When Not to Follow Trends

Who do you want to be? Starting out with a new company or product, you have a wide range of freedom for answering that question, and it can be a challenge to deal with all that freedom as you define yourself. It’s normal for newish companies to feel an overwhelming desire to be the (Nike, Apple, etc.) of their industry or niche: to follow the trend setters. Following trends can feel like a good first step—and to degree it is. What better way to calibrate your goals than to copy what has already worked? Still, it’s been said of art and investment that if you’ve already seen it or heard about it, it’s too late to make money off of it. Is this also true for branding and marketing for your business? Working with the top marketing agency in Orange County can give you an alternative path forward, based on intuition rather than whatever is popular at that moment.

Crafting a brand or a message that matches the trends out there is a legitimate way to find what works. But in the long-term, almost always, that’s not enough. To make something of your company that’s influential means that, to a degree, you have to function with intuition. At Twelve12, we are proponents of intuitive branding, which takes an entirely different approach. Intuition means that the inner truth of the product, service, or company must be the main force that shapes the branding or marketing message. If the branding is built too closely around what you think people want to hear, (which is what you’re doing when you follow trends) the seed of the brand doesn’t get the full opportunity to grow and flower. This novelty and intuitive creation sets the stage for real success. Truly exceptional companies, rather than going with the grain of what’s already being done out there, design the trajectory—set the trend.

One of our current projects is a great example. The client, which works in the real estate sector, is using new technologies to reach out to people selling their homes in a really novel way. We immediately knew that the messaging and branding needed to be totally different from the standard look and feel that dominates the real estate sector, with its transparent, “listing-centered” look and feel. Rather than take a similar approach, we led off with a clean, streamlined identity that emphasized colorful brand art, and let the simplicity of their real estate solution do the talking. Time will tell if the look and feel sets any trends, but the important thing is that the branding and marketing of the company will match their mission and message.

But wait—there is another side to this story. The impulse to be different just for difference’s sake is just as harmful, if not more so, than using the same approach as everybody else. You don’t want to be operating in a vacuum, and you’ve got to be willing to pivot and change what you’re doing, based on the results that come back. This is especially true with specific marketing efforts. This is where using a top marketing agency in Orange County makes the difference. It all comes back to defining the brand and being true to it. Even if that goes against some of the trends in your industry, if you are able to very clearly express your company’s values and true self in a beautiful way, it’s hard to imagine that you won’t be successful.

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