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Branding & Marketing Insights 2021

10 Feb 2021

Just like life, branding and marketing are constantly evolving.

On a global scale, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many marketers to reexamine the path forward, necessitating a need to evolve and adapt to fit the new normal and help businesses succeed.

Our team has put together seven branding trends to help you improve your brand experience, build connections, drive engagement and growth.


“Most businesses are built around money, and money only goes so far. Money is the currency of transactions. Trust is the currency of interactions.” - Rachel Botsman

Trust means many things, but for consumers, it’s essentially whether the brands deliver on their promises. To build trust, you need to ensure your offer and brand promise are synchronised with your ability to deliver value.

Your value proposition is key to your marketing activities. If you want to succeed you need to understand what values are important for your customers and employees.

As the Covid-19 pandemic picked up, control - as a core value - increased in importance by 31%. Successful brands seemed to give consumers more control over how they were able to use a product or service.

Other values that measure brand trust are humanity, transparency, capability, reliability, employee well-being.

To bring trust to life you need:

  • To identify your messaging and ensure it aligns with your brand intentions.

  • To amplify the importance of trust within your marketing strategies and your internal communications.

Remember, customers are more than two times as likely to be repeat purchasers when they think a brand is capable of delivering on promise. Values drive feelings, and feelings influence actions.


Purpose-driven companies know why the organisation exists and who they are built to serve, and they use it at the center of all their activities. This is the reason why they are better positioned to ride out these extraordinary times.

Consumers want to have a better understanding of how brands work, how they support the environment and society as a whole. They look for brand actions to align with their own values and support brands that can act and stand up for what they believe in.

Brand identity

To encourage a unified and well-aligned connection with your brand is not something that technology can easily solve. Yet, focusing on this as a metric for a brand’s ultimate success will provide a strategic advantage and amplify brand loyalty.

In 2021, many brands are getting back to basics by redefining their purpose, the connection with their customers, and their core ideas.

Brand identity is not just a logo. It’s a promise, a mission, a vision, and understanding innately who your customers are.

It’s a relationship between the brand and its customers, built over time with consistent nurturing, a clear message, and holding true to your business mission.

Employee advocacy

Everything you do as a company has to be aligned with your Purpose. And this alignment starts with your people, their actions, and what drives them.

Employee Advocacy and - or Brand Ambassadorship - starts from the inside out. From Human Resources to Leadership, to Marketing. A psychological effect comes into play when employees are part of the brand initiatives, which makes them feel intrinsically connected to the company.

In addition, marketing efforts with a focus on employee advocacy have far more impact in terms of views, engagement, and leads.

Teaming up with leadership, working on internal communications, sharing knowledge, unlocking inspiration, and integrating your team into your existing marketing and branding campaigns, are some of the key actions you can take to improve your employee advocacy.

Customer centricity

During Covid-19, consumers supported companies that elevated their human-centric experiences.

These companies put their customers at the center of every decision related to promoting and selling your products, through a total alignment between sales, marketing, and customer service.

This approach requires a deep understanding of customers’ needs and preferences. It’s about fostering a positive customer experience at every stage of the customer journey, and helps build customer loyalty and satisfaction which leads to referrals for more customers.

Furthermore, McKinsey found that companies with a customer-centric, data-driven marketing approach improve ROI by 15-20% or more.

Building a customer-centric organisation in today's digital world is increasingly complicated, but here are some tips to help you achieve it:

  • Anticipate your customer needs - Most of your customers will be able to provide an account of what they want today, but you need to be able to gauge what they want on a longer time horizon.

  • Make direct calls - You will be able to get a more robust form of feedback from customers and this is far more personal than a form.

  • Conduct a customer satisfaction survey or product survey.


As we all know, Covid-19 brought many environmental, social, and political movements, and consumers have increasingly high expectations of brands.

Consumers believe companies are important - they believe they have the power to nurture a more cohesive society and can contribute to a sustainable economic system. So naturally, consumers will continue to demand transparency from brands; They want to better understand how brands work and how they support the environment and society.

Being a responsible business means being sustainable, and being sustainable can build greater trust and strengthen the brand’s relationships.

Companies that proactively make sustainability core to business strategy will drive innovation and engender enthusiasm and loyalty from employees, customers and suppliers.

Australian organisations are contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about who is doing what, and who is partnering with who to tackle the global goals through local action.

We hope you find this information useful, and please feel free to get in touch to discuss your branding and marketing strategies, and see how Feeney Marketing can help you achieve your goals in 2021.


1. Deloitte Digital, “Respond, recover, & thrive: Aligning with human values,” 2020.

2. McKinsey & Company, “Big Data, Analytics, and the Future of Marketing & Sales”, 2015.

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