Are you trend-chasing with your brand?

Watch This Episode of MwahTV About What is Trending in Design & Building Your Brand

In this episode of Mwah TV I’m looking at more common branding mistakes you should avoid. This time getting too distracted with what is trendy in design, chasing trends and getting lost in inspiration procrastination.

Let's focus on what will work best for your business right now.

The Trendy Vortex

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock or if this is your first time on YouTube, then you already know that trend-watching, and trend predictions are pretty hot here. At face value, this can seem like a wonderful way to reinvigorate yourself and get inspired. At the time this show is airing for the first time, it’s the New Year and this is often a time when we are inclined to take a fresh start on how we are growing our brand and showing up in our businesses.

Inspiration Procrastination

Today I’m going to explain what inspiration procrastination is, we’re looking at how common this trap is and then I’m going to help you with a bit of real talk to figure out if the latest trends that you can see on your feed here are really for you or if it’s a bad time to jump on trends with your business development.

When chasing trends becomes a problem

A lot of content creators, myself included like to stay up to date with trends. Trends within every industry give an insight into how that industry is evolving and adapting to changes in our world. Curating gives an objective view of what has happened and how changes might continue to develop in the future.

This can become a problem when curation goes into obsession. Or into endless mimicking.

  • Think of the fashionista that gets rid of their entire wardrobe every fashion season.
  • The homeowner redecorates on an endless loop.
  • The business owner rebranding and fussing with their creative fundamentals every time they see a new trend forecast or overview episode on YouTube.

Brand Ownership Philosophy

This reactionary behaviour goes completely against the entire philosophy of what I think it means to be a real brand owner. A brand is supposed to speed things up and keep you focused.

And when you return to changing your fundamentals like this on a whim you are slowing yourself down from ever making any real progress. Worse still, people watching your brand can fairly assume that you are unpredictable and potentially not trustworthy and reliable for their needs.

I'm Not Immune!

Tell me, have you ever fallen head over heels for a trend to then realise it was just a terrible gimmick?

In business, I feel this way about Snapchat. I put in so much effort when it first came out and it had little to no appeal with my target customer. So in hindsight, investing all that effort was probably not a good idea.

In my personal life, I can remember going into a GAP store during the January sales. They had these extra soft fluorescent fleecy tops reduced to such a bargain price. I bought it, saw a photo of me wearing it and still have shudders of buyer’s remorse today all these years later.

Fluorescent orange was never and will never be my colour.

When is a good time to go with what is trendy

Thinking seriously about adopting or evolving with a certain trend in mind is a really good idea but only if:

  • Your brand fundamentals are genuinely unshakeable.
  • You have a proven concept. You know that minor adaptations like this in how you show up will continue to win you more business from a solid and loyal base of customers or clients.
  • You have a robust filter and know what trends to dismiss and adopt. Your filter is made up of considered core values and against your business plan for the next year ahead.
  • You have the time and money to invest in doing a trend well. You’re prepared to invest in more research, and skills to help you finesse this to a high quality.

3 GREAT Online Brand Examples

I’ve got 3 Great Online Examples of Brands adapting to trends in a remarkably beautiful way. Every time I see an adaptation, I love the brand even more.

  • Adobe is about the evolution of what it means to be creative. Whenever I open any of my Adobe applications and see that they have a new ident, I want to know more. They are always so incredibly generous with a behind-the-scenes look at the artists involved in the latest graphic or photographic loading page.
  • I spend a fair amount of time waiting for files to load up to WeTransfer to serve my clients with files that are too big to email. They do a great job of showcasing different creative talents based on the time of year, awareness days and festivals. This makes uploading time enjoyable and interaction time for me to get inspired. This makes me feel like WeTransfer understands me on a deep level as a Creative Entrepreneur.
  • Finally, the work Google does to give me a quick snapshot of world events in the way that I see their logo on a search is a great way to show me they are on the pulse and rhythm of the world.

I've given you links to all these brands for you to look at for yourself and tell me if you enjoy these trendy modifications too. Notice how every brand I mentioned has its own unshakeable fundamentals at play? Even the logo change from Google has now become so synonymous with what Google the brand is all about, the colours never change. The size and placement never change so we don’t forget the framework even when it is embellished in this way.

When it’s a bad time to go with a trend

So if:

  • You are lacking in brand fundamentals, or you know there are probably bits n pieces missing.
  • Or your concept is still at the MVP level.
  • Or you’re thinking about a more profitable and solid pivot into a different market or with a different offering.
  • Or you know you would struggle to be able to filter what trends to dismiss or adopt.
  • Or you are not decided and final about your core values
  • Or You haven’t got a documented clear business plan for the next year or quarter ahead.
  • And you really don’t have the time or money to invest in doing a trend well.

Then looking at the latest branding trends is probably not the best use of your time right now in this season of your business. Instead, you should probably think about addressing these items first then worry about the trends stuff later on.

Fancy A Chat & Cocktail Together?

If you'd like to have a chat with me on this when it comes to your business, then why not book yourself in for a FREE no-obligation Cyber Cocktail?

It's B.Y.O. and I do my very best to agree on 3 clear and manageable actions to take forward on your own or with more of my help.

To find out how it works and pick out your time, click here.

What are the benefits for your business?

The benefits of working with trends as long as you have those all-important fundamental design principles in place are pretty cool.

The first is you can be confident that you can have a timeless brand that is able to flex with trends over time yet still be unforgettable and recognisable to an audience. Great brand examples that have done this for over a hundred years include:

3 GREAT Historical Brand Examples

The first is you can be confident that you can have a timeless brand that is able to flex with trends over time yet still be unforgettable and recognisable to an audience. Great brand examples that have done this for over a hundred years include:

The second is having confidence in knowing you’re resilient before the unexpected thing has even begun to happen.

My favourite benefit here is that you have defined boundaries, and if you’ve ever watched the show before, you already know that I am passionate about the best creative ideas happening only when boundaries are put in place. When creative minds can force rebellion inside the very edges of the rules, brilliant creativity is a lot more likely to take place.

Timestamps for this Episode of #MwahTV

00:00 - Episode Begins

01:24 - Trend Overload

04:23 - Your Trend Confessions Welcome

05:48 - When trend jumping works

06:36 - 3 Online Brands that use trends WELL

12:00 - When to AVOID Trends

14:20 - Benefits of using Trends in your Business

14:52 - 3 Timeless Trendy Brands

More on Creativity & Necessary Boundaries

If you find it hard to be creative in the best way to grow your brand, then this is a great next episode to take a closer look at. 

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