Brands in 2023 The Balance of Caution and Evolution

Brands in 2023 The Balance of Caution and Bold Evolution

Have you ever stopped to think about how cautious brands have become in 2023? When was the last time you saw a brand make a bold decision (no, Balenciaga with that kid mess doesn’t count), something that made you say “Wow”?

If you’re nodding, know that we’re on the same page.


Brands in 2023: The Balance of Caution and Bold Evolution
Brands in 2023: The Balance of Caution and Bold Evolution

In a context dominated by social media, with increasing consumer activism and an uncertain economic landscape, it seems that many brands are choosing the path of caution.

But here’s the thing: too much caution can become a risk in itself.

Look, you don’t have to be a genius to realize that the world is a mess. Climate changes, unstable economy, new technologies… it’s a weird time.

And with all this, it’s not surprising that everyone is a bit scared and uncertain about how to move forward.

Globalization and Fear of Offending

Here’s how it works: economic pressures push brands to produce universal content for all markets, leading to generic advertising campaigns that can easily be adapted to different languages and cultures.

Yes, sure, it’s great to have a global audience, but if you try to please everyone… you end up pleasing no one.

And in the end, all brands end up looking the same.

 

Globalization opens up two different scenarios.

On one side, the creatives.

Global access to information and trends has led to a simultaneous sharing of ideas and styles worldwide. This global interconnection has created a kind of “global tribe”, where, for fear of flopping, creatives adapt to dominant trends.

On the other side, the brands.

The goal is often to standardize and automate work to reach a wider audience. This can lead to a loss of authenticity and challenges in maintaining cultural peculiarities in different regions.

Even if a strategy works in the short term, it might not be sustainable in the long run. Differentiation is crucial to remain relevant in an ever-evolving market.

No one is taking risks anymore, neither creatives nor brands. It’s a vicious cycle.

Take, for example, Burberry’s early-year restyling (after it already did it two years ago with a “blanding” perspective). It was essential for the brand to renew itself, as it was becoming too similar to others.

The key, then, for Brands in 2023 is to find the balance of caution and bold evolution and continuous innovation, readiness to evolve, to lead trends rather than follow them, and to remain authentic in the process.

Difficult. But is there another option? No.

Because if brands don’t evolve, they risk becoming irrelevant.

Authenticity and the willingness to take calculated risks are crucial in this ever-evolving landscape.

And while the future is uncertain, one thing is clear: brands that dare will be the ones that thrive.

Elisabetta Alicino

★ Creative Director & Strategist @brandgenesi • post about: Brand, Design, Digital Strategy, Generative AI, Empowerment ★ find me on IG ☞ @eli.alicino