Understanding the UK market – local trends aren’t always easy to interpret

A headline including the word ‘Japandi’ was sure to capture our attention. It’s a design aesthetic combining influences from Japan and Scandinavia; two territories we have extensive experience in working with, from fashion houses to tech scale-ups.

Trends evolve in interesting ways, and while Japandi was first mentioned in UK media at the end of 2017 it is moving from the sphere of the innovators and early adoptors, through to the early majority, and this recent double page spread feature in the Telegraph  goes a long way to establish the design aesthetic as a mainstream trend. 2019 marks a century of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan and will see Japanese lifestyle store Muji open its biggest European branch in Helsinki, and Finish design brand Marimekko use Japanese designers to create a new collection. The impact of Japandi s already being felt in the UK; from interior design schemes to British fabric and wallpaper brand Scion’s new Japandi collection.  

So but what does a design aesthetic, that is mainly playing out in the world of interiors, have to do with PRing international brands in the UK? Firstly, and perhaps quite obviously, it shows how important it is to have someone here in the UK who is aware of trends and can interpret them for you and your brand and advise whether and how to use this in your messaging and content. 

More subtly, it raises an interesting point we raise often with our clients and that’s how a brand’s visual identity communicates in parallel with words and is an equally important element of our brand building and storytelling work. This is especially true when creating websites, marketing materials and social media visuals, as well as when putting on events for clients. That’s why we stay up to speed with the trends that are influencing people in the UK, so that we can best advise our clients on the visual identity that will appeal to their UK target audiences.  International clients tell us this is something they often find challenging because it can differ widely from their home territory whilst also being quite subtle and difficult to identify.

If you would like to talk to us about trends affecting your brand in the UK or your brand’s visual messaging, please get in touch.