Red Havas: Six trends reshaping the brand experience landscape in 2022

Global micro-network of merged media agencies, Red Havas today published its latest report, ‘A New Lens on Brand Experience’, sharing insights and examining the forces reshaping the brand experience landscape.

The accelerated innovations of the last two years will continue to play a pivotal role in the world of brand experience, the report revealed. However, the most important insight uncovered from the pandemic is that the key to building real, lasting relationships between brands and audiences boils down to our basic need for human-to-human engagement and shared experiences.

Red Havas – A New Lens on Brand Experience

“Globally, we have seen fundamental shifts in consumer behaviours and attitudes that have led to cultural changes and the birth of a new wave of brand experience,” says James Wright, global CEO of Red Havas, and global chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective. “The industry is shifting the way it operates to engage with consumers. Brands are finding new, and often better, ways to connect with a post-COVID audience to become more relevant, meaningful and effective. It’s going to be a fascinating year ahead to see how brand experience will evolve.”

Steve Fontanot, managing director, Red Havas and Havas Blvd, adds, “We’re pleased to launch this brand experience trend report – it’s a culmination of many hours of research and conversations from right across the global Red Havas community. The report demonstrates the evolutions in consumer behaviours and expectations, as well as the opportunities for brands to engage in more meaningful and connected ways.”

Michael Ozard, group brand experience director, Red Havas and Havas Blvd, says the report’s insights will inform new experience-led opportunities for clients: “Through our work with the world’s most ambitious brands, we’ll continue to explore the changing brand experience landscape and new trends to create more meaningful and innovative work for our clients.”

The six trends include:

1. A New Breed of Retail Experimentation: The pandemic has accelerated expectations around traditional bricks-and-mortar stores. In 2022, we will see brands merge experiential and retail to completely reimagine the retail experience – adapting to new customer expectations and innovations and turning the store into a destination.

2. In Search of New Outlets for Wanderlust Experiences: In a world where human attention is a scarce commodity, with brands competing for their customers’ attention, escapist experiential provides a powerful tool to engage, entertain and captivate new audiences.

3. Ready for the Metaverse – Embracing a 3D Meta World: We’re yet to enter the metaverse in its truest sense. Virtual worlds have boomed in popularity, but we’re missing the ability to seamlessly jump between them. That, combined with mass adoption of wearable tech, will be the real takeoff moment. In preparation, we will see brands increasingly explore the components that will make up the metaverse: virtual experiences, gaming, AR, VR and 3D design.

4. Using Co-creation as a Creative Agent: The mindset has shifted from creating campaigns for audiences, to with communities. Rather than anticipating cultural influence, there’s never been a better time for brands to co-create and contribute in meaningful ways. Giving access to brand opportunities, spaces/places and creative resources to audiences that need it most can forge deeper relationships that go beyond the campaign.

5. Bespoke Still Matters: Consumers are craving more meaningful connections with brands, and they expect brands to understand and respond to their individual needs. With many brands not quite ready to dive headfirst into large-scale events, hyper individualisation and micro experiences will offer enriching online/offline experiences that make our audiences feel just as connected as with in-person experiences.

6. Everyone is Welcome: The growing focus on physical and digital brand experiences combined provides new opportunities that can enhance experiences for all. Providing equal access to all must be considered throughout the planning process to ensure accommodations can be made should people need them. Relatively basic features like live captioning can go a long way to making events more inclusive.

The report was authored by Red Havas staffers from around the world, including Steve Fontanot, AU managing director; Michael Ozard, AU group brand experience director; Linda Descano, US EVP and head, corporate communications and executive visibility; Courtney Myers, US SVP and head of experiential; Kana Phung, AU senior producer.

Download the report.


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