5 marketing and innovation trends for 2021

5 marketing and innovation trends for 2021

2020 was a turning point for everything as we knew it. It was certainly a hard, turbulent year, but it also brought new opportunities to take advantage of in 2021. Here are a few trends we’ve detected to help you create new products, services, or campaigns full of purposed impact for this new year. 

1. Virtual is the new normal

Even though we’ve had social media and other virtual platforms skyrocketing for the past decade, the pandemic made us realize we weren’t taking advantage of these channels as much as we could’ve. Yet we still could do so much more.

And we’re not just talking about conferences through Zoom or concerts on streaming platforms, but immersive, accessible, and interactive experiences for your audience that really showcase your brand. 

Maybe you can use VR or AR, or create a new tool, or simply put a personal twist on the trends you’ve seen so far. As long as you can keep your audience engaged, or even reach new audiences through online platforms, your brand can benefit from this new normal and ascend to the next level.

💡 How can you leverage virtual events to expand your reach and tap into new audiences?

2. Social Justice

Equality and justice are one of the most important values in today’s society, especially in the newest generations. There are a lot of groups that have been systematically oppressed through decades or centuries, and a lot of young customers are demanding authentic social justice initiatives as part of brand strategies. 

You can think of ways to make your team more diverse, set up some volunteer work, or create a program to help a certain group or community. Keep in mind that studies have proven that only sincere and genuine corporate social responsibility is rewarded, so your brand’s strategy should revolve around causes and values that you truly care about and can actually deliver on those promises.

💡 What can your brand do to truly address the roots of systematic oppression?

3. Earth positive

Climate change is a really important issue in 2021, especially for young adults. There are several tactics you can use to implement sustainable marketing for your brand, but the most important aspect to keep in mind is if your plan is consistent. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to change to sustainably source ingredients for your products if you still sell them in plastic packaging. Whatever you do, think about how all the elements come together to create a bulletproof strategy. 

Here are some ideas to start: change your product’s packaging materials, support local green projects as part of your social responsibility strategy, buy carbon offsets as a company, switch your headquarters’s infrastructure to be more environmentally friendly, etc. 

💡 How can you do less harm to the planet or leave it better off?

4. Accessibility

According to WHO, 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability. This is a significant group of potential customers if you know how to take their needs into account. Thinking outside the box could also help you improve your products and services, and stand out from your competitors. 

Accessibility practices are wide, but you can start today by making sure your website complies with the accessibility guidelines and using tools as alternative text or subtitles for your content on social media. Could your packaging include information in braille? Are your headquarters accessible for people with disabilities? 

💡 How can you adapt your products and services to be more accessible?

5. Learning and gaming

People are still spending a lot of time indoors and could really use a distraction. How can you create a brand experience that also allows them to learn something new or be distracted from everything that’s going on?

Maybe you could turn a rewards program into a game, or modify your social media strategy to include some informational content about your industry, your product, or a topic your brand is interested in. 

💡 How can you engage your audience and create a different experience for them?