Insight  Create  Perform
Hey there, don't be shy

The Month That Was January 2023

And just like that, January is over! Everyone give yourself a round of applause, a pat on the back, an extra biscuit with your cup of tea, or whatever else you fancy to celebrate the end of the dreariest month of the year.


Anyway, though January is generally pretty dull in all aspects, we can’t say the same when it comes to the world of marketing!

Covering all aspects of marketing, from email and design to social and SEO, let’s hit rewind and recap on the month that was January 2023.

A deep dive into January’s designs

The world of design can always promise us something interesting, and in January, a few brands were on the lookout for their next big rebrand. Let’s take a look at what went down:

  • Woodland Trust, the nature conservation charity, underwent a bold, bright rebrand
  • Popular holiday provider Centre Parcs also shook the market with a vibrant rebrand
  • The prospects of AI-generated imagery and design is (still) on the up

Woodland Trust rebrand

Woodland Trust, a nationwide conservation charity, recently underwent a bold, bright rebrand in January – marking a modern shift for the charity.

The main mission behind the rebrand was to appeal to a diverse group of people. These audiences can be either expert or amateur, younger or older, or just about anyone with an interest in the health of our world. However, the most important target audience the Trust are aiming for are the people not currently engaging with the brand at all.

In terms of the photography, it’s highly focused on imagery of people surrounded by woodland greenery. Using people-focused imagery in an attempt to make a direct, personal connection with anyone who encounters them, and pairing this with the nature-inspired background really makes the people feel truly part of the environment. After all, people are the only ones that can make a change for our planet.

Here’s a little peek at what the new branding looks like in situ:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Woodland Trust (@woodlandtrust)

Though they’ve retained the existing, recognisable oak leaf logo and their green signature colour, Woodland Trust have chosen to expand and refresh the rest of their colour palette, photography and design style. The posters are vibrant and full of life, paired with black, thick typography, emulating an Extinction Rebellion aesthetic, a real nod to protest posters and activism.

Centre Parcs Europe rebrand

We’re back again with another rebrand, and this time it’s holiday park Centre Parcs. Tasked with the mission to overhaul the company’s branding, this rebrand was whipped up by the same agency behind the iconic Airbnb logo, DesignStudio.

Deviating away from the classic brand logo, the green bird mid-flight, the new logo merges the brand name initials with an understated tree icon.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by DesignStudio (@__designstudio__)

“Though it’s clean, simple and highlights the nod to nature that encapsulates Centre Parcs as a whole, I can’t help but feel this logo is a little…lacklustre?”


Other than that, the rest of the brand is vibrant, bubbly and bold, with cutesy illustrations to inject a little “warmth, joy and a human touch” into the brand, reinforcing the Centre Parcs concept of “man & nature”.

All about artificial intelligence

We’ve spoken about the prospects of AI a number of times now, and as the months go on, it seems like it could be becoming increasingly more prevalent in the design world.

Over on LinkedIn, Creative Director Eric Groza shared his results from his own experimental research project that explores the possibilities and limits of AI image generation. Taking two seemingly unrelated brands – IKEA and Patagonia – Groza fed the AI platform Midjourney with a brief to see what it could conjure up. And the results are pretty impressive.

Despite the successful results, the research project did spark up some controversy in the comment section. Concerns arose around whether using AI to generate designs is unethical, as it relies on taking someone’s photography and using it elsewhere, paired with concerns that using AI in this way could potentially be a replacement for human designers – but we can’t see that happening anytime soon.

Either way, the field is filled with new prospects and possibilities, and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s on the horizon for AI in the upcoming years.

Social media at the start of 2023

It seems like it’s been a little bit of a controversial month in the social sphere this January, so let’s get straight into it:

  • Instagram are reverting back to their old-school in-app navigation layout, prioritising UX over their desire to make Reels happen.
  • Insights from TikTok HQ reveal that the platform’s staff can cherry pick which videos go viral.
  • Meta has lifted the suspension on former US president Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
  • LinkedIn has removed the ‘Curious’ reaction button, but why?

Instagram’s going back to its roots

After years of chopping and changing, Instagram is finally putting the ‘Compose’ (+) button back in the middle of the navigation bar, in a bid to listen to what their users actually want. Amidst this change, Reels are now out of the spotlight and the ‘Shop’ tab has disappeared completely from the bottom navigation bar.

These changes come after endless complaints from Instagram users, who felt that the photo-sharing platform were pushing Reels far too much, forcing in-app features on users rather than prioritising the user experience.

We’re glad to see the ‘Compose’ button back front and centre, what do you think?

TikTok’s ‘heating’ feature

Reportedly, TikTok and ByteDance staff have the ability to choose which videos to boost to get onto more feeds, in the newly-revealed ‘heating’ feature. So, this means that those videos that appear on your For You page might not be there because TikTok just knows you sooo well, they’ve effectively been cherry picked to go viral.

But why is TikTok doing this?

A TikTok spokesperson stated that this was to “diversify the content experience and introduce celebrities and emerging creators to the TikTok community”. Speculation around this feature has caused concerns from users, with reports stating that employees choose what content to boost at their own discretion, potentially boosting content for their own personal gain.

It’s all coming up…Trump 😬

Debates around free speech have circled the social media community for a good while now. Who should and shouldn’t be allowed to post content on social media? Should the public be able to hear what politicians are saying (no matter how outrageous), so they can make an informed decision when it comes to voting?

Who knows what the right answers are, but Meta has been working hard to try and do the right thing. Two years prior, former US president Donald Trump was indefinitely suspended from Facebook and Instagram – a pretty unheard of, unprecedented chain of events.

However, Meta recently announced that Trump’s suspension is coming to an end, just with guardrails in place to prevent similar repeat offences. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out…

We’re curious about the Curious button 🤔

We’ve not got much to say about this one, other than: where has the ‘Curious’ reaction button disappeared to on LinkedIn? Any ideas on why LinkedIn have removed this feature, please enlighten us – admittedly, we’re pretty curious about it all.

Everything email marketing this January

We love a good email here at LITTLE, so let’s see what the latest is in the world of email marketing in January 2023:

  • A recent whitepaper reveals important insights into the benefits of email. Spoiler alert: it’s great.

Email coming out on top

According to a recent whitepaper, email remains the top marketing channel when it comes to generating new business leads – potentially twice as effective as PPC and paid social media.

Other important insights include that 77% of B2B buyers would rather be contacted over email, and customers state they desire informative, engaging content in any email campaigns they receive.

All in all, it’s clearly still as important as ever to pay close attention to the content you’re sending out, to ensure people keep opening those emails time and time again.

The SEO sphere in January 2023

This January saw various insights and information revealed within the SEO community, so let’s take a look at what’s new:

  • The research team at Google HQ released their reports on Responsible AI use
  • Insights reveal that ChatGPT won’t replace Google Search…yet

Google release their research on Responsible AI

Throughout 2022, enormous innovations and advancements in the world of artificial intelligence have emerged. But this poses multiple considerations, challenges and concerns – one of which being the need to be thoughtful in how these innovations are deployed.

In January, the team at Google released their research report, revealing how AI has innovated practices and been used throughout the year, alongside their plans for 2023.

This report covered four main themes:

  • Responsible AI Research Advancements: Covering topics such as sociotechnical research, human-centred, creativity and AI research. 
  • Responsible AI Research in Products: For example, using image-based technologies to improve representation across Google products like Image Search and filters in Google Photos.
  • Tooling and Techniques: Reporting how AI can be used for new datasets, documentation methods, updates to their Learning Interpretability Tool (LIT), alongside the launch of a new library, Counterfactual Logit Pairing (CLP). 
  • Demonstrating AI’s Societal Benefit: The research team are keen to use AI to address humanitarian and environmental issues, including accessibility, health and media representation

And when it comes to the rest of 2023, Google’s plans highlight that they’re going to continue their research into the possibilities of AI, so they can harness it to be a force for positive, inclusive experiences, while still understanding and addressing the safety and ethical risks that these innovations bring.

ChatGPT won’t replace Google Search…yet

Similar to our earlier points about artificial intelligence, we’ve got another example in the world of search. Most SEOs will have heard about ChatGPT, the artificial chatbot that uses OpenAI’s newest natural language processing developments to respond to user queries.

The responses it can generate are very human-like. However, there are a number of practical issues that are holding ChatGPT back from replacing Google Search, including ethical concerns, plagiarism, awkward keyword-stuffing and answers that are not entirely factual or out of date.

ChatGPT generates answers based on patterns it has learnt from human language. As we know, the internet is fantastic for a great many things, but an unimpeachable source of truth it definitely is not. With that in mind, ChatGPT can’t yet be trusted in totality.

Will ChatGPT replace Google search? Doubtful. Will it replace the human element in SEO? Also highly unlikely. Should SEOs be looking to make the most of this undoubtedly astounding innovation to streamline their process? We’ll be looking at that last question in more detail later this month!

Love is in the air!

And that concludes our roundup of the month that was January, giving us a clear indication that 2023 is set to be a busy one. And with that in mind, now’s the time to start thinking about February, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

If you’d like a little help spreading the love this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got plenty of tricks up our sleeve to show your customers how much you care. Don’t wait up, get in touch today to see what we can do for you and your business!

    Next Article Previous Article

    LITTLE Agency Is now One Degree North

    Visit our new site

    Rushh has become LITTLE Agency

    Still the same great data driven services, but now with a different name