The Top 5 Business Trends of 2021

Marketing is not a one size fits all kind of campaign, and each business has their own branding, aesthetic, and promotional planning. 2021 was full of innovative marketing strategies that made use of digital marketing aspects, as well as partnerships and collaborations with revolutionary apps, up and coming influencers, and well-loved media series. 

We’re wrapping up 2021 with the top five business trends for the year! We’ve sure seen a lot of digital and physical marketing campaigns that were effective pioneers of their industries, like Coca-cola’s collaborative marketing with fan app Cameo for their Christmastime promotions. 

1. Personalized everything!

Every new year, we’ve been claiming that this year is going to be my year, and businesses have caught up with the trend in 2021 with personalized and customized everything! From stamps to mugs; from packaging to digital video channels, businesses have been branding their content and products with their own logos and company name as part of their marketing efforts!

2021 seemed like the year for customization, especially as small businesses attempted to strive through the economic crisis brought about by the global pandemic. Customized items, like custom-made pins, or private labeled bottled water, are accessible, cost-effective trends that we can expect to continue through 2022 and beyond! 

2. Collaborations made crossovers real.

Like a beloved crossover episode of our childhood, brand partnerships made collaborative efforts worth the planning as consumers looked to brand collaborations with delight. Fast-food chain Wendy’s collaborated with Adult Swim show Rick and Morty with a drive-thru pop up of the fast-food establishment themed with easter eggs from the TV series. 

Collaborations also gave consumers a topic of discussion, especially in fanbase groups where these efforts have shown to capture the audience as fans scrambled to claim a piece of memorabilia from their beloved brands. McDonald’s made global headlines with their partnership meals as they launched their BTS collaboration. 

Brand collaborations brought excitement into the otherwise mundane lifestyles of consumers in recent years, but whether this trend will continue in 2022, we’ll have to see to find out! We can assume that future collaborations will need to step up their game from the usual partnerships.

3. Progressive ads are on the rise.

2021 was a prograssive year – both online and offline conversations on difficult topics garnered attention from the public, and advertisers found opportunities to reach out to their target audience by sparking conversations on such topics. 

Although playing with progressive advertising is like walking on a tightrope for many businesses, when done properly, it can present the progression of a business to reflect the values and beliefs of their consumers in the current age. Progressive ads can be a fresh change of pace when done properly, but can also be the case of a fall for the company.

4. Sustainability leads the forefront of climate change awareness.

Climate change has been a leading environmental topic since the 70’s, and people continue to value sustainability in their products and consumption. However, 2021 showed an increase in sustainable business practices as companies shifted to using environmentally friendly materials over single-use ones. 

Consumers created an increasing demand for sustainable products, using materials that present themselves as eco-friendly alternatives to plastic products. Aluminum bottled water, bamboo utensils, and sugarcane food containers are among the popular forms of sustainable packaging that became popular in 2021. 

Given the never-ending battle against plastic pollution and environmental degradation, we can expect that sustainability trends will carry on beyond 2021, and will become a staple in business practices as we work on reversing the effects of climate change.

5. Businesses shift to the digital metaverse.

Facebook recently announced their company name change into Meta Inc., playing on the concept of the metaverse where the virtual world is interconnected as an alternative reality to the physical world. Businesses latched onto the concept of the metaverse, presenting their own versions of immersive virtual worlds. 

Metaverse aspects continue to show up in cryptocurrency-related projects, but have since moved to popular culture as well with brands like Chipotle making special appearances in digital world Roblox. The brand added to users’ gaming experiences with specialized skins, digital promotions, and more.

As for whether the metaverse is a trend that businesses will hop onto in 2022, we’ll have to assess the advancement of the virtual world to find out. Still, we can expect that brands will attempt to bring their businesses online, and gain a following of loyal customers in the virtual space. 

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