Brands will take a powder next year, as companies look for efficiencies (as if they never do that). Brand Consultancy CoreBrand in its Branding Trends Outlook says that with a shaky European economy, there's a "wait and see" attitude. "Brands will lean on strategic partners to do more with less and elevate brand performance with fewer resources (people, time and money)."
The firm also says that how companies reacted to Hurricane Sandy has imbued people with a stronger need-to-know from brands, and that trust and loyalty will be based to some extent on those. “Those [companies] who kept their customers in the dark [some literally] are still reeling from a tarnished brand image," says CoreBrand. Consumers simply will not accept excuses for not being kept informed, especially given the multitude of ways in which brands can communicate with their consumers."
The firm also asserts that mobile must be central -- not just peripheral -- to marketing strategy next year. That may be, to a great extent, due to the fact that tech barriers that have traditionally delineated screen sizes and capabilities are becoming irrelevant. The consultancy notes that consumers are already searching stock performance, retail location, competitive prices, and consumer feedback.
Also a segment prediction: auto, technology, telecommunications and health care industries will grow. Actually, auto has been growing all year, and predictions generally are the same for next year, so that's nothing new. Brand differentiators: design, performance, service, price and overall added value to improving quality of life. The finance, utilities, energy and consumer staples industries will continue to struggle throughout 2013.
The firm says that finance, utilities and energy industries will continue to be hit with negative press around mismanagement, poor service, high prices and a lack of consumer trust. The firm notes that consumer staples will struggle with balancing increased cost of goods sold with what consumers are actually willing to spend. The only possible exception could be the luxury tier within a range of industries where consumers may feel the need to reward themselves, especially coming off a challenging 2012. This would positively impact cars, fashion, health & beauty, travel & leisure, dining and entertainment.
"Businessman Using Cell Phone photo from Shutterstock"