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eLearning > Innovation & Change > Infectious Messaging > Module 2 / 4

Viral Creations

Instructor: Jeremy Gutsche
Trend Hunter was created in 2005, before YouTube and Facebook, nevertheless Twitter or Instagram. In the early days of social media and the blogosphere, those who were online felt like pioneers discovering how the Internet could take a message and amplify it to the world.

This module looks to early and recent examples of virality -- some awkwardly simple in today’s pace of change -- to glean lessons on how to ensure your brand truly connects with people.
Workshop Questions:
1. How can you better portray your product as best in class or apart from the pack?
2. What parts of your brand story most resonate with its customers and why?
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Insights by Trend Hunter AI
Social Distancing Accessories
Brands launch wearable physical distancing products
Trend - To help consumers maintain the recommended distance of six feet apart, many brands are launching social distancing accessories. Examples range from large hats that enforce a six-foot walking space to apparel that reminds everyone to stay sufficiently apart.
Workshop Question - How can your brand pivot its product to offer consumers protection during unstable times?
8.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Pandemic Loneliness
Brands look to combat loneliness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
Trend - With physical distancing measures preventing people from being able to go out and socialize as they once did, brands are looking to combat the worsening feelings of loneliness that people around the world are dealing with. Apps and services that bring people together remotely are able to aid in maintaining the mental health of consumers.
Workshop Question - How is your brand helping consumers navigate uncertainty and instability?
6.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Soft Development
Tech brands facilitate the development of important soft skills
Trend - Tech companies are prioritizing the development of soft skills like empathy, communication and cooperation with the use of software and products that help people learn about and practice these skills. These products and services can be made for children and adults alike.
Workshop Question - How could your brand foster the development of soft skills in either employees or customers?
4.5
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?
5.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Reputation Protection
Online reputation-protecting platforms are on the rise
Trend - With online identities not just being susceptible to fraud, but to the regression of reputations for both brands and individuals, businesses that aim to mitigate the consequences of reputation-bashing are on the rise. These services exist in the form of altering algorithms and promoting positive content, and come as consumers’ desire to hold people and corporations accountable grows.
Workshop Question - How could your brand better protect its online identity and reputation?
2.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Curated Feed
Extended tools target the curation of aesthetics and function on social media
Trend - Social media-focused tools are prioritizing customers who are looking to create and curate feeds that are personalized, aesthetically pleasing, and/or streamlined. Such tools come as more consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are focused on having a social media presence that allows them to present themselves as a personal brand.
Workshop Question - How could your brand better involve itself in the social media habits of younger consumers?
3.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Virtual Influencer
Artificial digital influencers are on the rise and collaborating with brands
Trend - 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 created by appropriating the images and aesthetics of successful real-life models in the influencer space.
Workshop Question - Conceptualize a campaign for younger consumers that would leverage the reach of a virtual influencer.
6.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Channeled Antagonism
Brands give consumers healthier outlets to channel their anger
Trend - Some brands are choosing to take advantage of the divisiveness that current social and political movements are feeding by giving consumers outlets for the negative emotions that this time in history has brought to the surface.
Workshop Question - How could your brand better satiate the frustrated or jaded consumer?
4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Commodified Subversion
Big brands immediately co-opt the campaigns of subversive movements
Trend - Where once brands adopted subversive campaigns and movements once they became relatively benign in the eyes of the average consumer, they are now more rapidly and boldly co-opting these disruptive movements for their own gain.
Workshop Question - Conceptualize a subversive campaign that sells your brand's product/service.
6.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Social Inspiration
Popularized social media aesthetics serve inspiration for brands’ products
Implications - The high level of engagement on platforms like Instagram has led to brands finally taking design-related cues from popular aesthetics on social media, and creating products, collections or branding that reflect those aesthetics. This shift comes as brands increasingly turn to consumer habits and preferences to see where they could fit into their lifestyles, rather than trying to form or shape those habits and preferences, as was once so popular in marketing.
Workshop Question - What inspiration could your brand draw from the viral trends and aesthetics on social media platforms?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends