Three of Latest Branding Trends (And How To Apply to CRE)



By Amanda Bowen, Director of Business Development at The Content Funnel

Some trends like cargo pants and beehive hairstyles don't need to be resurrected. Other trends are good influences. Let's take a look what we're seeing in the branding space that could be a good influence on your strategy.

Trend: Illustration

What it is: Illustration uses graphic art  to convey concepts. This trend is on the upswing because brands are discovering it can educate while holding the audience's attention. It's a new way to personalize a brand look and feel.

Airbnb did a study on illustration as a way of connecting with their clientele. It has a lot of interesting insights into how professional companies are starting to understand and apply illustration to their brands.

How to Use in CRE: The word illustrate means “to show light.” Illustration has diverse uses in the commercial real estate industry. Use graphic art on your website to add a touch of whimsy or to breakdown technical concepts. Create graphic animated videos to showcase a brand story, to explain your value, or to show how to do something. Apply illustrations to infographics. Add into your white papers to engage your audience.

Trend: Minimalism

What it is: Actually, minimalism in brand design has been around a while. Our mobile-first world is continuing to push the need for minimalism so that your brand materials display correctly on our smaller and portable screens. Websites that are code-heavy, rich and images and video, risk a slow load time, which diverts traffic away.

Minimalism simply means a pared-down visual style using very simple graphics, a pallet of clean colors, and basic navigation. All textual elements remove fluffy language and get straight to the point.

How to Use in CRE: As you work on your content, whether it's a blog, website, or social media post, ask yourself, “what can we do without?” Take the text on your landing pages and website, and strip them down to the bare bones. In your marketing materials, embrace the white space.  A lot of colors distract the eye and make the marketing materials unclean. Declutter your pages starting with your color palette. Only include the information that will actually need to the results you want.

A common practice in minimalism is to create a company web page that uses a single page design. All of the most important information is on the homepage. People do not have to click through different pages to learn about your brand or figure out how to contact you.

Trend: Social Responsibility

What it is: Our rising consumers want more than companies that save money or time. The younger generations are more interested in motivations and purpose. They want friends that aren't just fiscally responsible, but are looking out for the other man or our world. They want to know where companies stand on key issues.

A prime example of this happened when Nike highlights a position by creating ads featuring Colin Kaepernick.

How to Use in CRE:  To differentiate yourself from your competition, you need to share your brand position. Don't just say we're different from our competition because we have years of experience. Consistently talk about your values throughout your branding materials.

This means on your website you might have a section dedicated to your social story and your social values. You might actively give back to your community through volunteer work days or other programs. Do tell us if one percent of all net revenue is donated to local charities and what charities those are. Post on social media and tag your employees doing good works in their area.

How do you plan to add illustration, minimalism, and social responsibility to your CRE brand? Let us know!


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