5 valuable brand and digital lessons for 2017

EVERY day is a school day at Hampton Associates.

After an amazing (and extremely diverse) 2016, we wanted to share some of the key brand, marketing and digital lessons we’ve taken from the last 12 months. We are already looking forward to the learning curve for 2017.

Valuable brand and marketing decisions through data

This year has seen us partner with some very clever people who live in a world of data analysis for digital marketing.

Projects such as Wake Up! – a new mindfulness app and website – are allowing us to develop a strategy based on valuable insights from a social community.

Brand and creativity can also learn from data. Understanding how an audience are reacting to products and trends is helping us develop a strategic message, valuable for both retail and B2B clients as they look to gain advantage in a competitive landscape.

The start of 2017 will see us develop key brand and marketing projects that are based on the results of data research. Our new website for www.jobsinfootball.com and new brand and website for www.cascbar.co.uk (partnering with the fantastic data guru team at WIRED Studio for both projects) will rely on data research to drive their marketing strategy.

Data is powerful stuff that all businesses can benefit from.

Customers run companies

Continuing our data theme, we have seen a visible shift of brands beginning to place the customer at the heart of their brand strategy.

The influence of social media has never been stronger. BrewDog (a brand we helped to create almost 10 years ago) were pioneers in social brand and marketing – their success story speaks for itself. Recent Hampton projects like the creation of the Fierce Beer brand and website continue to demonstrate that a loyal community following and attractive brand can grow your business rapidly (Fierce doubled its start up figures in first six months of trading).

A business that understands that customers are in control of your brand will remain ahead of the curve in 2017.

The customer now tells us what they need. Marketing has been turned on its head.

Books and print still work

All of this talk of data would make you think that print has had its day! Well, it certainly isn’t advisable to blow all of your marketing budget on a glossy brochure, but print most definitely still has its place in the mix.

We designed The Little Book of Hygge for Penguin, which has now become a bestseller across 26 countries.

A number of projects still benefit from printed information. This can be a course catalogue or a university prospectus where customers still like to have a printed point of reference in their hands.

A clever summarised mini brochure can be a powerful tool on a trade stand. An information or key facts booklet can provide insight that engages directly with your audience – providing more value than a simple list of services (see above: customer in control).

Adversity breeds innovation

We have been amazed with the number of new enquiries we have received from innovative start-ups in Aberdeen (and beyond) in 2016.

There’s no doubt that the downturn in oil and gas has hit hard in the region, but this has led to a number of individuals creating new products and enterprises, taking the unique opportunity to start something new and exciting.

Food and drink has always been a focus in the North-east and throughout Scotland, and in 2016 we have helped create some exciting new brands like RaRa and Flatnose Whisky. Both of which are already off to a flying start.

We’re looking forward to working with more new companies from across the UK for 2017 – from whatever sector they might work in.

Creativity still counts

Even with the growing importance of data, inbound digital marketing and social channels we can still see that a simple, great idea and consistent brand message is key.

We continue to work with our clients on developing unique brand stories and creative campaigns that will stand out and engage with their target audience. Our brand and digital work for new organisation DYWNES demonstrates how strategic branding and great creativity can effectively project a key message for a worthwhile cause.

All the strategy in the world means nothing if the creativity and message fails to inspire – some things just can’t be solved with numbers!