Polka dots? Stripes?
We’ve already gone over how trends help your business, but we haven’t yet discussed how to go about tracking them correctly. Out-of-date trends can antiquate your business, and if you participate in an unprofessional way, you could risk losing out on customers!
The essence of a trend is change. By taking note of what worked previously and evolving your business, you too can track trends successfully. The ever-evolving landscape can be hard to grasp at first, but here are five tips and tricks to keep in mind:
1. Observe your competition
The best source of information is other people doing similar things to you. Chances are, they’ll be a source of inspiration, as you can borrow from their pre-existing strategies. It helps to get a bit of leverage over the competition, so take ideas from wherever you find them.
Additionally, you can fill in any gaps they may be missing, or simply know what not to do if they’re not a good example. For example, if a rival business started a trend of flash discounts, you can try to give your customers a better deal than they’re offering!
2. Look through social media
Similarly to sizing up your competition, inspiration can come from everywhere. Looking through social media is a good way to see successful trends in motion. Hashtags are a great way to see what social media trends are currently popular.
Be wary, though, as social media has a relatively short shelf-life before the next trend takes over – although that is exactly what the essence of trends are. Nevertheless, social media update pages or hashtag lists are very often great indicators of what topics are on the rise.
3. Learn constantly
Attend conferences, sign up for email lists, or take advantage of webinars to learn more about the landscape of trends. A basic understanding can be widely applied to other upcoming trends, so the more you know, the better!
Looking online is also a good way to discover more about trends. Blogs, websites and forums contain useful and regularly updates information relating to the industry. Looking at top-ranking websites means you can have a good chance of forecasting what’s going to come next.
4. Check metrics
Before you join a trend, see if it’s worth your while – and if it’s sustainable. A fast-growing trend may die out just as fast as it rose. Google Trends is a good bet for seeing what people have been searching for, and can give you an idea of what rising trends are about to erupt into the public forefront.
5. Trust your audience
Reviews, testimonials and other customer feedback are very useful when discovering information about the industry you might have missed. If customers have experience in using another product or service, their insight can help you get an edge over your competitors.
Don’t worry, there’s no more! We’ve covered everything you need to know about tracking trends, including who to ask, where to look and what to look out for. By asking your audience, checking metrics and making an effort to learn, you will reap the benefits of trends in no time!