The first time I heard of Landor, the global branding consulting firm, I was working for a design firm in New York called Frankfurt, Gips Balkind. At the time, we were an award-winning group whose partner’s rubbed shoulders with visionaries like Paula Sher and Michael Beirut of Pentagram who regularly passed through our halls.

The Apple computer was just being used to set type and write copy and I was new to the industry having just graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was the beginning of the 90’s and it was an exciting time for graphic design. Raygun magazine and Emigre where my personal graphic design favorites; each pushing the boundaries or typography and design. Many people didn’t much care for how far they were going but everyone was watching, absorbing, assimilating and yes, setting way too much type in circles.

We were off the grid, consumers were part of the revolution in design and it felt great! My new boss was fresh from San Francisco where she had worked in a creative leadership capacity for a company called Landor and Associates. Working for her was like living my own Devil Wears Prada storyline. She often treated me more like a punching bag and personal assistant rather than the budding designer and future design firm owner I would become. But she did introduce me to the DNA of firms like Landor and for this I am forever grateful.

Landor pioneered many of the research, design, and consulting methods that are now standard in the branding industry so when they publish content, I always read them with great attention. The 2016 branding trends report was of particular interest to me because it begins to validate an important trend that Brand Tango often speaks about with our clients who are looking to navigate the confused waters of branding, advertising, marketing, big data, mobile and technology.

The 2016 Landor branding trends study predicts the need for a more well rounded brand experience, not just a purely digital one, and that makes sense considering how far we’ve all pushed consumers into a virtual world. Don’t get me wrong, Brand Tango loves diving deep into digital projects (especially mobile) but we always find it difficult to convince clients that there are real and attainable brand-building treasures waiting for them elsewhere. If you’re not a national advertiser, there are real opportunities for traction in environmental design, retail branding, packaging and yes, even print. There are also new ways to lure the millisecond attention spans of today’s consumers using scent, light, sound, and the hottest content trend, branded video.

It’s a fact, modern marketing science has become a numbers and conversion game that more and more companies are playing exceedingly well. It goes without saying that if everyone plays the same game, the playing field becomes level, saturated and, to be a little cliché, “me too”. When you think about it, the modern marketing landscape today largely mimics the economy where the top 1% control a vast majority or wealth and therefore opportunity. So who stands out? We (and Landor) know that it’s those brands who know how to take their message to the hearts of the people. If you assume that most great brands have, or will, master the mobile and larger digital space then the physical world becomes a defining brand battleground where hearts and minds are won.

This is the ideal time to make small investments that, quite literally, shine an exciting, engaging and noticeable spotlight on your brand. Making an investment in the physical brand experience allows the consumer to play an active role in elevating your market relevance through engaging virtual and physical brand experiences.

As our contribution, Brand Tango will continue to offer our branding, strategic business solutions and technology products to help push our clients toward a challenger brand status. Now let’s get out there and be amazing in 2016!