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Trends in Communications

Communications strategies must be nimble, adapting to changes in both corporate and social movements and directions.

trends in communication
Sign Language in communication

The top 5 trends for communications is summarised for you in my "minute learning" video series. And detailed in the blog below.

Trend 5. Authentic. Unfiltered. Human

The content which has the highest engagement: from clicks to shares, is content which is authentically human. This John Lewis advertisement is from 2018 but remains in my heart as one of the most beautiful, authentic and human stories delivered to the world.

Meanwhile, in crisis management, KFC delivered one of the greatest authentic responses to an unexpected shortage to chicken in the UK. From KFC to FCK the team in the UK were empowered to respond honestly, and with a little humour, to the situation and connect with their customers at a moment in time when customers were simply. not happy.

Trend 4: Socially Responsible

Communities are demanding brands commit to social responsibility, whilst remaining true to the brand purpose and values. This needs to be considered and executed with care.

In the Kantar Purpose 2020 study, it was demonstrated that companies that the public consider to be positively impacting society also had brand value growth of 175% over two years. Those brands with a lower positive impact demonstrated a lower growth of 70%.

Trend 3: Be Diverse. Be inclusive

Essentially required, however there is a caveat here. Execution must be aligned to authenticity and transparency. The recent advertisements by Budweiser which incorporated influencer and transgender icon Dylan Mulvaney, caused confusion and in some parts anger, by brand fans. Seemingly, the advertisement came out of no where and was more aligned to current social narrative and not where the brand has traditionally been featured. Marketing Director for the brand has stated that as the brand has been declining, a more inclusive approach to advertisement is required.

Brands have a responsibility to authentically portray all people, of all genders, race and identity. Done well, brands can lead change and community narrative. Done poorly, and brands can be seen to be trying to take advantage and profit off already underrepresented cohorts of people.

Conversely, Benefit Cosmetics who launched their first store in the Mission District, San Francisco, which had a strong LGBTQ+ community. Maintaining this strong connection, Benefit often partners with trans influencers such as Nikita Dragun, with the execution of campaigns embraced globally.

Trend 2: Embrace Artificial Intelligence

This is not about "getting a machine to write your content" .

It is about using artificial intelligence to research topics and trends and also using AI to sharpen your messaging. This was previously covered in the Chat GPT Blog.

Trend 1: Retain Trust in the good and bad times.

In part this was discussed under the topic of being authentic.

Think back to 2003, where customers in Mumbai claimed that they had found worms inside blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate. At the time, Cadbury was leading with the message that every block of chocolate was made with a glass and a half of a half of milk. Social commentary quickly added a glass and a half of milk and worms.....

Cadbury response was to try and move blame to their retailers. When it was revealed that the source of the worms came from Cadbury's storage and packaging processes, the result was a 30% reduction in sales. Later Cadbury went on to redeem themselves with investment in new machinery, packaging and an educational campaign on their new processes. In 2022 the Cadbury brand was valued at $U5.73 Billion.

There is much to think about when building your communication strategy in times of crisis and times of prosperity. One truth seems consistent through the ages: To stay true to your values and purpose at all times.

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