A record number of 1,500 industry professionals from Belgium and beyond attended this year’s UBA Trends Day
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Organised annually by UBA Belgium, UBA Trends Day is the biggest marketing and advertising industry event in Belgium which aims to put a spotlight on the latest trends in communications, consumer insights, brands and media and inspire brands to go to the next level.
Here are some of the key trends identified by the event’s international speakers:
- Brand transformation = Small data, not big data: On trends in strategy and branding, expert and author Martin Lindstrom said that brands are ‘dying’ because many are suffering from what he calls “Chicken Cage syndrome” or being resistant to change. He emphasised big data’s inability to solve brand challenges especially with regards to truly connecting with consumers. Instead, he suggested marketers will have to focus more on customer intelligence in the future, with the help of small. ‘real life’ data.
- “Data without empathy is just more noise”: On consumer trends, Meabh Quoirin, CEO and co-owner of Foresight Factory, added to Martin’s point and touched on how in today’s attention economy, brands must seek to be heard and stay heard.
- Make or break – the power of the logo: On trends in brand building, Jenni Romaniuk, research professor and co-author of 'How Brands Grow', emphasised how increasingly important it is for brands to stand out and have distinctive and unique assets, from the logo to the growing trend of audio branding. Her three roles of branding: ownership, anchor, bridge.
- Stereotypes in advertising will not be solved in the short-term: On how to unstereotype advertising, author and journalist Dalilla Hermans and Jozefien Daelemans, Editor-in-Chief of Charlie Magazine, highlighted that eradicating harmful stereotypes will require a shift in mindset and a long-term commitment from brands around: 1 – body diversity, 2 – people of colour, and 3 – gender roles. On how brands can be more involved in the diversity and inclusion discussion internally, corporate anthropologist Jitske Kramer suggested organisations adapt a “jam culture” whereby everyone in the organisation is encouraged to join the conversation and participate actively in the decision-making process. Quoting Vernā Myers, she said: “Diversity is about being invited in the party; inclusion is being asked to join in and dance.”
- Implement an “always in beta” mindset: On trends in innovation, ‘Marketoonist’ Tom Fishburne emphasised the need for brands to constantly reinvent and evolve themselves by experimentation, not being afraid of failure, learning from mistakes and moving forward.
- Not business as usual as the new normal: On trends in society, Peter Hinssen, Co-founder & Partner of nexxworks, argued that although technology is seen as the perpetrator for many societal, economic and environmental crises today, it is those in control of technology, from platforms to politicians, who we should be more critical, and afraid, of. A glimpse of hope: brands realising their role and responsibility in solving these challenges.
The next UBA Trends Day will be on March 26, 2020 in Brussels. For more information and a copy of the presentations, please visit the event webpage or contact Chris Van Roey.