Today, it’s harder than ever to predict what’s next.
From constant disruption, to changing consumer behaviors to virtual-everything, the past 18 months have made it increasingly difficult for brand leaders to anticipate the future.
At Lippincott we’re experts in adapting with the times to drive growth for our clients. And as we prepare for 2022, we sought advice from every level and every discipline at Lippincott to uncover what’s next for our clients.
Here are our 12 predictions on what 2022 will bring to the world of brand strategy, innovation, design and more.
01 | Brands will become sources of inspiration and guidance on gender identity.
As the world evolves to include traditional and non-traditional genders, brands will need to evolve their language, behavior and experiences to address the possibility of either a genderless or multi-gendered world. – Haley Picone, Senior Associate, Strategy
02 | Design won’t stand still.
2022 will see motion design expand into most areas of branding as digital billboards, online interfaces and apps become increasingly dynamic. Animated album covers on streaming platforms will begin to replace traditional, static album covers, and motion logo mnemonics will make 2D identity expressions seem archaic by comparison. – Kevin Grady, Senior Partner, Design
03 | Brand ‘assistants’ will become more diversified than ever.
Brands hoping to leverage AI/ML-based assistants will need to make real commitments around how “human-like” or “tool-like” (or even “animal-like”—hello, Astro) their assistants should be. Everything from the assistant’s name to related messaging (gendered pronouns) to the assistant’s visual and voice expression will shape consumer expectations and experiences. Brands will need to consider how these decisions may alter, restrict, or open new avenues to connect with consumers. – Hailey Scherer, Consultant, Innovation Strategy
04 | Climate efforts will no longer be tackled “on the side”.
There is an increasing need to integrate ESG and climate efforts directly into business strategies—e.g., Blackrock letter to CEOs and COP26, as well as pressures for racial justice and DEI. Addressing and communicating these strategies will shift from ‘on the side’ activities to a core aspect of how companies drive their business, communicate their vision, and connect with customers, employees and the world. – Liz Greene, Partner, Brand Strategy
05 | Sonic branding is poised for a comeback.
The growing popularity of digital voice assistants and audio-based media (like podcasts) points to a future free from screens—one in which voice is the primary way we interact with technology. In that future, brands will develop signature sounds that serve many of the same purposes a logo does today. Time to dust off those jingles… – Shaye Roseman, Senior Associate, Innovation
06 | The rules of employee engagement will be re-written (again and again).
As leaders, we need to continue to examine what we expect from employees— and as the Great Resignation has shown us, what they expect from us. The companies that will come out on top will prioritize continual improvement and experimentation in the employee experience, from igniting connection and encouraging progress to empowering teams to deliver on their brands’ purpose. – Rick Wise, CEO
07 | Tribalism will replace segmentation—but marketers should proceed with caution.
Gone are the days when you were either born or raised into a tribe. Digital has made it easy to find “my people” and solidify the external representation of identity. While some tribes are harmless—just look at the 302M people who are into lockpicking, others fuel misinformation and even hate. New tools will make it seamless for marketers to tap into tribes as an alternative to segmentation, and their efforts are going to be much more successful and more highly measurable. But they will have to work very hard to build constraints around their efforts to ensure they don’t inadvertently activate the dark side of tribalism. – Cory Cruser, Senior Partner, Innovation
08 | We’ll move away from minimalism.
We’ll see a shift from the start-up aesthetic of geometric minimalism into more individual exuberance. Fonts will be more expressive, with color palettes and illustration more diverse and off-beat. – Brendán Murphy, Senior Partner, Design
09 | Brands must re-imagine “connection” in 2022 to win big.
Meaningful brands have always played a key role in helping consumers connect to something bigger. As the world begins to open up in 2022, brands need to think creatively about how they can enable this “togetherness,” ultimately helping to ignite the positive emotions that come from feeling connected. – David Mayer, Senior Partner, Marketing & Customer Strategy
10 | Competitive advantage will give way to collaborative advantage.
The future belongs to businesses that create more value than they extract, for consumers, employees, partners, and shareholders. The book of competitive advantage—the once fundamental framework for brand and business strategy—has expired. It has given way to something more rewarding and abundant: We call it #collaborativeadvantage. Whether it’s through influencers, media or business partnerships, brands have entered the age of collaboration. Vimeo and YouTube. Impossible Foods and Burger King. Kanye and Adidas. Slack and everyone. Businesses aren’t just competitors anymore, they’re partners in an ever-expanding ecosystem. –Tom Ajello, Senior Partner, Design
11 | Rising focus on portfolio-led growth strategy.
Costs and prices aren’t the only things rising. In today’s inflationary landscape, leaders are increasingly turning to brand portfolio strategy for new growth. The relationships between businesses and their brands matter; when they’re clearly defined and understood, the path to new offers, experiences, expressions and of course experiments come into focus. As we head into a new year, we’ll see more business and brand leaders placing greater emphasis on portfolio strategy. – Brian Rosenberg, Partner, Growth Strategy
12 | Brands will need to break free of convention.
As metaverse platforms and ownership of digital assets and NFTs continue to break into the mainstream, brands will need to consider how they create relevance in an entirely new world of virtual identity, community and entertainment. – Dylan Stuart, Senior Partner, Brand Strategy