What is Trendspotting?
Every day there seems to be a new buzzword flying around the marketing world. Today’s focus? Trendspotting. Trends can take on many forms: there are fashion trends, trends that relate to movement or direction (“an upward trend in sales”), or trends as they relate to social media (“what’s trending on Twitter?”). Trendspotting essentially relates to all forms of the word itself and is essentially the identification of new trends.
Business owners—and marketing types in particular—need to be effective trendspotters in order to keep their business ahead of the competition. Consumers tend to lean on the stores they shop in and the restaurants they frequent to help them identify what’s in style, whether it’s clothing and accessories or cocktails and appetizers. Trends are ever-evolving, which makes it all the more critical to stay on top of them—it also makes it all the more difficult to keep up with. Businesses that are able to identify and adopt new trends are also the ones that will see the most growth. In addition to spotting an upcoming trend, business owners also need to be able to spot things that have trend potential. As they say on Sproutsocial, “the ability to identify trends represents a significant competitive advantage versus companies playing catch-up.”
So how does a business owner acquire this trendspotting skillset? There’s really one main action: pay attention. Not just to what’s happening in your own industry, but in the small business industry as a whole. You should be able to see behavior patterns in customers and have a unique understanding of economic and environmental shifts and their impacts on consumerism. In short, you must have an idea of how customers react to changing trends—how do they reevaluate their spending habits or preferences in the face of ever-evolving trends? If you have these abilities (and practice makes perfect!), you’ll eventually be able to predict trends on your own.
You should also always talk to your customers. They’re the heart of your business anyway, so what types of things are they looking forward to? What do they expect from your business?
Additionally, make sure you’re keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing. You don’t want to turn yourself into a relentless spy, rather monitor the types of campaigns they are sending out and their progress. Compare and contrast your marketing methods.
Rest assured that trendspotting is never easy. There’s definitely a huge benefit to getting in on the ground floor of a trend, but there are always risks involved. Going after a trend is an investment—in time, money, and resources. You’ll definitely want to do a cost-benefit exercise to make sure you’re dedicating your business to the trends that make the most sense.
For the latest news and advice on everything small business, make sure to stop by the Financial Pantry—ARF Financial’s blog that covers marketing ideas, finance questions, and more. If you’re looking into securing a small business loan, we’re also your one-stop shop for seamless access to just the capital you need. Whether you’re looking to revamp your storefront, invest in a new property, or hire additional staff, we’ve got just the loan product for you—and the expert partners to work with you through the entire process. Take a look through our testimonials and see why so many business owners nationwide turn to ARF Financial!