Every brand wants to become the next big thing in its industry.
But with so many trends nowadays, how do you identify which ones you should follow or completely disregard?
In this article, we will discuss what trends are and how you can determine whether they’re worth pursuing or not.
What are trends?
Industry or market trends are changes or developments that are happening within a particular field.
They can take many forms— from new technologies to shifts in consumer behavior. And they have the potential to create both opportunities and challenges for businesses.
Trends are not the same as fads, which are often short-lived and have little long-term impact.
Rather, trends are developments that have been around long enough to demonstrate staying power and have the potential to significantly influence the direction of a particular market or industry.
Why are identifying trends important?
Brands need to identify market trends as an important part of strategic planning.
By understanding what is happening in their industry, companies can make informed decisions about things like:
- Where to invest their resources
- How to adapt to changing customer needs, and
- How to stay ahead of the competition
However, identifying trends can be a challenge, as there are often many different factors at play. Plus, trends can be difficult to predict.
Challenges that come with identifying market trends
Here are two of the main reasons why establishing future trends can be a little taxing:
- Identifying trends often requires using analytics tools and performing comprehensive trend analysis. Interpreting these trend reports includes complex data sets and studying them in the context of various economic, social, and environmental factors.
- New industry trends are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. The factors that drive the trend today may not necessarily be the same as those that shape it tomorrow. This unpredictability makes it challenging to anticipate the trajectory of a trend.
What are the three types of trends?
It’s important to understand the different types of trends and their timeframes to develop an effective strategy for your business.
Not only does this help in long-term business planning. It also helps you understand your target market so you can formulate the right business ideas that will truly cater to their needs.
The three types of trends are as follows:
Intermediate trends are sudden changes in direction that can result from economic or political actions and movements, including their subsequent consequences. These trends can be short-lived and unpredictable, making them difficult to plan for.
These are trends that last within a 26 to 52-week period. These trends are characterized by sustained growth or decline in a particular market or industry and are driven by underlying structural factors that influence supply and demand.
A secular trend, one that can last for one to three decades. These trends are usually driven by structural changes within the economy or society that have a lasting impact on the behavior of consumers or businesses.
How to identify industry trends?
Here are eleven tips that you can apply to easily identify new trends:
1. Perform constant research about your industry.
Reading industry reports can provide you with valuable insight into the direction of your industry landscape, which can help you stay up-to-date with the wealth of resources available to you.
These reports can help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your industry, including its current state and potential future trends.
2. Keep in touch with your customers.
Engaging in conversations with your customers allows you to see the bigger picture. You will gain a better understanding of their pain points, challenges, and desires, helping you discover what more your business can do to serve them better.
These conversations can also give you a better idea of what your customers are looking for in terms of innovation and can provide you with a competitive edge over rival companies.
3. Check out social media channels related to your niche.
Social media provides businesses with the opportunity to interact with their customers in real-time, creating a two-way conversation that can help identify emerging trends in the industry. It’s also a powerful tool that keeps track of industry influencers and their perspectives.
By following thought leaders in your industry, you can stay up-to-date on their latest insights, predictions, and opinions. You can also engage with them and share your own perspectives, positioning yourself as a relevant entity in the industry.
4. Observe your competitors.
It’s essential to keep a close eye on your competitors, as they can provide relevant data into any emerging trend. That way, you would gain a general direction of how you can position your business to remain competitive.
Then, you can analyze their strategies, strengths, and weaknesses that can help you make informed business decisions. Additionally, observing them will also help you determine if they are missing out on any opportunities in the market that your brand can capitalize on.
5. Take a look at your analytics.
Using any software or analytics tool will help you perform technical analysis on any significant data that you’d want relevant results from.
With the increasing amount of information being generated in various forms, it’s important to have the right digital tools to collect, process, and analyze any input.
6. Segment your customers.
Understanding your customers is essential to the success of any business, and one of the most effective ways to do this is through customer segmentation.
Dividing your customer base into smaller groups based on shared characteristics such as age, gender, location, interests, and purchasing behavior, will let you gain valuable insights into their needs and preferences.
Plus, segmenting them will help you create targeted marketing campaigns that are more relevant and appealing to each group, which helps in increasing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, improving customer engagement, and ultimately boosting your bottom line.
7. Analyze your customers’ purchasing behavior.
Asking the right questions can be powerful for your business. Knowing what your customers want generally contributes to keeping track of whether your day-to-day efforts, products, and services, are promoting long-term success for your business.
Studying their purchasing patterns will give you get a better understanding of what works for them, what they are interested in, and what factors influence their decision-making process.
After analyzing this information, you can then identify emerging trends in the market, such as Then, you can then use this information to adjust your business strategy and better align with these trends and meet the evolving needs of your customers.
8. Look up complementary companies.
Studying correlated commodities and complementary organizations can lead you to recognize patterns of their success and what other types of products and services they synergize with.
For example, if a business sells a popular product such as a smartwatch, it can analyze customer purchasing behavior to identify other products that are frequently purchased with the smartwatch, such as fitness trackers or wireless earbuds.
By identifying these complementary products, businesses can develop marketing strategies that promote the combination of these products, and potentially create bundled offerings that meet customer needs more effectively.
Furthermore, businesses can use this data to identify potential gaps in the market that they can fill with their own complementary products or services.
9. See what foreign markets are up to.
Expanding your research to foreign markets can be a valuable strategy for identifying emerging trends because saturated markets often create a ripple effect in other countries.
Keeping an eye on the trends overseas can help you plan your next course of action based on what might be the next big thing in your market.
It’s important to note, however, that cultural differences and preferences must be taken into consideration when analyzing foreign trends to ensure they can be adapted to your own business.
10. Understand developing technologies.
To make predictions about the development of technology, there are various sources of data at your disposal. Utilize these data sources to gain information about emerging trends so you can stay ahead of the curve.
Patent applications and scientific publications can provide valuable information on what technologies are being researched and developed.
Additionally, industry reports and market analyses can offer insight into what technologies are gaining traction and which ones are falling behind.
Overall, with a comprehensive understanding of where technology is headed, you can take a peek at future trends and make smart decisions for your business.
How do you know which trends to follow?
Check out these five tips to determine which trends you should follow:
- Interpret the data you have and see how the results can help your business. Examine the details to unveil whether a trend is likely to address any of your customer’s pain points.
- Check out your resources. Choosing to pursue a prospective trend will be difficult with insufficient manpower, technology, and resources.
- Determine whether the trend is compatible with your business practices and culture. Invest some time in scrutinizing these vital factors and see whether your overall culture correlates with them.
- Engage in conversation with other enterprises. Conversing with other entities in your field can provide you with valuable insights to make your path forward more transparent.
- Assess whether these trends will solve any of your organizational problems at the moment. If it satisfies your needs as a company, or if it in any way, help you gain paying customers, then that specific trend may render profits and returns for you.
Use Accept Mission to organize innovation with industry trends
Accept Mission is a platform that helps organizations manage innovation processes, including gathering ideas on the latest industry trends.
Our platform provides a collaborative environment where you and your team can define, prioritize, and track tasks related to innovation initiatives.
That way, you can collect and analyze data from various sources, such as customer feedback, market research, and industry trends, to inform decision-making.
With Accept Mission, you can align your innovation efforts with industry trends and use data-driven insights to make smart decisions about which trends to pursue and how to respond to them.
Download our innovation ebook today to innovate based on the trends in your industry.