When our team looks ahead to 2021, we predict brand experiences that are all about mastering virtual presence, building consumer confidence, embracing digitization, expressive of culture, and with a focus on diversity and inclusion.
Kelly Putsch – Business Development, Branding: Consumers already have and will continue to expect brands to interact with them virtually and wherever they are, 24/7. A virtual presence for brands is here to stay and demand to make the virtual experience mimic the live version of themselves is growing. To do so, brands need to embody a more humanlike personality rather than just a service, product, etc. Thoughtful design and technology like video and VR can aid this request.
Robby Prall – Director, Brand Identity: As the pandemic (hopefully) winds down in 2021, we’re going to see a lot of introspection as businesses reflect on how effective they were in reaching and retaining their audience virtually. Personality, message, and positioning will dominate the conversation as companies will seek ways to stand out and relate to their audience more efficiently. Brand Darwinism – the ability to survive and to continue to thrive post-pandemic – will run its course, as the public will become more selective and will seek clarity, confidence, and simplicity in experience and communication more than ever.
Danielle Trotter – Graphic Designer: In the corporate realm, companies will want to reinforce their ‘in-office’ culture and create more custom and engaging environments for when employees eventually come back to work. When employees do drop into the office, they will be reminded in an engaging and visual way of who and what they work for. Highlighting employees throughout the environment is something that I see trending in 2021. Since working from home can be so isolating, enticing people to come into the office again by recognizing their work is something I can see becoming a major factor in the environmental design world next year.
Lyndsi Dengler – Director, Environmental Branding: I am predicting a significant pivot in recognizing, including and promoting designs within spaces devoted to diversity and inclusivity. Clients are and will be even more aware of showcasing visual representations of their brands’ commitment to inclusion, for both employees and guests. Whether this is an abstract representation through a custom feature piece or perhaps a more literal element with dimensional verbiage relaying their stance, the notion that brands are an ally for all will be one that will be at the forefront moving forward.
Dan Wothers – Industrial Designer: This year’s pandemic has helped many overcome “digital reluctance”. We have all adopted new tools for digital collaboration to help us stay productive while working from home. As we re-engage with our physical spaces, we will see the adoption of additional tools such as digital signage, sensing, and wayfinding. This will allow for adaptive messaging, cohesive branding across all communication platforms – digital and static. We can use digital branding to generate personalized information about our physical space and usage which will be desirable and, depending on the facility, may even be necessary.
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2021 Trends: Architecture + Engineering