As the world begins to open up again, brands employ optimistic and hopeful messages to attract consumers' attention.

Melaina Juntti

June 17, 2022

15 Slides

The best brands project empathy, convey a certain attitude and inspire an emotional response from consumers. This helps them establish relevance, forge meaningful connections with their fans, garner trust and admiration, and ultimately build brand loyalty, says Fred Hart, partner and creative director at Interact, a food and beverage branding and packaging design firm.

Though brand attitudes and desired consumer reactions run the gamut, one trend is gaining traction: Companies are centering their branding, marketing and messaging around kindness, positivity or joy.

Perhaps this is a reflection of life in 2022, with the worst of the COVID-19 crisis finally (hopefully) behind us.

"COVID-19 had the world take stock on what means most to us: our friends, our family, the simple joys of being together," Hart says. "In a hopeless time, we all want to regain our sense of happiness."

As a result, consumers are eating up brands that exude positivity and joy and inspire kindness. According to Attest's 2022 Consumer Trends Report, when asked which types of brand messages appeal the most to them right now, respondents ranked "humorous and entertaining" first, followed by "motivational and inspirational." By contrast, in pandemic-addled 2020 and 2021, more consumers were drawn to reassuring, educational and thought-provoking brand messages.

Related:Plant-based joy, from a vegan Black woman who dreams of crab legs

But the trend toward positivity, kindness and joy is also the mark of a generational shift.

"The up-and-coming generation, Gen Z, is notoriously turning to fun, joy, irreverence and playful mischief," Hart says. "You can see this reflected in bright colors, characterful-driven aesthetics and the 'adorkables' trend."

Clearly, positivity, kindness and joy resonate with today's consumers—and sell products. Here are 12 natural products brands that excel at this form of branding, marketing and messaging.

About the Author(s)

Melaina Juntti

Melaina Juntti is a longtime freelance journalist, copy editor and marketing professional. With nearly two decades of experience in the natural products industry, she is a frequent contributor to Nutrition Business Journal, Natural Foods Merchandiser and Melaina is based in Madison, Wisconsin, and is passionate about hiking, camping, fishing and live music. 

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