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October 2017
DeCode Download

Our DeVries Global cultural decoders are hard at work uncovering bleeding edge trends and happenings in the cultural ether that you should know about.

Each month we’ll recap the top trends, presenting implications and opportunities for your business with plenty of examples of them “in the wild” to explore. Get ready to be inspired!




People are looking for an escape from the reality of our today’s world, and are turning to memes and other means of injecting humor and unexpected fun into their lives – especially on Twitter.

In response, we’re seeing a rise – and rise of success – in brands taking what we’re calling an “anti-brand” approach to social media. They’re adopting an über-human persona, language, and messaging to drive equity in unexpected and curious ways, and leading with personality instead of product messaging. Then, once they’ve flagged the attention of consumers and media, the door is open for delivering key messaging to an audience that is now more deeply-engaged.

This approach can be leveraged for several outcomes, including opening up your brand to a new, socially-engaged audience, changing the way people view your brand in terms of relevancy and personality, and even to generate news when there is nothing else expected in the news cycle.

Examples We Love

Wendy’s vs. Wingstop Twitter Rap Battle

Hamburger Helper
Hamburger Helper’s Mixtape on Soundcloud (13MM listens and counting)

Gucci Memes Itself on Instagram




Today’s consumers love sharing branded experiences on social media, especially when it helps them achieve some level of status and recognition. But, with so many brands creating share-worthy experiences for today’s consumers, it has become harder to break through the noise.

One way we are seeing brands evolve within this experience economy – where people are increasingly valuing experiences over possessions - is through unexpected collaborations. Whether for product development, event co-hosting or otherwise, unexpected collaborations can breathe new life and relevance into brands, while highlighting the unique attributes and aspirations the two brands share – in a highly sharable way. The more unexpected, the better, we’ve found. Considering opportunities outside of your immediate sphere, but with brands which whom your audiences overlap, has proven most successful at generating buzz while effectively speaking to a double-in-size consumer base.

Examples We Love

Levi’s and Jacquard by Google

taco bell forever 21
Taco Bell and Forever 21

ford tinder
Ford and Tinder




Consumers today are looking beyond the price tag and gravitating towards brands they share common values with – especially those employing eco-friendly and sustainable practices. The rise of new brands showcasing ‘vegan’, ‘non-cruelty’ and ‘organic’ offerings and calls from media, influencers and consumers alike are forcing more and more brands to take their social responsibility efforts to a whole new level. Enter: eco-branding.

If your brand isn’t “green” or doesn’t offer non-toxic or all-natural products, listen up; there are still ways for you to implement and assert your eco-friendliness. Consider a logo revamp, to save ink when printing packaging and promotional materials. Consider only working with eco-friendly vendors for events or other public-facing activity. Or, consider how you can spin a new product change (packaging, formulation, ingredient sourcing) or other existing practice into an eco-friendly message. The eco-friendly options are endless!

Examples We Love

Sephora stores have LED lighting, which is 15% more energy efficient

mcdonalds apple
Apple or McDonald’s redesigning their logos, to save ink when printing (concept)

lush cosmetics
Lush Cosmetics recycling program

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