We’re giving 2016 the finger. Ok, not THE finger. In fact some people don’t even consider it a finger at all. We’re giving 2016 a thumb – a “thumbs up” to be exact. Because honestly 2016 was solid. Bombarded by social-media bad mouthing it seems like a lot of people were pretty pissed about the whole year. We just don’t share that sentiment. Just look below. Good times were had, great work was done, and we still have all of our limbs (maybe a few injuries that we swear were NOT Pokemon Go-related). What else can be said? It was a damn good year.
In that regard, we’re giving 2017 an enthusiastic handshake. You know, the one that’s a little firm. Maybe just a little bit too firm, but not to the point of actually hurting – just firm enough to confidently say, “I’m in charge.” Yeah 2017, we’re going to own you. Ahhh, who are we kidding…give us a hug.
Honestly, there isn’t some dazzling new emerging trend that we’re fixated on for this next year. Usually technology brings those advances about, and based on the so-so showing at CES last weekend (although the Microsoft Surface Studio makes us want to betray our Apple cult), we wouldn’t say there is anything that’s shaking the foundation of our intuition. What we are excited about is the maturity of a few things we’ve watched develop over years.
The biggest is personality (but every year should be about that). There’s been a rise in noted attributes such as “authenticity” and “transparency” in brands over the years. Declarations and campaigns, entire rebrands have been driven by these keywords. But actually announcing yourself as such kind of takes away from it – it’s like saying you’re cool is the least cool thing you can do. The good thing is that we’re past talking about it. Brands are expected to be genuine and now that it’s no longer a platform to launch from – we can truly just be.
Per usual, Pantone’s Color of the Year sets the bar. It’s all about being natural, which surely is in line with being yourself. The nauseatingly-replicated industrial-modern seen in every restaurant was sort of an awkward growth phase from sleek-designed to comfort. Well, comfort is ruling. We are looking forward to inviting, lived-in spaces that reflect brands’ souls (that personality thing), than simply an aesthetic. These are spaces to be enjoyed (not merely observed) where warmth and familiarity creates a deeper brand connection. And shit, just slather everything in living walls and LEEDS certifications and you’re good to go.
“Giving back” is a great marketing tool. It sounds bland when solely done for that reason, but hey, at least some good is being done. But luckily, we’ve moved beyond doing things for the sake of promotion. Doing right by others and helping your community has become a part of our culture. Brands are aligning with organizations because they genuinely want to give a hand, not just receive a pat on the back. We will continue to promote and push those partnerships with our brands to promote them through positive change.
So to that end – Be yourself. Act naturally. Do some good. Enjoy 2017!