How to Stay Relevant by Tapping into Trends
When I’m working with my clients I often get asked for tips on how they can stay current and innovate. Staying relevant is a battle for any business, especially the ones that have been around for a while and often people I speak to find it difficult to work out what trends are the most relevant and adaptable for their specific industry and business.
If you’re worried about falling behind your competitors, you want to stay relevant or you want to take advantage of the potential that tapping into current trends can offer your business this three step process that I use with my Next Marketing clients might help.
Step 1: Identify a trend
I would define a trend as something that is something that is not only popular at a given time, but that is developing in a certain direction. If you aren’t sure what is trending at the moment, a quick Google search will turn up an overwhelming number of current trends and predictions for the future. In fact, Google has an entire page dedicated to trends (http://www.google.com.au/trends/)
Trends can be industry wide or more universal and it’s possible to find ways to tap into both if you know how to approach it. A number of businesses I’ve worked with have made use of recent trends towards sustainability, social change and individualisation but depending on what your business does you may find others that are more relevant.
Step 2: Analyse the trend
The first step towards adapting a trend to your business is to look at the underlying causes of the trend. Why is this so important to people? Most often trends arise due to a basic need that they address. This could be anything from social acceptance, connection with others, personal safety, entertainment, self-improvement or something else entirely.
Once you’ve determined the need that is being met by this trend, you can start to think about how you can meet that need with your products and services. For example, if you want to tap into a need for social acceptance, what can you do to make your products more socially appealing?
Step 3: Identify what is driving the change in this area
Trends are usually driven by a change in something, from improvements in technology that enable the increased use of personalised apps, or growing awareness of climate related issues driving a surge in sustainability.
Finding out what is at the bottom of the change can help you see how it is playing out in your particular region or industry. How are other businesses incorporating sustainability into their practices? Or using technology to personalise the experience for their customers?
As well as looking within your own industry it’s also worth looking at other industries to see how they have adapted the particular trend you’re looking at. I often find that looking at other industries and their innovations acts as inspiration for me when trying to help businesses adapt and make use of current trends.
Tapping into current trends not only helps your business move forward, it can help position you as a cutting edge, modern force to be reckoned with and give you a competitive edge over other, bigger businesses.