At KHJ, we love a good trend when we see one, and even more when we set one. So, we asked a bunch of KHJers about trends relevant to their area of expertise or current work. We wound up with an interesting range of observations, from getting more serious about Gen Z to bringing more purpose to work cultures. Check them all out below, and stay tuned for future episodes of KHJ Trend Watch.


“If your recruitment campaign is designed to only targeting job-seekers, then it’s designed to fail. In today’s labor market, successful recruitment campaigns must find qualified candidates who are already perfectly happy in their own jobs – a major shift over the past ten years. In the coming years, recruiters will rely much more heavily on hyper-focusing messaging to people’s actual SEIC job codes (availability via Big Data platforms), allowing them to specifically target all relevant candidates, eliminate wasteful spending on mass media, and reduce dependence on headhunters.”

Mike Panagako, SVP, Strategy (Mike is currently working on the Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor recruitment campaign – an initiative to hire 5,000 people in just 4 months).


“With record talent shortages and demographics shifting to millennials, employer branding more than ever needs to go beyond perks and benefits to inspire and engage candidates at a deeper level of shared values and purpose.”

Sylvie Askins, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer (Sylvie heads up our Brand Inside program, designed to help clients integrate their brand into the employee lifecycle and cultivate a more purpose-driven culture.)


“Today, real estate branding is as much about the tenant experience as it is the property itself. So, the best developers are going beyond just developing a brand name, identity and content to creating a fully branded community experience, in which the amenities, experiences, and interior design all support the brand. In retail properties, even sounds and smells are incorporated into a sensory branded experience. By no coincidence, broker tours and tenant experiences are all the more engaging.”

Sheree Dunwell, Sr. Associate/Client Services (Sheree has been busy helping the BEAT “make some noise” in their property)


“We are watching how the convergence of precision medicine, population health, and value-based care has the potential to achieve the Triple Aim vision set forth over 10 years ago by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. This requires a depth of understanding not only for care delivery, reimbursement, and the patient experience, but also an ability to draw actionable insight from massive amounts of data and to pull the ecosystem together in a meaningful way.”

Todd Baird, SVP, Strategy and Planning (Todd is working with Quest Diagnostics to align their solutions with this evolution in the industry)

“More and more of our healthcare and health-related clients are using content marketing—from quickly digestible content such as infographics to white papers and think pieces—to position themselves as thought leaders. It’s no longer enough to talk about the quality of your products and services to assert your value; you need to present the quality of your thinking as well.”

Rob Kinslow, VP, Senior Strategist (Rob is currently developing content for a range of our healthcare clients)


“With 70% of B2B customers getting information via video, more B2B companies will seize the opportunity to engage audiences with more moving content (pun intended). And while there will always be a place for the classic product demo video, companies that focus on emotive story-telling and human outcomes will capture hearts and loyalty on their way to greater market share.”

Rich Batt, Associate Creative Director (Rich recently did a series of videos for PerkinElmer that dramatized their impact on people and communities around the world.)


“I’m seeing new approaches in minimalism these days. In a sea of information overload, minimal, paired down design can make your brand stand out and be more inviting to look at. The new minimalism adds a pop of color, bold typography, and thoughtful materials to elevate a brand while still maintaining simplicity. While minimalism is nothing new – it’s been popular in the beauty industry for decades – we’re beginning to see it in other industries that we typically associate with busier designs. Companies in industries like real estate, healthcare and b2b are taking more minimalist approaches, and seeing beautiful results.”

Anna Faber Hammond, Senior Designer (Anna is currently designing the brand for Cronin’s exciting new property in Boston – The St. Regis Residences, Boston.)


“Adults in the US spend over 12 hours a day with media – up 2 hours from just a decade ago. Where did we find the extra two hours? Turns out, we didn’t. The increase is largely due to the fact that we are using multiple media devices at once. Ever watched TV while scrolling through your phone? The trend we see is cable companies starting to transform their set-top box data to more relevantly market to viewers at multiple touchpoints. This means that no matter where the attention is spent we can reach our key audiences. So the next time you see a Tide commercial on TV, you might look down on your phone and see the same ad re-enforcing the message.”

Keren Cole, Sr. Director of Media Strategy (Keren is currently managing media strategy, planning and activation across all KHJ clients, including Encore Boston Harbor, Mass Development, and Quest Diagnostics, to name a few.)


“Chatbots are all the rage in banking. Look for larger banks to integrate new advanced applications and capabilities, like natural-language processing. While smaller banks may jump on the chatbot bandwagon, don’t be surprised if some seize the opportunity to position themselves against it, emphasizing good old-fashioned, thoughtful answers over artificially-programmed answers.”

Brittany Eager, Sr. Associate, Client Services (Brittany has managed a wide range of communication programs for Webster Five Bank)


“Marketers will get more serious about Gen Z, which will represent 40% of our consumer population in 2020. In doing so, they’ll have to meet Gen Z’s need for concise information and immediate gratification, but also build brands that appeal to their values: authentic, inclusive, socially responsible and environmentally conscious. So the trend is for sharp/quick information that matters. It’s complicated to get your messaging that simple!”

Taylor Collett, Account Coordinator (Taylor is our resident Gen Z’er helping us stay in tune with her generation.)


“Social media is an obvious choice for restaurants to promote themselves, but just posting organic content is a huge miss. With hyper-targeting capabilities, restaurants can target someone shopping right next door and say, “Stop waiting in line, and come enjoy a margarita on our patio!” This specificity of messaging paired with specificity of targeting is a game-changer for restaurants when executed correctly—allowing restaurants to reach potential customers with a customized message in the moments they are most likely to look and listen.”

Rachael Bellwood, Associate, Client Services (Rachael is currently working on social media campaigns for Temazcal Tequila Cantina—implementing unique targeting strategies to drive restaurant traffic during slower times)

Want to jump on some of these trends with us? Just give us a call, and we’ll show you what’s possible.