After what was a huge year for branding agency DesignStudio, the team is looking to the future, at what the creative industry looks like in 2015, and the potential implications of the latest trends and technologies.
Here are three trends they identify that will continue to make waves in the coming 12 months...
01. A move from 'authentic' to 'design-led'
There has been a great deal of talk this year about the need for brands to be authentic in order to truly connect with its community and target consumers along with a heightened level of personalisation.
However Graham Cox, director of business development & marketing at DesignStudio thinks this is set to change. "The springboard of authenticity from 2014 will develop into a further focus on being design-led in 2015," he says.
"A strengthening economic climate will lead to greater confidence from brands and the result will be a whole new level of creativity and story-telling to engage and interact with consumers."
02. Brands become even more disruptive
2014 was the year of the disruptive brand. The likes of Über, Airbnb, Aldi and Spotify have challenged the status quo of established brands, causing traditional businesses to question their tried and tested business models.
The growth of the disruptive brand will only continue in 2015. Further to this, there is strength in disruptive brands working together, such in the case as Spotify and Über teaming up to provide multi service offerings that are integrated to further benefit the user experience.
This is set to change the world's economy and challenge the way brands are formed and work together.
As Ben Wright, co-founder at DesignStudio says: "Established brands need to think like disruptors in 2015. Most sectors are experiencing challengers who are changing industries and the way the global economy works. The big names need to sit up and take notice."
"There are a lot of brands that are imitating leaders (and sometimes doing a bad job), to take market share rather than innovating and creating a market. This is not a sustainable trend and we may see some of these large companies entering a downward spiral and losing consumer interest."
03. New devices mean more platforms for communication
Technology is now so integrated into the lives of consumers that brands need to ensure a clear message is communicated across platforms. "2014 has been the year of the connected home with the likes of Nest, Wemo and the August lock breaking into the UK market and Canary, the home security system coming soon," says Paul Dixon, Head of Motion at DesignStudio.
"These devices actually make life easier, by solving problems, saving money and making life that little bit easier. We haven't seen this from wearable tech yet, the arena of wearable devices are currently just changing the way we access information, for example, from a smartphone to wristwatch rather than offering new solutions to how we engage and interact."
Paul adds: "Facebook's acquisition of the Oculus Rift this year has made tech headline news throughout the year. There are a number of competitors looking to launch at the same time from Sony's Morpheus to TOTEM and Google's own version that looks to bring virtual reality development to the masses with their cardboard headsets."
"Brands still have a challenge next year to work out how to use this new technology to engage and communicate with audiences. Amazing content is key but virtual reality is a brand new industry and it might still take a few more years until this tech is truly understood and used effectively by brands."
There is certainly opportunity for brands to explore using this technology to tell the story behind a brands vision, imagine exploring Virgin's Galactic experience in virtual reality? There is no doubt that it is exciting to see where this technology moves in next 12 months.
It's clear that 2015 is going to be a fascinating year for the whole creative industry and for brands. Audiences are going to become ever-more connected as technology develops and it will be interesting to see how brands connect in different ways with their audiences and if the new generation of disruptors will be leading the brand league tables when we review 2015 in 12 months' time.
DesignStudio is a creative design and branding strategy agency that helps create, express and manage brand communications.
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