12 Innovation & Marketing Trends for 2018

12 Innovation & Marketing Trends for 2018

A month into this New Year, and we can see some great and dynamic trends hacks and ideas for and innovations emerging for Marketing and Branding in 2018.

Yes, 2018 will see quite a few new trends emerging, although some of them will really be reiterations of some trends we have seem emerge across the last couple of years. Here are some trends you need to follow and keep track of, to stay on top of your brand’s digital marketing game and international game.

1.      Phygital marketing

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PHYGITAL MARKETING: WHERE THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS CONVERGE

This is my huge one for 2018. Digital will no longer stand alone as a separate discipline. It really just cannot anymore.

The digital landscape has transformed the way people communicate, share information and receive their advertising. Digital marketing can be integrated into all traditional methods of advertising and PR, making it an engagement marketing essential.

When the physical world taps into the digital world, the “phygital mashups” that are created can really hit your audience in a deeply engaging way. When people interact with a brand in a personal way by participating and engaging, they are far more likely to become brand advocates and word of mouth marketers.

Phygital Marketing engages us by tying into things we do, see and interact with in our everyday life

In order for ‘digital’ to work, it will need to be seamlessly integrated into real-life experiences – and this will really be this whole ‘experiential’ trend that everyone is talking about. In particular, at sporting events, at concerts, we are seeing the online and mobile experience leading into the actual physical – and, as well, blending the two, often with AR and VR playing a key role. This will become big.

 

2.  Augmented reality goes mainstream

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Before smartphones existed 10 years ago, most people would consider spending five hours daily staring at your phone as crazy. In 2018, the bent-neck trend will start to reverse itself.

AR will customize in-store experiences with mannequins that match your body type and display enough virtual inventory to rival any online site. Merchants will create AR experiences with their packaging so that demonstration videos can appear when you look at the product on the shelf or celebrity spokespeople can magically stand in the aisle to pitch the product. Virtual pop-up stores can be built to appear anywhere that crowds are gathered (in a stadium, a busy street corner, or even inside a subway). The number of use cases for AR is potentially staggering. Users could place virtual furniture in their homes before they buy to see how well it fits within the actual space (which IKEA have already done). Augmented glasses could highlight only gluten free items to the user when walking around a supermarket, saving people time picking out suitable products. And, more generally, overlaying more information about products as customers walk round physical stores or look at the product in public spaces could prove to be a powerful conversion tool. How much of an impact AR will have to the average brand going forward remains to be seen but, at the end of 2018, we should have a much better idea.  AR (Augmented Reality) will be a lead in Social Media -Brands on social media will need to take a serious look at using AR. With our smartphones becoming more powerful, social platforms will start to integrate AR technology, and this will enable brands to use AR and social in interesting new ways.

 

3.  Prominence on quality over quantity

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As digital marketing has developed and content marketing has emerged as a leading element of it, the world has unfortunately become awash with second-rate content. Today, any digitally savvy brand is aware that it should be putting out content for its audiences to engage with, but far too many forget that this content should offer legitimate value to those viewing it. Anyone can consistently put out 500-word articles repeating everything their competitors are saying, just to be part of the conversation. Ask any marketer if they plan on producing more content in the coming year and the answer is likely to be a resounding yes.

2018 should see a shift in the mind-set of content marketers. Yes, brands should be creating content that engages and inspires their audiences, but the mentality of ‘more is always more’ needs to change. Instead, organizations should focus on putting out quality, relevant content, even if this comes at the expense of volume. It might be an idealistic cry from commentators in an attempt to slow down the huge tide of unnecessary content but, as poor content will undoubtedly perform badly, 2018 should be the year that brands realize the power of ‘less is more’.

4. Video marketing has arrived and here to dominate.

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Video is the most popular and influential form of digital content for digital marketers today, and it holds the power to persuade better than any other content medium. With attention becoming an expensive commodity, what with multi-tasking, brands will need to re-focus energies on video content – to get better search ranking, better engagement and better content recall The demand for video marketing content shows absolutely no signs of slowing and in 2018 video will continue its dominance as the marketers’ favorite medium. 52% of marketing professionals surveyed by Hubspot consider video to be the medium with the best ROI, while 43% of consumers said that they wanted to see more video content from marketers.

This year, Facebook rolled out 6-second ads, which encouraged brands to tell stories within extremely limited time constraints as a way of getting a message across to the user more quickly. The rise of video consumption on mobile means that, while scrolling through a feed, users’ attention spans are minimal. YouTube has been promoting its own 6-second stories to show what can be achieved in that time, and expect to see brands experimenting with playful storytelling in 2018. Video is as ubiquitous as it is effective – 2018 should see brands working hard to stand out among the noise.

– And, make that Live Video. Every social platform now offers some form of live video – and most are trying to out-gun each other will various new features and ways of using live video. To really best utilize the power of live video, it will need to be high quality, delivering content that has value for the consumer, and be structured and organized – while still, of course with the reality of it being live. That’s going to ba a challenge, but with advances in technology, and better pre-planning, I’m convinced good content creators will win this game.

More video?  Mobile Video…

Mobile video ad spend will grow 49% to roughly $18 billion in 2018, reports Recode, while non-mobile video ad spend is expected to fall 1.5% to $15 billion. You can expect to see a decline of video consumption on laptops and computers for the first time — while video views on phones and tablets is expected to grow by 25%. The average viewer is expected to watch 36 minutes of online video per day on a mobile device, as opposed to half as much — roughly 19 minutes — on a computer.

 

5. 2018 is the year of the bots

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2018 is the year of the bots

We all have gotten use to speaking with bots whenever we call to make airline reservations or to confirm our bank account balances. The use of natural language bots will expand from use as automated customer service agents to become routine for daily living.

Home bots will do more than just respond to requests, to being able to provide timely information such as, “It’s time to take your medicine.” Imagine a bot whispering in your ear “don’t make that purchase or you will be over your credit limit” or “your parking meter expires in two minutes.” Bots will help with the children, act as financial investment advisors, and be an omnipresent value-add from the brands you trust.

Watch out for more adoption of brand-customer or brand-audience conversations (see voice marketing, later) using platforms like Google Home, Amazon Alexam Microsoft Cortana and more. I’m beting that this aspect will become part and parcel of our lives – and speaking to a connected device in our moment of need (Google calls these micromoments) will be commonplace. As technology better grasps natural language processing, this will make it second nature for us.

 

6. Micro Influencers

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Think of micro-influencers as digital influencers with a total audience size of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Surprised with the audience size? There’s data to support it: Micro influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers (who usually have ~10 million followers). Micro-influencers are more likely to post about specific niche topics and they have the loyal followings that share their passion and a staggering 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads. With more than 32% of internet users enabling ad blocker in 2017, it’s increasingly harder to reach users and micro influencers can bridge that gap moving into 2018.

 

7. Voice as marketing tool

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With voice search increasingly taking over the way we search, with our mobile phones now almost surgically attached to us, voice as a marketing tool should really come into its own this year. We are increasingly going to ask our phones, our cars, our smart fridges to do things for us, and brands have a huge opportunity to stand by, and become a handy resolution provider at that time of query or need. This will be a whole new kind of content marketing.

 

8. Augmented Reality Gaming (MORE A.R)

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Imagine shooting zombies while walking in your own bedroom! Thus, the biggest use of AR gaming to-date is definitely Pokémon Go, allowing users to catch virtual Pokémon creatures that are hidden throughout a map of the real environment.

Mobile devices

  • Through mobile devices like smartphones (tablets also), AR acts like a magic window

 

PC and connected TV players

  • Augmented Reality also works through a webcam and broadcast through the screen

 

Head mounted displays, glasses and lenses

  • AR becomes a part of your entire field of view, preparing for more life-like AR experiences – almost feels like Ironman with the help of the intelligent system Jarvis
  • What to Expect from Augmented Reality?
  • The market is ready to strike hard towards AR. The technology is on a rapid and quick rise thanks to the success of Pokémon GO and some other popular apps as well. The public is hungry for more and more Augmented Reality experiences. Our AR future is at hand, and we are now more than ready. From gaming to research to business, we may be entering a golden period for this technology

 

9. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Combined with big data and machine learning, AI is expected to make a huge impact on how we market to our consumers. Users can expect highly-customized content delivery, automated based on their persona and lifestyle. Starting an AI strategy can be costly and require specific skill that are often hard to come by as the role is in such high demand. However, the large upfront investment shows promising results for those willing to take the plunge.  For example recent data captured from the Salesforce State of the Marketing Report where high-performing marketing teams are more than 2x as likely to use AI in their campaigns than under-performers. 57% of marketers using AI already say it’s absolutely or very essential in helping increase touch points with customers.


10. Organic Food

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With nearly 22 million hectares of land used for organic farming, Australia is the world’s leading nation when it comes to the greatest amount, as well as greatest expansion, of land dedicated to organic production. It has more land than Europe, Africa, and North America collectively. The great majority of it is used for breeding grass-fed beef, but Australian organic sector is also producing wine grapes, grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts.

The idea of producing healthy, chemical-free food quickly grew into the grow-your-own-food movement, so garden owners started adding edibles to their gardens. Besides veggies, fruits, and herbs, they also keep chickens and bees for eggs and honey. Some are growing hops and grapes to make their own beer and wine, while others have taken things one step further by harvesting rainwater for irrigation purposes. Certain plants are also grown for their medicinal properties.

 

 11. It’s all Natural Beauty

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Target has been leading the charge on natural beauty since 2008. Since then they’ve offered natural and “better for you” brands, including Burt’s Bees, Yes To, Pacifica, Seaweed Bath, S.W. Basics, W3LL People and Fig & Yarrow. “This year, we’re rolling out a new beauty store experience and are dedicating prominent space near the centre of the beauty department to natural beauty offerings,” said Courtney Foster, a Target spokesperson. In addition, they’ve launched a natural beauty page to make finding naturals products easier. “Given how important it is for our guests to what is in—or not in—their products, Target recently implemented a new chemical strategy that is one of the most comprehensive chemical policies in US retail. This policy promotes ingredient transparency and bans certain chemicals in beauty, baby, personal care and household cleaning product categories by 2020,” Foster said.

Another example is Unilever. It has emerged as one of the most progressive players in the natural beauty space. Earlier IN 2017, the company promised improved transparency in its ingredient lists, specifically lifting the veil from “fragrance,” one of the most mysterious items on a product’s ingredient list. At present, manufacturers selling products in the United States aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that go into the fragrance under the guise of “trade secrets,” but many natural beauty companies do anyway, and by the end of this year, so will Unilever.

Natural deodorant is another hot topic, which is projected to grow more than 15 percent every year until 2022. Procter & Gamble got a head start and acquired buzzy brand Native, which is aluminum- and paraben-free. Like Unilever, the corporation vowed to disclose the ingredients in “fragrance” by the end of 2019.

 

12. Work/Life Balance

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Webb’s research points out 90% of college grads felt  “lost in translation” when they started that first job because boundaries to get tasks done are traditionally much more defined in the real world. Small businesses will continue to move away from the conventional 9 to 5 regiment that comes with a cubicle to a more negotiable looser set of standards that mimic college life.

“College is a 24 hour intersection of work and social interaction and work/life balance is going to be a huge trend in 2018,” Webb says. “College grads are used to working in a specific way and where they want. Give them the ability to get the work done and they will.”

 

A New Level Of Comfort In The Workplace

Office fit outs are about creating a home away from home feeling. This is done by providing cosy, welcoming lounges, communal canteens, and comfy break-out areas.

 

This helps make the working environment better which helps to make employees feel more comfortable and valued. Furniture that is used in most residential settings is now being used in office spaces that ultimately create a warm, eclectic, never-want-to-leave-the-office feeling.

Also, Wellness programmes encourage physical and mental health. Work gyms, showers and breakout areas that provide complimentary healthy refreshments are some of the few offerings that can create greater employee satisfaction.

 

The office space is heading towards exciting things next year as companies get innovative in their way of thinking

That’s just the top trends for 2018and some of these predictions will probably fail to come to fruition as technology and the expectations of consumers change. Nevertheless, many of the trends outlined here are likely to come to pass.

Based on current trends, marketing is likely to become more analytical, and more focused on digital marketing through organic search, voice and social media.

Do share this, and comment below. Thanks. Have a wonderful and meaningful 2018.

 

 

 

References :

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/305047

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwynne/2017/08/31/the-biggest-and-most-important-media-and-pr-trends-for-2018/#57be721d5e44

https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/10-marketing-trends/

https://digitalbrandinginstitute.com/digital-branding-trends-2018/

https://www.wellandgood.com/fitness-wellness-trends/

https://www.wellandgood.com/fitness-wellness-trends/

http://www.delicious.com.au/food-files/health/article/6-health-food-trends-watch-2018/TuFbQCrc

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-marketing-trends-to-think-about-for-2018_us_5994b288e4b055243ea1357c

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2017/11/14/18-marketing-trends-and-predictions-from-c-level-leaders-in-china/#7a794d18767e

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-predictions-2017

https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/11/5-future-marketing-trends-of-2018.html

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .

 

 

 

Using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy

Using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy

You have probably heard of many teens talk about Snap chat or seen those puppy filter’s around other social media platforms, but maybe aren’t sure if it’s for adults let alone a business or what it is or how it works.

Don’t freak out, Snapchat has been around since 2011, it has only started to catch the eye and attention of brands in the last few years. And most small businesses and companies have only now started to explore how to tap into this fast-growing social network.

Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos or videos that only last for a brief amount of time.

As Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel explains,

“Snapchat really has to do with the way photographs have changed. Historically photos have always been used to save really important memories: major life moments. But today… pictures are being used for talking.”

The social media app offers a sneak peek into the future of mobile marketing. Users can send texts or ‘snaps’ that arrive into the recipient’s inbox with a time limit. The sender decides how long the receiver has to view the content of the message (the time is between 1 to 10 seconds), after which the message self-destructs. This helps brands promote a sense of urgency (a cornerstone of sales) while providing consumers an air of exclusivity.

The urgency, experience, and channel of delivery makes Snapchat real fun to use.

Snapchat has shown that it can be really valuable to businesses who have the audience there and the right strategies in place. Because numbers can speak for themselves, here are some statistics that show the potential value of marketing on Snapchat:

  • An estimated 200 million monthly active users send 700 million photos or videos each day, with approximately 500 million views per day (this study is different than Snapchat’s which said there are 8+ billion video views a day).
  • Snapchat has approximately 100 million daily active users
  • Snapchat reaches11% of the US’s entire digital population. This might not seem like much, but when you consider how massive that population is, that’s still a decent reach.
  • Snapchat was always among the top 13 apps downloaded overall (and sometimes in the top 3 for photo and video apps) throughout the full year of 2015.
  • Snapchat was worth $16 billion as of May 2015.
  • Snapchat has more users than Twitterand grew as much in one year as Twitter did in four years total.
  • 76% of Snapchat user’s also online shoppers.
  • Snapchat’s daily users are spending an average of 30 minutes a day in the app.
We all love giveaways- so start here!

Snapchat’s time-limit feature makes it a great platform for giveaways because you can leverage urgency to engage your audience. Apart from promoting the giveaway on other social media platforms to gain new followers, you can use

Snapchat to directly ask your audience to participate by sending in their entries, and then reply to them directly to create one-on-one interaction.

 

You can create a series of snaps or sponsored stories to build anticipation for a giveaway. This would spread the word about your brand organically. You can ask followers to participate by:

  • Submitting their name and email
  • Inviting their friends to follow you on Snapchat
  • Answering a question
  • Entering a contest or scavenger hunt

Don’t forget to use emoji’s, something which is a major part of the texting language of the 18-35s age bracket. If you speak in the right language without seeming condescending or desperate, Snapchat users won’t mind engaging with your brand. You’d also want to use a hashtag to help the content gain traction. That’s because hashtags are easy to share and other users on Snapchat can start following your brand if it starts trending. Taco bell adds where a hit with this. According to AdWeek.com:

“Taco Bell’s Nicholas Tran said Snapchat followers are ‘crazy engaged.’ When the brand sends a Snap, 90 percent of friends who open a message view it in its entirety, and these can be five-minute-long digital photo-video collages, he added.”

We all love giveaways- so start here!

In a way, Snapchat echoes the early appeal of social media. Social media provided an avenue to connect with your customers in an unfiltered, unmediated way. Across the most populated platforms, the signal-to-noise ratio has become less favourable for brands, advertising has emerged as the top priority, and algorithms determine how much of your audience you can reach. Snapchat is personal and an intimate way to connect with the people that are interested in what you’re doing.

Businesses should not offer the same content on multiple platforms. The content you create on Facebook will usually be a bit more direct and informational. Instagram tends to be a bit more curated. The evanescent nature of Snapchat allows you to offer a look behind the scenes, or at works in progress, in order for people to get an insider look at how your business runs.

We all love giveaways- so start here!

As the platform is mainly used by a young audience, you need to relate to this demographic, many companies aren’t doing yet is to provide real time assistance or interactions in 2-10 second photos or videos.

 

Let’s say a user snaps you a photo of your product still in its packaging, saying it is too hard to unwrap. If there is a quick way to show them your product’s exclusive opener tab that makes it easy, a photo or video demonstrating it would be a great way to answer their question while also establishing your brand’s trust and dedication toward happy customers. It also doesn’t hurt to be proactive about it

 

The audience is more likely to engage with behind-the-scenes content because it isn’t planned or polished in advance as the content in a usual campaign. Instead, it shows your slice of life, with “this is who we are” type of snaps.

Behind-the-scenes content could be:

  • Images of staff having fun
  • Glimpse into the company culture
  • Teaser of a product launch
  • Guided tour of an event
We all love giveaways- so start here!

Snapchat allows you to send Snaps to your friends. Connect with your customers on Snapchat and offer them a coupon in the form of a Snap when they answer a call-to-action. Snapchat’s public facing tool to reach your entire audience is called Stories. Stories you create there will appear for 24 hours, to be replaced by the newest content you create over a 24hour time frame.

This keeps the mix exciting and focuses on spontaneity and moments over timelines and curated feeds. Try creating something for your Snapchat Story where you ask your customers to do something. Ask them to take a snap while using your product, or ask them to send you a snap with a funny doodle or caption with your product. In exchange, send them a coupon in the form of a Snap-send it directly to them. When doing your story, make sure it’s clear they know that they can’t look at it until they’re going to present the coupon to you (it will self-destruct once it’s viewed — though they will probably already know this as snappers). This means that they won’t know what the coupon is offering, so it’s up to you to make sure that it’s not a disappointing offer.

This would also be a great opportunity to cross-promote. You can mention (or even advertise) this offer on your other social media pages in order to grow your Snapchat following.

We all love giveaways- so start here!

The most important feature Snapchat has going for it is that not many companies are using it (though the numbers are increasing). If you jump start now, you will not only be a Snapchat pro by the time the rest of those in your field are still learning how to use it, but you’ll be able to exploit the latest features Snapchat releases, like building stories with multiple snaps, chat, and the ability to show breaking news (which is a feature Snapchat is currently working on).

 

 

Bonus: Preview new products

Once you have your fans and followers hooked, you have a chance to engage them with sneak peeks of new arrivals.

Generating hype about new collections and or products is a great way to ensure the sales fly high once the product is launched. Your Snapchat followers will be rushing into your store head-first to collect the latest items before anyone else does!

 

To “Snap” Out

Snapchat is a very different social platform compared to the rest. It provides businesses with a unique of reaching out to their target audience With a user base in the millions and a valuation of $10 billion, Snapchat is a viable social platform that shouldn’t be ignored by most businesses.

Download Snapchat today and get started!

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .

Trends 2018: Omnichannel is the New Normal

Trends 2018: Omnichannel is the New Normal

Trends 2018: Omnichannel is the New Normal

As smart technology enters our homes, cars, work and leisure time, marketers have the opportunity to innovate and reach potential customers via ever-expanding touch points. No purchasing decision is too small and omnichannel marketing is the new normal in 2018.

omnichannel is the new normal

 

 

 

Shopping: Mobile Integration  

The future of shopping will be phygital as we see options to purchase in both the physical and digital realms. Mobile is the common denominator between customer retail experiences. Deloitte in the US reports that more than 90% of consumers now use their phones in the shopping process.

 

omnichannel is the new normal-shopping

According to Think With Google people are also using their phones as an “in-store research adviser” with a massive 82% of smartphone users saying they consult their phones on purchases they’re going to make in a store. Online shopping South Africa is forecasted to grow to over R53 billion in 2018 and it is estimated there will be over 21 million active smartphone users here within the next five years so mobile shopping integration is an imperative for marketers in 2018.

 

omnichannel is the new normal-shopping-mobile

 

 

Home: Your Voice is Your Command

The Annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held recently in Las Vegas and the home of the future is truly something to behold with everything geared towards a technologically integrated lifestyle. The dominant tech feature of 2018 is voice assisted integration, the question is, whose voice- OK Google, Siri, Alexa or Cortana?

For marketers this means relooking at their brand platforms to ensure they are optimised for voice search. For an idea of how big this is and is going to become, Google Assistant is now available on over 400 million devices, and the global predictions, summed up by Branded3 are:

  • “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.” – comscore
  • “About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” – Mediapos
  • “We estimate there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020.” – Activate
  • “By 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry.” – Technavio via Skyword.

omnichannel is the new normal-voice-command-google

 

 

Social Media: Personalisation

It’s only natural that in 2018 we might start yearning for more “human” interaction. How can social media help? By becoming more personalised.  Social is going to need to reassure the user (if they want to keep them) that they know them better than Siri or Alexa does. The days of marketers churning out generic content are almost over.

On the up side, marketers have the skills and tools to create content which is genuinely useful and ads which reach the correct target market. In terms of personalisation, INC.com mentions “Social Listening” as one of the trends this year, and I agree. Analytics need to be more than tracking growth; they need to monitor what people are saying and act on the feedback.  Ironically, it’s Chatbots which will give customers some of the personalisation they’re looking for. There are at least 100 000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger and a staggering two billion messages are exchanged between brands and audiences each month.

omnichannel is the new normal-facebook-messenger

 

 

In closing, 2018 is going to be the year of the consumer and by extension, time to make your brand’s omnichannel presence a strategic priority.

 

 

 

 

Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting

About Prana Business Consulting

Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business.  Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.

Email: info@pranabusinessconsulting.com

Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796

Facebook / YouTube / Twitter / LinkedIn

 

Written by Jainita Khatri. She is the founder of Prana Business Consulting and has 15 years of practical experience in marketing for blue chip organisations and has consulted extensively with entrepreneurial and medium sized businesses. Jainita’s passion lies in digital marketing – helping businesses to build their brands and businesses. Jainita is a speaker at conferences and guest lectures Monash University and UJ on various marketing related topics.

 

10 steps to rejuvenate the mind and body

10 steps to rejuvenate the mind and body

Creativity and innovation are essential to success in business and marketing today.  But creativity can never be an endless flow of ideas and outputs.  We get tired.  We need time to recharge.  We need to switch off.  And in doing that, counter-intuitively, the creative process actually works during this ‘hibernation’ period.  Continually stimulated with meetings, traffic, news and social media, December is a good time to wind down and allow relaxation to engulf our beings.

As the year bids farewell, we have to push through to the holidays, and if you are anything like me you find this merry season stressful too!

It’s all too easy to have a runaway a mind or have it so full of thoughts that you feel like you’re herding goats! There are definitely days when it’s going a million miles per minute in all different directions. Those days make it nearly impossible to shut down the mental chatter or focus on anything. Stress and worry clog up your mental processes.

Many of us are working longer hours for less money and facing all kinds of stress, so it’s no wonder that we find it hard to unwind and relax when this time of the year comes around. Use your holidays to distress As well as getting enough sleep, working out and eating well , spending quality time with the family and yourself .

 

 

What the Science Says: why is distressing important to us and our daily living?

One of the most powerful tools a psychologist can use is actually nothing new, said Herbert Benson, MD, at APA’s Annual Convention. In fact, it’s an approach that’s been around for millennia, yet its full potential remains untapped.

Benson was referring to the relaxation response, a physical state of deep rest that changes a person’s physical and emotional responses to stress.

Benson, of Harvard Medical School and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, discovered the relaxation response’s power to reduce stress in the 1960s. But his subsequent research found that the approach is really no different from what people have done for centuries through prayer, chanting and repetitive motion.

Today, scientists have shown that such practices lower heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, and they alleviate the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, even aging.

His latest research, published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE (July 2), suggests that practicing the relaxation response can actually lead to genomic activity changes. In the study, his team of researchers looked at how the relaxation response affected each of the body’s 40,000 genes and found that, compared with a control group; those who regularly used the relaxation response induced anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that counteracted the effects of stress on the body.

In general, studies show that with consistent practice, relaxation techniques can potentially reduce symptoms or improve outcomes in the following conditions:

  • Stress
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Panic disorders
  • Chronic tension headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Labor and child birth

 

 

It is extremely important that usual medical care and advice be followed for these conditions as well. Relaxation techniques are meant to complement usual medical

So let me share with you how to distress and relax so that you can start 2018 refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s 10 tips that are essential to have a relaxed and fulfilling holiday and 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. BE GRATEFUL 

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. No matter how many pleasant things you do, if you don’t learn to be grateful you will always see things negatively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2. SLOW DOWN 

Life has a lot of simple things you can enjoy. But if you move too fast you will overlook most of them. So don’t be in a hurry.  Don’t move too quick. Slow down and pay attention to the world around you. Most of the ways I’m about to share will work well only if you slow down.

 

 

 

 

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3. WORK IT OFF PHYSICALLY

When you’re feeling sad, angry, hurt or upset, physical activity can help relax both your mind and your body. Use physical activities like walking, hiking, stretching, jogging, running, meditation or riding a bicycle to release the pressure. Even a five- or ten-minute movement break can go a long way toward helping your body manage the symptoms of stress.

 

 

 

 

 

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4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Like many people, you may get stressed out when you feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish what you need to accomplish in a given day. But you can “make” more time for yourself by managing your time better. Time management means different things to different people. For some, it may be as simple as jotting down a “to do” list. For others, it involves using daily planners and organizers to schedule their day. Sometimes you just need to learn how to handle interruptions that tend to devour your time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES

Are you a perfectionist like me,  who doesn’t believe that anyone else could possibly complete a task as well as you do? People with perfectionist tendencies have trouble delegating work, usually because they subscribe to the old adage “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Perhaps you’re afraid that you’ll lose control of the situation if you let someone else help you. To be able to delegate responsibility, you need to accept that “my way” of doing things is not the only effective one. Besides being a great way to reduce stress, delegating responsibility will help you build more trusting relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

When you’re tense, your body lets you know. Your heart beats faster, your muscles tighten, your breathing becomes shallow, and you experience any of a number of other familiar symptoms, such as a headache or queasy stomach. Start noticing your body’s signs of stress and slow down or take a break when your body is signaling you. You can also take steps to build your physical reserves, such as getting plenty of sleep and eating nutritious, balanced meals.

 

 

 

 

 

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7. GET MORE SLEEP

Sleep improves your ability to handle stressful situations. Provide an environment that allows you to get enough peaceful sleep each night. If there is a problem that interferes with your sleep, find a way to eliminate it.

For example, if your partners snoring disturb you, either sleep in another room, wear ear plugs or find ways to eliminate or reduce the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8. TAKE A BATH

Baths have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, aid in sleep as well as having numerous health benefits including reducing blood pressure, clearing toxins and relieving muscle and joint pain. Couple a warm bath with a handful Epsom salts, a few drops of essential oils, candles and a relaxation playlist for ultimate relaxation.

 

 

 

 

 

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9. PRACTICE YOGA
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is known for the numerous benefits it has on the mind and body. If you practice yoga regularly you will find it not only relieves stress but also prevents it as well as reducing depression and anxiety resulting in an overall better mood.

Evening yoga reduces mental and physical tension allowing you to unwind and drift off to sleep that much sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

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10. LAUGH IT OFF

Laughter is one of the healthiest antidotes to stress. Researchers have discovered that exposure to humor causes a measurable decrease in stress hormones, including epinephrine and dopamine, and an increase in immune system activity. When we laugh, even smile, blood flow to the brain increases and endorphins (painkilling hormones that give us a sense of well-being) are released.

 

 

 

 

 

Switch Off For The Holidays

Emerge from your holiday fresh-faced and ready to rumble, by switching off from your online life. Even though you’re on holiday and sunning yourself somewhere beautiful, it can feel impossible to switch off from your work life completely. That’s where a ‘digital detox’ could be a good idea. While it can seem a little daunting at first, it can be done!

Living in the digital age we’re constantly connected whether that be to work or the media. We’re just one quick swipe, one email, one notification or one phone call away, never allowing us to switch off and unwind which is heavily impacting on our mental health. Since the digital age began there has been a dramatic rise in stress, anxiety and depression especially in the younger generations and the corporate world.

 

So from all of us at Prana have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season!

Reference:

Https://www.business.com/articles/3-foolproof-ways-to-get-relaxation-into-your-busy-schedule/

Http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/10-simple-ways-relax-your-7781779

Https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/5-ways-to-de-stress-and-help-your-heart

https://inspiredliving.com/relaxation-products/relaxation-tips.htmzu

Http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/relaxation-techniques

 

 

Written by Prisha Debipersad, Prisha has a love for travel and has lived in Germany and Australia, gaining work and life experience along the way. Being proudly South African she is happy to be back on her home ground. She currently is completing her masters degree as well as providing valuable support to Prana as a Marketing Assistant. .
Prana Brand and Logo Handbook 2017

Prana Brand and Logo Handbook 2017

A brand is a promise into which consumers buy. A brand is an ideal, a unique message that is wrapped around a product and service. It conjures up feelings and emotions in it’s users which  if built well, can enhance the purchase experience.A brand stands for something to which the consumer can relate or aspire.
Download this Prana developed resource to understand brand strategy and logo design for business.  

Prana Brand and Logo Handbook 2017 – Web Download