The Optimism Opportunity: Why Leading Brands Say Things Are Looking Bright

There are, of course, many different ways to approach trend-watching. I personally like to pay attention to what the leading top-tier organizations within the branding and marketing space think is important and see how that plays out over the course of time. 

Case in point – both Pantone and Adobe opened the year by going all in on optimism. The public, they declared, was already tired of being tired and depressed – and that’s before war, increased economic stresses, and other global problems kicked in. The suggested remedy: fun, whimsy, and play. 

From Pantone, this means the release of Veri Peri  – a color that has carefree confidence and a joyous attitude – along with a year’s worth of optimism-based collaborations with brands like Twinings (the hue in question is actually called “Optimism”) and Canva to get a more upbeat palette used by small business owners. 

Adobe, for its part, dove into the data to see what type of stock imagery was most in demand by their customers. Powerfully playful, with an undertone of gritty determination, topped the list of trends, followed by a dynamic motion and caring for the planet and self. Environmentalism and self-care are inherently optimistic, but it’s important to understand that the emphasis is on fun. 

What Does This Mean For You?

Over the course of the year, we’ve seen that customers are responding positively to fun offerings from brands. McDonald’s launched Adult Happy Meals this month, only to see the offering sell out nationwide very quickly. Disney’s going all in on the immersive experience angle, offering guests two full days in the Star Wars Galactic Cruiser, during which they’re the heroes on a custom adventure replete with light saber training, sabaac lessons, and planning a smuggler’s heist. At nearly $6,000 a room, this isn’t for everyone – but the guests who are enjoying it are having the time of their lives. 

Now, obviously, you might not have the budget of Disney, or even McDonald’s. But the customer hunger for fun and delight is still there. It’s time to look at your organization and say what can we be doing to make people smile?

Before you stop and say there’s absolutely nothing fun about my company and what we do, I’d like to stop and say Owens Corning to you. Building insulation is about the least entertaining product on the marketplace – and it’s made out of spun fiberglass, so you can’t even really touch it without regretting it – but they successfully developed a strong brand identity and some meaningful degree of customer loyalty via the use of the Pink Panther as a spokesperson. Is the use of a cartoon character in marketing childish? That’s a fair question, but I would ask also weren’t all of your customer’s children once?

If you’re planning on strengthening your customer relationships over the coming year, it’s a good time to think about how you’re going to integrate optimism and playfulness into your brand messaging. 

At Cult Branding, we help leading companies achieve their marketing and branding goals every day. To learn more about how we can help you bring optimism to your brand click here.

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