Image courtesy of Pixabay

Another year almost gone, and it’s time to start sharing trends and predictions for 2015!

Last year, I shared Brand Keys’ Robert Passikoff’s 14 Brand Trends for 2014. This year, Robert again put together his proposed trends for the upcoming year. He again shared his thoughts on the numerology, as well, this time, obviously focusing on 15: In numerology 15 is the combination of the number 1 (representing leadership and forward movement) and the number 5 (numeric for business and finance), thus 15 becomes the fusion of leadership and forward momentum for brands and marketers.

Let’s see what Robert predicts for the new year.

1. Every One of a Kind: Consumers want and expect customized and personalized products, services and experiences, fueled by…

2. Magnified Human Technology: Digital and mobile will fuel the sense of empowerment and possibility for the individual consumer.

3. Real Brand Engagement: Marketers will link “engagement” to how well the brand is perceived versus its’ category’’s Ideal, rather than counting “likes” or just trying to leverage imagery.

4. The Everything Expectation: Brands will need to accurately measure unarticulated and constantly-expanding emotional consumer expectations in order to provide significant advantages to engage, delight, and profit.

5. Real Time Becomes Real Important: Expectations of real time everything will increase and influence purchase decisions.

6. It’’s Still The Brand, Stupid: Increased consumer expectations will be accompanied by enhanced perceptions of products and services as commodities. Differentiation and ‘standing for something’ meaningful, emotional, and important to consumers will be paramount.

7. Category is King: To engage those smarter, high-expectation consumers, brands need to be smarter about their own category-specific emotional values that they can leverage and own.

8. Brands Will Get Emotional: Successful brands need to identify the emotional values in their categories and make them the foundation for meaningful positioning, differentiation, and authentic storytelling.

9. Non-Fiction Storytelling: The stories brands tell must reflect real brand values and category realities and meet consumers’’ believability criteria.

10. The Closing of the Showroom: Consumers will use five or more online sources to facilitate purchase decisions, reducing reliance on traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

11. High-End Shoppers Expect High-Tech Shopping Experiences: Watch for more RFID, beacons, and touchscreens to supercharge the shopping experience.

12. Much More Multiculturalism: As ethnic groups grow, brands and retailers will integrate a sense of culture and culture-specific brand experience with all forms of outreach.

13. Online Authenticity: As ‘The Internet of Things’ matures, consumers will expect greater security of personal purchase data, which will act as a confidence builder for online sources and the brands using them.

14. Dead-On Digital: Brands will shift their digital platform question from, “Should I be here?”” to “What should I do now that I am here?”” Success will be linked not only to outreach alone but also to  contextual relevance.

15. Going Native: Content marketing will continue to become a specialty unto itself while tools like the Digital Platform GPS will optimize placement and resolve issues related to native advertising, digital delivery platforms, and shorter consumer attention spans. Metrics will move away from counting the number of views, shares, and likes toward real brand engagement (see Trend #3).

Do you have a favorite? Or one that you’d like to add?

It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten. -Anna Wintour