Five brand trends to watch this year

Emily Marchak 02/13/15 - 8:53 pm

Wearable technology. Printable chocolate. Dynamic brands pushed the marketing boundaries of fashion, food and more last year, embracing technology, digital channels and the traditional retail front.

A recent Forbes article captured five emerging marketing trends that caught our attention. Take a look.

1. Wearable Technology
2014 was a year for all things tech. Consumers witnessed the rise of wearable technology that would gather wearer’s fitness and health data. Other devices include the Apple iWatch, Fitbit and Jawbone.

This year, it is anticipated that the lines between fashion and technology will continue to be blurred. Nike announced they plan to produce shoes that will tie themselves. What’s next?

2. 3D Printing
This past year, 3D printing was made available across multiple platforms—anywhere from 3D medical transplants to customizable toys.

Moving forward into 2015, it is estimated that more than 2 million 3D printers will be sold before 2018. Companies like Hershey, who announced the opening of a 3D printing exhibit in Hershey’s Chocolate World, are adding this advanced medium of production to their branding.

3. Branded Food
Last year, consumers were seeking to diversify their eating experiences at different times throughout the day. Brands took note and offered retail versions of their products.  Krispy Kreme K-cups and Cinnabon baking mixes are just two types of retail offers.

In 2015, not only will retail offers continue, but chain restaurants will start offering healthier versions of their products, as well as adding calorie counts to their menus. Taco Bell, Applebee’s and others are rolling out new menu items that are calorie friendly, while McDonalds is set to sell their bagged coffee in select grocery stores this year.

4. Tangible Enterprising
In 2014, after Amazon announced they would be opening a physical location in Manhattan, other branded websites and-web celebrities followed suit. Rent the Runaway took to the streets by testing pop-up locations throughout New York City and YouTubers like Michelle Phan, Tanya Burr and Zoella Sugg have their own lines of cosmetics.

This trend of merging digital and retail platforms will continue in 2015. Taking note, Starbucks created a new mobile ordering app which allows customers to place orders in advance to their pick up.

5. Sharing
Last year, “sharable experiences” with brands took off. From sharing hashtags, engaging in all the branded sponsors at Coachella, and experiencing brands within hotels were just the beginning.

In 2015, we will see more of these “sharable moments.” Target is collaborating with Lilly Pulitzer and Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively will be joining the ranks with Martha Stewart, as their own lifestyle brands take off. 

For more branding and marketing trends, check out 6 Marketing Trends for 2015.

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