Hello January. You’re back again with a biting cold draped around your neck. We’ve already talked about how to make the most of these first few months of resolutions, but what about the rest of the year?

Every year brands run a race to stay ahead of their competition, using every tactic, idea or new technology they can to make them the go to choice for consumers. Every January there’s a buzz to discover the latest and greatest that can keep these brands at the top of the game. Below are just two of the most important things we think are about to make the future, now.

Live Video
Social media has grown over time, from a place to share memories, to a place to share what you’ve just been doing. It seems natural that social media would moving beyond sharing the “just happened” to the “happening now”. Users are used to the stories found in Snapchat and Instagram, and Live Video is a natural evolution of this. Many platforms have begun to offer Live Video services inside or as their own product. From YouTube and Facebook Live, to the standalone Periscope app; all look to engage users with instant interaction.
New Year new brands 1(Image credit: Facebook)

Facebook has begun to roll out tools for celebrities and brands to make their live videos look as polished as possible. Comment filtering and video editing are small steps to make Live Video as attractive as possible for big names (and advertising budgets). In the fast moving world of today “brands are now publishers, they also need to be Live broadcasters.”

Chatbots
Or, as those in the know might call them, conversational interfaces. You may have heard rumblings about these in 2016, in launching a Tommy Hilfiger fashion line to raising awareness of humanitarian crises. But 2017 will likely be the year these bots actually begin to hit the mainstream. If brands take the opportunity to allow customers to order their products in an engaging way, it could do amazing things for brand relationships. Brands should always be doing their best to connect with audiences on a personal level, and what’s more personal than a one-to-one conversation?New Year new brands 2(Image credit: TechCrunch)

After the long, hard journey of 2016, the future looks like it could be getting brighter. It seems that some of the main focus for the future is finding better ways to connect through technology. For brands this means building a relationship, through video or chat, to remain in touch with consumers. The year is just getting started and there’s plenty of ways to keep improving. There’s always something new around the corner, the future is now.