro area. The shiny new Barclay Center, home to uber cool Jay-Z’s Nets, may have finally given this area the last boost it needed to wear the crown. Will Brooklyn finally win the sibling rivalry and become the focus of the iconic “I Love New York” campaign? The way it’s looking right now, it just might happen. I Heart Brooklyn bumper sticker anyone?

5. Weather or Not

For the past few years, the seasons are completely out of whack. Regardless of whether you believe in global warming, you have to admit that the temperatures are not what we used to expect each season and Mother Nature seems to be having a field day at our expense with hurricanes, October snow storms and then 60 degree Decembers. Will these changes affect the way that brands are created and marketed? For example, maybe we won’t see the same seasonal collections in fashion lines. Maybe a “round the year” collection from designers will become the norm. Hey, it could happen.

I PREDICT GREAT THINGS FOR YOUR BUSINESS WITH BRAND SCHOOL

Brand innovation comes from being a keen observer of the world around us and applying inspiration from one category to another. Brand School, is our premier program that teaches you to apply lateral thinking to build your brand and your business. Brand School takes the best practices of beloved brands such as Virgin, Apple, and Zappos and brings them to life in engaging videos, interactive exercises and exclusive access to a private community of fellow entrepreneurs. Learn more about Brand School here.  If you’d like to find out about our special discounts just for our social media friends, please sign up for the BrandTwist newsletter.

“Taking the Brand School course was THE best decision I ever made for my business.” – Dr. Marina Kostina, Distance Learning Specialist, CEO of  wired@heart

Fear of the Idea

Does this ever happen to you?

You (or someone in your organization) comes up with a new idea, and after an initial stage of euphoria and excitement, you are left with a sinking feeling of “Oh, sh*t”.

Your enthusiasm dwindles as you are filled with anxiety about what to do next. How do I turn this idea into action? How do I get it out of our heads and into the marketplace?

Perhaps these are some of the thoughts running through your mind:

  • Getting ideas approved through our organization is an Olympic sport
  • By the time everyone is on board, our competition will probably beat us to it
  • It seems like an interesting idea, but maybe we need more data to know for sure.
  • If it’s such a good idea, why hasn’t someone tried it before? What’s the catch?
  • Seems risky, I’m not sure we can afford to fail. Do I really want to stick my neck out?

Well if you recognize yourself in some or all of the above statements, you are not alone.

I have worked with many entrepreneurs and all of them have faced moments of fear and self-doubt. Many of them have described the idea like a big elephant in the room. You can’t ignore it but you don’t quite know what to do with it.

These feelings are natural. It’s the way our mind’s are wired to process something new. But just because you have these feelings, it doesn’t mean you have to give into them.

The secret to successful entrepreneurs is that they channel this anxiety back into something positive. They acknowledge the fear, embrace it, and use it as the adrenaline they need to take action.

Here are a three tips that I learned from successful entrepreneurs during a  recent BRITE conference I participated in:

  1. Go with your gut: If the idea is appealing to you, if it solves a problem that you find personally relevant, then it will most likely appeal to others. Limit the market research

Marketing is Not a Spectator Sport

But too often, people who work in this field, treat it like one. We’re afraid to move too quickly, think too boldly or try something before it’s proven or has measured impact.

So we stay on the sidelines, safe and sedentary (and most likely bored).

What if we acted that way on the tennis, soccer or football field?

The balls would come whizzing by us, our opponents would gain yardage, points, etc.  and we’d surely be on the losing side of the scoreboard.

Marketing is Not a Spectator Sport.

Get out and play. Win or lose, at least you’re in the game.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

What keeps you on the sidelines?

The Thrill of Flying (and Trying)

Yesterday we went on a company outing to a Trapeze School.

Wow!

What an experience.

A while ago I wrote a post about getting out of your comfort zone and feeling butterflies.

Well, this was easily a 100 + on the “Monarch scale”.

Those butterflies were fluttering like crazy as I climbed the extremely steep ladder to the top of the platform.

The whole while I was wondering how I could gracefully turn around and go back down the ladder and not make too much of a fool of myself in front of my friends and colleagues.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) backing down the ladder wasn’t an option. It was already being climbed up by the next victim (I mean participant).

So I listened to the instructor, took a deep breath, and took the plunge.

And it was hard. And I didn’t quite do it right. And I was horribly ungraceful.

(By the way, this is not just me being modest. Later, over drinks I actually won a trophy for the “worst grabbing of the bar” from my crew at Virgin).

But I did it. And much to my surprise I actually put my name on the list to go up again.

And the second time was slightly better than the first, but still not great.

But I am glad I did it.

All the trite sayings about taking risks, feeling alive, etc. are true.

And although I wasn’t perfect, I still felt good about challenging myself.

But do you know what was actually the coolest?

Watching other people conquer their fears and triumphing.

During the day, on the ride over to the location, and certainly during my long climb up the ladder it was all about me, me, me.

But once I completed my two turns and felt I had done enough, I got changed back into my street clothes, sat down and watched everyone else.

That’s where I got the biggest thrill.

All around me, people were taking risks, climbing ladders, swinging on bars, and crossing a very high and scary metal tight-rope.

And although they were sweating, and shaking, and sometimes missing and falling…they were trying and succeeding…definitely succeeding in pushing themselves to try something new.

Hours later I can still vividly recall the look on my friend Paul’s face as he nailed a challenging swing and catch into the arms of a waiting staff member.

A beautiful, pefect, s*** eating grin.

Watching him was definitely the best moment of the afternoon.

Reflecting on the highlights of the outing, it hit me that sometimes the reward doesn’t have to be in the risks you take.

It can also be in sharing and celebrating the triumphs of others.

Maybe that’s obvious, and probably it’s a bit corny. But it’s still true and worth remembering.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
Whens the last time you celebrated someone else’s victory?

Dance to a Different Drum

I love this video. It takes something traditional and turns it on it’s head.

What fun and joy (and creativity).

From what I’ve read, this innovative entrance was the bride’s idea.

The group only had one quick practice before the big event.

What a daring risk to take on the “biggest day of your life.”

Sometimes it pays off to just go for it.

I have a hunch these two are going to have a happy life.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
What do you think of this reinvented tradition?