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Branding trends for 2014

Is your branding looking and feeling tired? Here’s Oxygen’s guide to the latest branding trends for 2014.

“Branding trends in 2014 reflect a wish to return to simplicity and authenticity.”

2014 branding trend #1 − keeping it real

As with design trends this year, branding trends in 2014 reflect a wish to return to simplicity and authenticity. We’ll see logos pared down to the simplest forms together with custom and rounded fonts plus mix and match fonts, so it’s a good time to rework yours if it’s looking dated. Within brand stories, we’ll see more in the way of ‘real-life’, gritty emotion. Think less ‘Cinderella’ and more ‘Big Brother’. Similarly, the ‘reality’ trend is likely to manifest as more brands giving customers a public-facing voice. This is in response to a public shift towards consumers wanting to know what other customers think of the product/service before they buy. Do you provide a platform for your customers’ reactions?

2014 branding trend #2 − this time it’s personal

Addressing customers personally with targeted ads and services is likely to grow as firms tailor offerings to the known preferences and locations of their customers. Ebay and Amazon have been doing this for some time, but it’s spreading to cab companies etc. Advances in ‘big data’, social data and GPS are allowing more firms to target customers individually as it’s the perfect opportunity to make customers feel special. Brand identities themselves are also becoming more personal with many adopting a figurehead or mascot to bring their digital personalities to the fore. Work on that tone-of-voice and brand story to hone your brand personality – simples!

2014 branding trend #3 − distinctly digital

At Oxygen we’ve long used an initial individual analysis to find out which social media channels it makes sense for each of our clients to use. This year, most brands will follow suit. Having spread themselves too thinly, they’re now analysing the demographic of each platform and concentrating on those which engage their target audiences most consistently. Additionally a recent HubSpot study highlighted the fact that educational content is much more effective than conversation on social media when building a brand following. So expect brands to increase the amount of high quality content they offer in 2014.

2014 branding trend #4 − are we engaged?

In the past few years brands have measured their success by the amount of attention they’ve got. This is set to change. 2014 will see brands prioritising engagement as a more powerful metric. So instead of mere number of clicks, they’ll be measuring how well content inspires loyalty, sales and profits.

2014 branding trend #5 − it’s all about image

The design trend for larger images in 2014 will be mirrored by an emphasis on visual content. Websites now need to look stunning more than ever before. And image-centric social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Vine will dominate. Micro videos will continue to rise in popularity reflecting consumers increasingly short attention spans.

If your brand needs bringing up to date why not give our branding specialists at Oxygen a call on 0845 2606 255.


Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.