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eLearning > Marketing > Marketing in the Crisis of Authenticity > Module 2 / 4

Marketing Through Co-Branded Influence

Instructor: Gil Haddi
Social Media
Download the Social Media Trend Report
We’ll kick off this module by exploring a Megatrend that can almost single-handedly conquer the disconnect between how brands see themselves versus how consumers view their messaging, particularly when it comes to having an authentic brand message. We’ll dive deeper into how this Megatrend appeals to the Gen Z consumer, followed by a look at the next level of influencer marketing that you may not have seen coming.

When it comes to winning the future of marketing, everyone wants to feel represented and diversity will come into play in a major way. We end this module by looking at how shifting trends within diversity are impacting influencer marketing as well as branding trends more generally.
Related Trend Report: Social Media
Workshop Questions:
1. Are micro-influencers right for your brand? Why or why not?
2. How can you highlight the consumer, rather than an influencer or celebrity, in your marketing?
Get Better and Faster
Featured Insights
Diversified Ambassador
Brands experiment with brand mascots & ambassadors to create more diversity
Trend - Realizing the need to be more open and inclusive with their audiences, brands are getting creative with their brand mascots and ambassadors. This is particularly the case with brands that shift the existing traditional norms around gender, disabilities as well as incorporating elements of CGI advances.
Workshop Question - How can you diversify your brand representation through the use of more inclusive marketing tactics?
5.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Branded Inclusivity
Big brands shift their marketing to be more inclusive in their messaging
Implications - Brand authenticity continues to be a priority among consumers, and with that, a desire for more inclusive initiatives are on the rise. Showcasing a bolder commitment to inclusivity across various categories, big name brands are adapting their marketing campaigns, packaging and even brand messaging to better reflect people of different genders, backgrounds, and physical ability. These shifts in marketing approaches speak to the growing number of brands working toward not only being more inclusive but also being more transparent and open about it as well.
Workshop Question - In what way could your brand and business speak to the social issues and concerns of your consumers in a more authentic way?
4.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Insights by Trend Hunter AI
Sports Inclusion
The sports industry prioritizes inclusion-specific promotions and programs
Trend - Whether in ethnic diversity or women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, the sports industry is adapting to changing consumer expectations for standards of inclusion by creating programs and promotions that promote equality. These emerging offerings speak to the industry’s growing desire to better reflect and cater to their audience.
Workshop Question - What are some customer-facing and internal programs that your brand could create to prioritize diversity?
5.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Lighthearted Altruism
Campaigns focused on inclusiveness take on a more casual tone
Trend - Brands and organizations looking to signify a commitment to diversity are doing so with marketing campaigns that have an unexpectedly light and sometimes even sarcastic tone to them. This stands in stark contrast to the typically serious and emotion-driven style that's come to be characteristic of this content.
Workshop Question - What are some ways your brand could approach a serious topic with a respectful but radically honest approach?
4.9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Bold Unbranding
Big brands opt for no logos to showcase the weight and relevance of their brand
Trend - As efforts toward greater authenticity and brand loyalty continue to thrive, we're seeing a rise in unbranded, logo-less tactics–often from well-known companies. Not necessarily looking to move away from heritage or legacy, these brands are relying on the iconic imagery, aesthetics or references to their products to connect with consumers. These unbranded examples are serving to create more approachable identities for brands, allowing consumers to better connect with product references and emotional connections.
Workshop Question - How might you better connect with consumers through more subtle, unbranded tactics?
6.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Undergarment Positivity
Underwear brand campaigns take on nuanced approaches to body positivity
Trend - Small brands within the underwear space are taking on body positivity that takes on a range of subjects in the area of body positivity. Everything from non-restrictive masculinity to body hair on women is being expressed in such campaigns, showing a more evolved and progressive understanding of self-expression.
Workshop Question - In what ways are consumer perceptions of your industry changing? How could your brand better adapt to those changing expectations?
5.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Diversified Internal
Big brands promote consumer-facing initiatives to highlight office diversity
Trend - Increasingly, bigger consumer-facing brands are unveiling initiatives that highlight inclusive office culture and diverse hiring practices. This speaks to the need for companies to attract top talent by leaning into diversity and inclusivity. This also signals the fact that consumers expect that the brands they love will align with their values not just for marketing purposes, but also in internal processes.
Workshop Question - How do the internal hiring processes for your company impact your overall brand identity?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Modernized Mascot
Brands' mascots and their collaborations are revamped for new audiences
Trend - The modernization of well-known mascots is on the rise, as brands seek to better appeal to younger, contemporary consumers who are currently less likely to stay loyal to companies based on branded recognition alone.
Workshop Question - How could your brand revamp to cater to Millennials and Gen Z?
6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Virtual Influencer
Artificial digital influencers are on the rise and collaborating with brands
Implications - Computer-generated social media influencers are on the rise, and so now are their collaborations with big brands due to their enormous popularity online. These virtual models are put together with the popular aesthetics that can be observed on platforms like Instagram, and are unique in their ability to reach millions of young consumers while retaining an air of mystique and intrigue.
Workshop Question - Conceptualize a campaign for younger consumers that would leverage the reach of a virtual influencer.
6.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Inclusive Holiday
Holiday marketing enhances focus on relationships outside the nuclear family
Implications - Holiday marketing in North America is straying from its more traditional representations of the nuclear family, to be more inclusive of a wide range of familial relationships. By representing and catering to a much broader group of consumers in their products and services, these brands seek to highlight the value of diversity in North America.
Workshop Question - How could your brand better highlight inclusivity in its campaigns?
4.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Hyper-Targeted Campaign
Brands call out specific consumers preferences for individual appeal
Implications - As brands continue to prioritize personalization in their marketing tactics, we’re seeing brands take things a step further with hyper-targeted ads that call out specific consumer habits. Using data-driven information and location-based technology, brands are calling out individuals through social platforms as a way to connect with them on a more personal level. Moving away from "mass appeal", brands are willing to reference individual consumers as a means to create a more authentic, relatable message.
Workshop Question - How can your brand make your consumers feel noticed and appreciated?
4.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends