Hey there Caitlin!
Last week part of the Real Bullets Team boarded a Jet Blue flight to Baltimore, MD for the Natural Products Expo. where our CEO, Caitlin was going to be speaking. If you're not familiar with Natural Products Expo it's basically a huge trade show with every kind of natural product you can think of, or as one of the team put it "like trick or treating at a Whole Foods".
While not all of you are in the natural food or product industry, we did come back with some branding trends that will be worthwhile no matter what your business is.
1) Brands whose branding crosses from online to offline:
We loved seeing branding make the jump from online to offline. With research reports coming out regularly singing the praises of design as a fundamental piece of branding we aren't surprised to see it making more of an appearance at conferences and events.
JR Watkins has a very clear style to their branding that you can see from its website to its packaging to the setup at the event.
2) Brands that know and promote their technology:
Obviously we love it when brands have a technology slant so we were excited to see that there were some natural products brands promoting technology. Own Skincare has an app. that allows you to photograph your face and see where there is sun damage (from the privacy of your home - we wouldn't let them check at the booth - eek!).
Bottom line: when not everyone is promoting their technology, it can be a point of uniqueness in a sea of booths.
3) Brands that solve a problem:
One thing that we can say about Natural Product Expo is that there were a lot of trends. Gluten-free anything (literally not a piece of bread to be found) and sprouted seeds were big ones but greek yogurt and soy-free weren't far behind. With all of these trends making an appearance in the branding it made us wonder on more than one occasion - "what happens next year when it's something else that's trendy?". The brands that we saw that solved a larger problem vs. a short term trends were the ones we expect to see next year. The best one? A new company making cool kids bracelets and lunch boxes for little guys with allergies. The problem is, kids feel left out when they have a serious allergy and this company seeks to make it feel special and even cool by creating products that feel like they came from a cartoon and not a doctor's office.
If you'd like to see the rest of our photos from Natural Products Expo you can click here. If you'd like to learn more about branding or the digital space you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org