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How to Effectively Use Trends in Your Brand (Because They’re Not All Right For You)

8/29/23

Brand Voice

We’ve all seen it plenty of times.

Your favorite brand goes rogue and does a collab that doesn’t make sense. A celeb announcing they’re done acting and will instead be selling vitamins and makeup. A distant friend suddenly posting things that just don’t sound like them (where did all the hostility come from Megan?!)

It all just feels…a little off-brand, don’t you think?

And while you may think this just comes down to big business being big business, celebs doing celeb things, or people just being people…small businesses are prone to using trends in their brand that just don’t work, too. *GASP*

Don’t do it for the sake of trending

We hear all the time that we’ve gotta hop on the trends if we want to be seen online. That we MUST participate if we want to be pushed out by the algo. But you know where that leaves us?

Doing things to get traction on social when in reality, it has nothing to do with our offers, brand, or strategy. Thus, compromising the overall integrity and value of our brands.

And not getting us a step closer to the right people (which is what we’re online to do in the first place). 

Now THAT is worthy of a gasp. 

So how do you make sure you’re not falling into the trend trap? And how do you know if a trend is going to be a good one for your brand? Keep reading to find out!

When trends DON’T matter

When we talk about creating content, it’s more than just having a fun post that gets a lot of engagement. Engagement is important, yes, but only if the right people (aka — your target audience) are interacting with you.

You can go viral, gain 100K followers, and still be in the same position you were before if not a single one of those people cares about what you’re selling. It’s all about finding the right people

Don’t get me wrong, doing something trendy and getting lots of engagement isn’t bad, per se. But it’s really hard to grow when you aren’t focusing on the things that bring more of your people into the mix. 

That’s why you need to approach trends with caution. They may look cool, but they aren’t always appropriate for your brand. I mean…you probably wouldn’t catch Uncanny doing a trendy TikTok dance on our Reels because…well…idk just doesn’t feel like us, right?!

If you’ve got a brand — stick. to. it. 

Examples of trends going rogue

Not to throw anyone under the bus but, it would be really hard to convey what we mean without showing you some examples. Let’s take a look, shall we?

#1: DUOLINGO

Boooooy, do we have some words for that owl. ICYMI — Duolingo is a language learning app, whose primary audience is people between the ages of 16 and 22. Not to mention, there are loads of kids who use it too and (we just don’t have that data, because, ya know…data tracking laws). 

They have lots of bright-colored characters and cartoons that make it appeal to a younger audience. Case in point:

At first glance, you may think this is a family-friendly program, right? 

Then WTF is this about? 🤨

OR THIS?!?!

We’re really sorry we had to subject you to that, but if we had to see it, so do you. 

Do you get where we’re going with this??? Make it make sense!!! Pick an audience. 

We…we think that’s plenty of examples for today. The point is — don’t do what Duolingo is doing. Hone in on your brand, find your target audience, and stick to it. 

Can you still participate in trends?

Absolutely! You CAN still participate in trends. And please do! They’re a fun and exciting way to spice up your content while still effectively engaging your audience (IE building relationships and growing leads).

While not every trend is for you, you can figure out which ones are with the tips below: 

  1. Evaluate what audience the trend is speaking to. Because it isn’t always going to be yours. 
  2. Ask yourself…does that audio or music really fit my brand? Trust us, there’s plenty of trending audio to go around, so you CAN find something that actually suits you. 
  3. See if it aligns with your values — and we don’t just mean figuring out if it’s right or wrong. That’s a given. Does it fit your BUSINESS values? Does it support the mission you’re on?
  4. Think about if it’s getting you closer to where you want to go. Is it going to land with your people? Will it even reach the right people in the first place? Is it going to help you get closer to them?

The main thing to remember is that you have to pit the trend with the mission, vision, and values. 

And if you’re feeling FOMO…don’t worry. The good news is that trends are so short-lived on places like Instagram and TikTok that a new one will appear just as fast. (Which is also why you shouldn’t put all your focus on trends to begin with, but…another story for another day). 

Need someone to keep you in check?

Look, we get it. Those trends look like a blast. But it’s easy to get wrapped up and then lost amid all the excitement. And we don’t want that for you. 

Sometimes you’ve just gotta say no. Sometimes, you need to put your phone away and limit your time online so you don’t get distracted. And other times, you need someone to keep you in check. A little accountability, if you will. 

We can do that. We’re REALLY good at doing that. We’ve got a team of badass content strategists and writers to help you create content that actually gets you where you want to go. 

And we’ll make sure you always stay on brand while doing it. With strategy in mind, kindness, but also, some firm accountability.

We got you! Get in touch with us here to find out more about how we can work together.

Ashton Hoot, Lead Copywriter + Dedicated Swiftie
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