In the communications field, it’s our job to stay on top of the latest news and industry happenings. It’s an ever-changing game and what makes our industry exciting.
When it comes to trendspotting – whether they be in fashion, technology, food, brand marketing, etc. – being on the lookout for trends can be a full-time job. (And it is for some!) You don’t have to become a full-timer, but if you’re in business, you’ll want to at least give yourself periodic updates on what’s new and now.
People often ask us how we stay on top of trends, and below are three quick ways we weave trendwatching into our business and lives that you may find helpful!
1) We pay attention to what’s happening in the world. On a daily basis it’s easy to dismiss what’s happening in the world around us. We’ve often heard that reading and watching the news can be a downer sometimes, but occasionally checking in will give you a sense of what people are looking for, searching for, seeking and in need of. And at the end of the day, we’re all in the business of serving our customers, so it’s good to be in the know of what might be important to them outside of (and in) their world.
2) We look beyond the obvious. It’s necessary to look at what’s happening in your industry, latest tools, technologies and ways of doing business. It’s beneficial to also pick a few industries outside of your norm that are doing things that are interesting to you. We challenge you to pick something completely opposite of the industry you work in. If you’re a cosmetics line, look at what’s happening in the world of gas, oil and electricity. We know, random! What’s the connection, right? Maybe nothing or maybe…you’ll spot some consistencies: models and behaviors of doing business, promoting and selling. Unless you observe and watch what’s happening in industries outside of your niche, you won’t be able to see any correlations or trends. (In the end, we really are all in this together!)
3) We listen to our customers/clients/vendors. Our clients/customers/vendors have unique perspectives in their own industries and we would bet the same holds true for your clients/customers/vendors. They let you know what’s working, what’s not and what their pain points are. If you don’t have this type of relationship with your clients (or you’re in an industry that doesn’t allow for much one-on-one interaction) consider honing in on just a few key customers and taking them out to lunch or for coffee for an update. (If you’re not able to meet, consider a survey.) Your clients are smart – after all they hired or shop with you! Be sure to listen to insights that they have and share about their industries.
We occasionally act as Trend Spotters for our friends over at Trendwatching.com and this week a trend we spotted was featured as a #TopSpot.
— trendwatching.com (@trendwatching) March 15, 2014
How do you go about spotting trends for your industry? Share in the comments below!