Predicting Brand Futures

by John Cloonan | Oct 17, 2022 | Behind the scenes, Blog, Marketing & Branding

Rarely do I attempt to forecast anything. I’ve always thought it presumptuous, to be honest. I also didn’t want to become an internet meme about failed predictions, which there are many, some even published by such notable organizations as Time magazine. But hey, it’s a new year, and I’m feeling a bit cheeky.  

I’m going to base my predictions off personal prediction, and a couple sentences from this article in Fast Company about the best and worst rebrands, which I’ll quote for those of you who don’t like to read anything that takes more than about 30 seconds.  

The first: “And we also saw a lot of sans serif branding. I mean, a lot.” This, and the fact that there’s a lot of sans-serif typeface branding out there currently, leads me to believe we’ll see a reversal of that in the near future. Brands will move back towards serif typefaces in an effort to differentiate themselves.  

The second: “The worst of all the branding trends has to go to blanding–that millennial-bait, Instagram-ruling hyper-minimal lifestyle approach to products and logos that ruled 2018 but seems destined for a reckoning.” We all know these brands. Plain, sans-serif font wordmarks of a single color on a field of white space, following the flat design trend. Or alternately, plain white sans-serif font wordmarks on a field of a single flat color. My prediction: a reversal, moving towards more design elements and more colors.  

Ultimately, what I’m saying is this – branding trends are cyclical. Over time, there are variations on the evolution of the visual elements of a brand, but an easy prediction to make is that whatever is hot now will be reversed in the not-so distant future. Once a design trend has hit the de rigueur year-end “best of…” list, it’s probably dead.  

Marketing Guy & Strategic Polymath | Website | + posts

John’s the founder of Audacity Marketing. When he’s not racing motorcycles, he’s building marketing strategies for Audacity clients and anyone else who’ll listen.

John’s worn all the marketing hats, from consultant to agency owner to executive to university professor. He’s held leadership roles in industries from staffing to behavioral health to capital-C consulting. He’s branded or rebranded over 100 companies.

John buttresses 25+ years in marketing with an MBA from Georgia State University.

John lives with his girlfriend Suzanne, his dog Seamus, and his daughter Annie when she shows up from college.