3 Branding Predictions for 2017

As with any article where someone gets all Nostradamus-y, “3 Branding Predictions for 2017” is an opinion piece. So neener.

Also, am I the only one who thinks “neener” should be a business term?

Mayniax Branding - Really terrible artist's rendering of Nostradamus with red glasses

Number 1, on the list of Branding Predictions for 2017

More Entrepreneurs Will Understand the Importance of Their “Why”s

If you haven’t yet, check out Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on starting with “why.” Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I think people are taking the “why” a lot more seriously. They’re starting to understand that, when it comes to things we actually care about – such as our favorite brands – our decisions are never based in logic, but rather emotion.

We make decisions emotionally whether we’re talking our personal lives or our business lives.

Let’s say you ask someone out, and they completely blow you off – not that that’s ever happened to yours truly *gulp*. The next time they see you, they’ll justify it, but what likely happened is their gut told them it was a bad idea, or you did something to irritate them, or you just weren’t that high on their list of priorities.

Now let’s put that knowledge to use in business. You meet with someone. The chat goes great and they promise they’ll run it by their people and let you know whether or not you got the deal in a few days. And you never hear from them. Again, what likely happened is their gut told them it was a bad idea, or you did something to irritate them, or you just weren’t that high on their list of priorities. And the next time you see them, they justify it.

Fortunately, an authentic “why” makes you relatable. With it in place – along with decent brand strategy – clients you want to work with will seek you out. People who want to work with you will seek you out.

Though I’m not sure how that’s gonna help ya on a Saturday night.

We see it as being the most important thing in branding, along with four other things you can read about here.

An authentic “why” makes us all relatable.

Number 2, on the list of Branding Predictions for 2017

Old School Brands Will Continue to Suck at Life

We’re already seeing it this year with Kmart, Sears, and Macy’s. In fact, the one thing Sears had going for it – Craftsman – was recently sold to Stanley Black & Decker. Macy’s doesn’t have anything behind it besides, “Hey, we sell middle-of-the-road clothes,” and Kmart hasn’t been relevant in years.

Fun fact: I used to work at Kmart. One day, a guy came in looking for a “…really good phone.” And I had no choice but to say, “And you came here?” This is why I’m a terrible employee.

The problem with old school brands is two-fold: First, they likely have old school thinking based fully on logic and spreadsheets, and second – even if they don’t – they’re too old to establish a believable “why.” Yup, there’s that friggin’ “why” again. Their only recourse is to try to instill a “why” to the public consciousness one bit at a time, so it doesn’t look fake. But they’ll try sales, and tricky accounting practices, and buyouts, until the brands have lost all of their power.


Unfortunately, bad brand strategy’s old news.

Number 3, on the list of Branding Predictions for 2017

“Branding” Will Continue to Be One of the Most Confusing Terms in Business

Let’s face it, even we branders have a tough time explaining what branding is in simple terms. Every time we think we have it nailed down, someone inevitably hits us with, “What does that mean?” Even when we, ourselves, finally distilled it down to “We build brands around entrepreneurs’ ‘why’s, stories, and competitors,” we’d still get, “What’s a brand?”

Personally, I think a brand is the soul of a business – it’s cause / mission – with some strategy and design thrown in for reinforcement. But that’s just me. Other people will define it differently. It’s not like a vet, or an accountant, or a grocery store – it’s a lot more fluid.

And that’s why one of our brand strategies for 2017 is to educate more entrepreneurs on what branding is.

That’s All Folks!

So, there’s our branding predictions for 2017! I hope you enjoyed the read, and I hope I can dig through my stuff to find my Kmart smock. Because that’d be funny. To me.

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

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