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Brand Strategy Predictions 2023 Technology Predictions

A year of endings? 2023 may see the end of cookies, anti-design, and digital brutalism

By Harry Daniel, Marketing Strategist



The Drum Network article

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January 27, 2023 | 6 min read

You’ll see a fair amount this January about the shiny new things to expect in 2023. Here, for our Predictions Deep Dive, Rawnet’s Harry Daniel tells us what we can expect to see the back of this year.

A brutalist tower block

Will we finally see the end of digital brutalism, anti-design and cookies in 2023? / Ivan Aleksic via Unsplash

2022 was another year of surprise, change and turbulence for businesses, with global macroeconomic challenges giving marketers much to think about.

2023 will be a ‘make or break’ year for businesses, as consumer budgets tighten and brands face higher costs and tougher competition. Plans will need to be laser-focused on areas of success, eliminating what didn’t work last year.

But marketers can create more certainty for themselves by looking forward to the next year with a plan for success.

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A different kind of loyalty

Over the coming months, expectations from consumers around loyalty will begin to change. Brands need to consider what they can do to have the biggest impact on customer loyalty. According to Gartner, product experience and interactivity have the most significant effect; 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from 20% of existing customers, so loyalty really does pay off for brands.

As high street footfall continues to decline, digital marketers need to bring the magic of loyalty from physical settings into digital platforms. Loyalty programs are often far more effective when the relationship is emotional, rather than simply transactional.

Loyalty in 2023 will see higher importance placed on value as consumers look for the best deals. Brands need to cater to that by putting value first. It’s about curating an approach to loyalty that is unique and engages a community, underpinned by the power of brand and value, to keep customers returning.

The sun will set on ‘unsmart’ sites

The metaverse might be the hottest buzzword but so many websites are still failing to get the basics right. Mobile accounts for over half of global web traffic, so user experiences has to cater for all devices. The website, as part of a broader omnichannel approach, is the modern shop window, but how can sites be smarter in 2023?

79% of users won’t engage with content that doesn’t load swiftly or display well on their device. ‘Smart’ sites make it easy for users to interact with content, wherever they are and via any device. Consumers will be looking wider for deals and information, leaving even less time to wait for content to load. There are no excuses anymore for clunky mobile experience. The bar must be raised in 2023.

Will the cookie finally crumble?

In 2024, the use of cookies in Google’s Chrome browser will be phased out, with Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla already having made their moves. A key mechanism for building consumer understanding is set to finally disappear. Brands must find other ways to get to know their customers in a privacy-centric way.

Consumers are understandably skeptical about privacy, with 69% expressing concerns about how their data is collected. Tech giants and SMEs will all need to adapt to cater to more privacy-conscious consumers. In the wake of the death of cookies, data protection needs to be a cornerstone of organizational cultures, to build trust with consumers and protect their data. Where trust is assured and the value of data sharing is clear, consumers will be more willing to share their data with brands as part of a mutual value exchange.

Anti-design and digital brutalism will no longer be in fashion

‘Digital brutalism’ is a lack of interactive content, featuring default fonts and a no-nonsense approach to design. Anti-design, meanwhile, looks to disrupt the status quo and challenge the established social order. In 2023, these trends could well fade away, with a shift toward accessibility and personalization.

Data is the ingredient for perfect personalization. Anti-design and digital brutalism give the impression of an imperfect experience, but is an imperfect experience really what the discerning consumer deserves in 2023?

It’s a consumer expectation, not just a ‘nice to have’, for products and services to be tailored to the individual. 74% of consumers feel frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization doesn’t happen overnight; it relies on understanding the audience, their interests, and previous buying patterns.

For more tech trends and analysis, check out The Drum's Technology Predictions hub.

Brand Strategy Predictions 2023 Technology Predictions

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