Where do branding professionals think the future of branding is heading? We asked 15 brand and marketing managers how they think branding will evolve in 2016.

Branding will become more about ROI and less about "warm and fuzzy". Unless branded content (whatever it may be) is measurably pushing customers down the sales funnel it will go the way of the dinosaur.
Guy Kilfoil
GM: Brand Mangagement at BMW South Africa [LinkedIn]
It will be about custom, useful content curated by content experts. Banner ads will be less relevant. Video blogs and interactive content are what people are interested in. It is about taking to the audience and not talking at them.
David Diomede
Creative Services Director at OpenSystems Media [LinkedIn]
For 2016, branding is evolving more into mobile apps. Getting to the end user is most important because end users are using websites to research brands. They are educating themselves on brands. Companies need to target the end users with direct campaigns that keep them involved and engaged with their brand even though the end user is buying their brand through a retail or distributor outlet.
Wanda Angel
Brand Manager for Doors & Windows at ProVia [LinkedIn]
Driving engagement with brand advocates and using word of mouth to share news. Social media can be powerful and we're finally seeing brands leveraging it well.
Lauren Sengele
Associate Brand Manager at Jarden Home Brands [LinkedIn]
Branding is going to become more personalized, it will fall into company guidelines, however, I think it will be tweaked to suit certain audience groups and industries. The only way we will attract people in this ever growing world of technology, is by showing them something that will interest them, whilst subtly reminding them who you are.
Elle Louise Gibbons
Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Siretta Ltd [LinkedIn]
Brands face a growing challenge to remain relevant and keep attention in the global flood of competitors. To keep up, I see a demand for better quality content rather than more persistent delivery (as many think this is the key to successful digital marketing and branding). If you want to get attention, you can't serve vanilla ice cream content.
Nick Power
Brand Manager at Flowfold [LinkedIn]
Being relevant with the right message at the right time will be key.
Marc van Laar
Experienced Marketing Communication Professional at Buddha to Buddha [LinkedIn]
Branding will continue to move towards more transparency. Consumers can see right through a brand with no core values or added benefits. The millennial consumer and Gen Z are breaking down traditional standards of 'brand loyalty' and are only seeking the most honest, unique and globally conscious brands to follow. If the branding isn't interesting or relevant to what matters to the consumer, then it will receive no attention. The social world will continue to dominate the mass means of communication and short videos will be the best means of communicating brand message/campaigns/calls-to-action. Social media outlets like SnapChat and Instagram will be the largest opportunities for companies to spread their branding.
Samantha Morquecho
Brand Manager at Twang Partners [LinkedIn]
People make up the work that companies produce. Often we think of it the other way around. Branding is also about people, not the company. It only works when individuals engage, and the best way to convince them to engage is to stop interrupting the content that they want to consume with a zero value pop-up ad. A quality brand needs quality marketing. We need to figure out how to make content that people want to consume, deliver it where they are actually paying attention, and consider when they are ready to consume it.
Michael Oquendo
Branding Manager at Imperial Press Direct
In 2016, the major trend that will evolve will be heavily geared towards consumers that value work-life balance considerateness on the part of the brand influencer.
Ray Lindenberg
Chief Innovationist & Consultant at Winning Workspaces Hospitality Group [LinkedIn]
Branding in 2016 and beyond will be less about a specific medium but more about the interaction between all available mediums (both online and physical). Successful companies will integrate content to be more relevant and flexible to the end user. Our clients are in control of the marketing they receive. As marketers, we must be ready to deliver exactly what they want and where they want it, not only to be noticed but also to solidify brand loyalty.
Don Mallory
VP Marketing at BOK Financial [LinkedIn]
Branding will evolve to be far more about the engagement that people have with the brand and less about the actual brand image that is put out. In the future, people will increasingly choose to continue to engage with brands that align with their social, ethical and moral constructs as the story the brand tells will resonate with the people on an individual level. It will be less about mass brand image and far more about personalised content that is relevant to the individual's context (taking their local region into account). Yes there must always be elements of the brand that remain consistent to ensure standardization, but it is the brands that adapt their story to meet the local and individual needs of specific target audiences that will be the brands that remain relevant, sustainable and profitable.
Julia Scheffer
Global Brand and Communication Manager at AltoPartners [LinkedIn]
Subtler and clearer initiatives, and more online reputation will work.
Jayne Weldon
Brand & Marketing Co-Ordinator at Wetherell [LinkedIn]
Branding will be more mobile and able to be managed from anywhere, anytime, particularly with improved technologies to facilitate this.
Michelle (Bridger-Darling) Keir
Marketing Manager at CASF Australia [LinkedIn]
I think branding is shifting toward immersive experiences. Some of that is through mobile technology, but for us, it is also about real world interaction and engagement.
Rhiannon Sheaparé
Marketing Specialist / Visual Designer at Cytel [LinkedIn]

Do you want to know more about the future of branding? Download our infographic on the branding trends for 2016.

Download Infographic Benchmark Study

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