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Unlock Growth: How Trends Can Future-Proof Your Brand or Business

, June 21, 2024, 0 Comments

trends-marketexpress-inStudying trends is an effective way of plotting the potential of your business/brand. Trends help shape the future. They tell you what people are currently liking, disliking. They are a reflection of consumer behaviour today. The study of which can help you plot what tomorrow might look like. Especially because some trends change human behaviour. Like for example- An app for quick commerce. ( In India- blinkit), it makes you hooked to getting products in less than 10 minutes. This means that now consumers are getting used to ‘now’. A lead user will figure out a way of getting everything faster at their disposal. This is why you have to study trends. To know the impact of them on human behaviour and thus the resulting impact on your business/brand.

  • If you are a retail store and everyone is carrying refill bottles because caring for the planet is suddenly important, then you need to stock refills and create shelf space for refills.
  • If you are the brand manager of a shoe company and suddenly everyone wants to walk/cycle to work, then you need to change your product portfolio/adapt fast enough to cater to that demand.

Trends are indicators of popular choices, opinions, products, services.

Trends are the movement of a critical mass. A direction of a large mass of people. This large mass of people can be divided into many different groups depending upon when they adopted the trend.

These are often called ‘tribes’, consumer cohorts. Examples are the K-POP sensation, the popularity of Korean skincare, the rise of Veganism, Jordon sneakers.

Emergent patterns or even things that appear different from normal (like wearing casual clothes to office, intermittent fasting, smaller intimate weddings) in everyday culture. These changes can be in any area – fashion, retail, design, interiors, the arts, architecture, even science and technology.

Even ideas are trends. How the trend spreads depends upon the social, psychological, cultural and evolutionary state of society- global and regional. Some ideas therefore do not take off as trends or stay as fads. Like the eat ghee movement.

Studying trends is about scanning regional and global environment for technological, social, spiritual, economic changes

One of the easiest ways to identify trends is to look for ‘Cool people’, the lead users. The people who are the first to create a trend. They are almost innovators, since they pick up changes in their environment and adapt products and services according to that. The other group is Early adopters. They are the ones who spread the trends to the Early majority.

Early adopters are generally people who are on the lookout for ‘Cool’ people and tend to follow what is trending or what is cool.
It is the Early adopters who spread the word about ideas, innovation and make things ‘Viral’.

The form in which they adopt trends.

While the lead users enable us to identify trends, they tend to be insular in their outlook, or very stubborn and fixed in their ideas, mindset. Like Earth enthusiasts, or Fitness freaks. Their behaviour may not be easy to replicate to a larger group.

Some methods of finding Early adopters are – pattern recognition, used by AI or trained researchers to identify and recognise hidden patterns in social and cultural exchanges.

In essence, trends are about finding patterns of similar behaviour among a set of people.

How many people have adapted to the trend is a good way of knowing how to protect or what it means for your business. Which is where the Diffusion of Innovation curve helps. It’s good to create foresight for your business action.