The State of 2018

January 2, 2018 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

Happy 2018!

It’s the New Year and as one does when one year ends and another begins, we reflect.

Last year, 2017, was one hell of a year.

A television celebrity became president.

One brand tried to solve the world’s problems with a carbonated drink.

Meanwhile another brand took up legal action against the institution.

Two big burger joints went head to head on Twitter.

Then two big tech giants went head to head on phones.

We lost the headphone jack.

But then gained a strong sense of international activism in many areas.

Let’s just say the year had big ups and downs.

So now as we reflect, we also want to look forward. What’s next for marketing and design? What could we care less about and what should we care more for?

This is what captured our minutes this week.

1. An end to shiny object syndrome. And cause co-opting.

From AR to AI and everything in between, there seems to be a new technology every single day and it all looks just so shiny. So important. So necessary for the brand.

Well, here’s a healthy dose of reality for your 2018: half of it won’t be at all necessary for your brand.

It’s important to innovate, but even more so to innovate thoughtfully. That means putting an end to chasing after every single new thing that gets released.

Ask first:

  • What does it contribute to the brand?

  • How can the brand deliver on it (and deliver on it well)?

  • What does it do for the brand’s customers?

This also goes for cause co-opting, cause bandwagoning, whatever you want to call it.

It’s great to stand up for something. In fact, your brand should.

However, it’s way better to stand up for something the right way, consistently and with meaning (bottom-line not included here).

2. Inspired by Co.Design, a push for more inclusivity.

Fast Company put it best in its article 9 Big Design Trends That Will Shape 2018.

“Going forward, it won’t be enough to design for some people, or even for most. The real challenge will be to design for all.”

You’d think for all that new tech we have that we’d be better able to make things that are universally applicable for all walks of life.

Well, we still haven’t got there. But what a better time than now to take some of these advances and apply it to better stuff.

Brands are already championing the “for all” message – just take a look at Frank and Oak’s “And” campaign.

Rather than thinking about what we want products to do, let’s think about who we want the products to work for.

3. Better thinking, doing and saying.  

On that note of thinking, it’s not enough anymore for leaders or brands or individuals to coast along.

You can’t just think because this world needs something more than a philosopher.

You can’t just do because action without thought is dangerous.

And you can’t just say because then it’s all hot air.

In an international political climate that is seeing huge changes across several levels in many different countries, it’s very important to back up values with meaningful actions that are consistently spoken about.

If not, brands and companies end up with gaps in their work that won’t deliver a beneficial brand experience.

4. Bigger responsibilities for platforms.  

In light of the whole “fake news” phenomenon, platforms from Google to Facebook need to step up and understand their roles in the bigger picture when it comes to the distribution of content.

Whether or not these platforms want to be caught up in fighting fake news, they have to be by nature of what they are.

A ton of content flows through these platforms each day and they owe it to the millions who frequent their sites to safeguard the information that is making its way through the cracks to eyeballs everywhere – especially when it’s false, misleading or harmful information.

5. No to paragraphs on Twitter.

This might not be so serious considering everything else we’ve just covered. BUT COME ON.

Twitter may have given you some extra space to get your content out there, but that does not mean you use it all up simply because it’s there.

Say a little more, but make sure that it warrants having that extra info there. If you want to write a blog post, go somewhere else.

Cheers to 2018! Let us know what trends you’re most looking forward to @TheTiteReport.

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

Did we win over your minutes? Get more great posts like this in The Tite Report monthly newsletter.

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Happy New Year!