How Do You Know You've Been Trendjacked? There is Much More Than ‘Getting the Hype’

Trendjacking has become a popular strategy for brands looking to capture attention in the sea of digital content. Whether it's a viral meme or the latest pop culture reference on websites and social media, many brands leverage these trends to gain visibility, hoping to be remembered by their target market. However, while trendjacking can make brands overnight social media and search engine stars, it often leads to a "spray and pray" marketing approach that lacks coherence and fails to resonate with the target audience.

In this blog, we dive into why trendjacking can backfire and how keeping it real can get you further. By prioritising your core values and understanding your customers, you can create eye-catching and genuinely effective campaigns without straying from your brand identity.

Chasing vs. Attracting: Why You Should Ditch the "Hype" Circle

Whether you have been in digital marketing for a while or are new to it, trends change in microseconds. In fast-moving industries like fashion, food and beverages, the temptation to get your brand into every pop culture reference is high. It seems the difference between your brand and your competitors’ lies in how relatable you are to customers. This temptation is also felt by those looking to disrupt industries less associated with social media or Google searches. No matter your industry, trends can appear to determine your brand's visibility.

However, picture this: you follow every trending content on social media and search engines, making it harder to maintain your brand messaging and consistency. You might get lucky and gain hype, but does any of your content have anything to do with your business? Consider how many brands you remember on social media and websites—likely just a few that consistently deliver relevant content without being swayed by every passing fad.

Have a Customer-Centric Branding

Knowing your target customer and how you want to be perceived helps you understand their decision-making journey and influences. Therefore, It is best to focus on building a community around your brand identity, not short-lived trends. Platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok can help build communities if you remain consistent with your messaging and persona, regardless of the flood of videos.

This rule also applies to websites. Customers use websites to understand your brand and offerings beyond what social media can show. Cookie-cutter template websites may offer a quick solution, but they miss the critical element of differentiation. Creating an authentic brand kit and focusing on information that helps customers visualise your products becomes essential. Our client, Montgomery Investment Management shows how transparency with product knowledge can increase ROI, especially in industries where products are considered by customers as important and risky purchases like finance products. Moreover, companies like the Australasian Promotional Products Association deal with the highly competitive branded merchandise market. Here, consistent branding and authentic content are crucial for standing out.

Relatability is Subjective

As content creation becomes more accessible, posting shallow content that does not reflect your team, product, or brand fails to convert the engagement you desire. Think about the many product ads you see on Google and social media—they may be funny but often irrelevant to your needs. Brands like Spotify can successfully use pop culture references because their target audience is the pop community. Trendy content formats can work, but only if they align with your brand and resonate with your audience, like Spotify and Duolinggo with the pop and younger community. Hence, avoid gimmicky tactics that prioritise clicks over conversions.


AI Can't Replace You (Entirely)

With the growth of AI, businesses can multitask while mastering each step. Various AI tools, like Gemini, Chat GPT, and built-in AI features on platforms like LinkedIn, assist marketers in creating marketing materials ranging from brainstorming to copywriting. While AI is a powerful tool, making sure every branch of your business shares the same message still requires human expertise and not often businesses fail to grow all of their branches’ online presence consistently because they don’t have the right tool to empower them.

Global brands like Suzuki Marine, with 65 dealers Australia-wide, face the challenge of maintaining consistent messaging while allowing dealers to update their site content to stay relevant locally. By creating a multi-site web platform for all dealers, we ensured each could cater to their local market while maintaining the overall brand identity. This approach allows dealers to tailor content based on local trends while embodying the Suzuki Marine brand story.

A graphic with descriptive points about why trendjacking should never be your plan

In Closing

While trendjacking might seem exciting to gain traction overnight, it often fails to create lasting connections with your audience. By not trying to fit into everyone's shoes, you can connect with your actual customer profile and grow as a business without struggling with audience retention. At Click Creative, a leading full-service Melbourne digital agency, we specialise in helping brands stay true to their customers while delivering exceptional digital solutions. Are you ready to gain control over your digital presence? Get in touch with our team today!

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