When approaching the online world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the different buzzwords doing the rounds. Some of these buzzwords can mean nothing, whereas others could indicate a new way of thinking.
The term trendspotting could be easily dismissed, but it actually refers to a practice that is becoming a common topic for discussions among several business professionals and philosophers.
Trendspotting is essentially about recognising trends in different sectors, be it the fashion industry, business or technology.
Trendspotting can normally mesh with futurism, which looks at how current trends will affect the populous over time.
The use of trendspotting can seem relatively straightforward, in that trendspotting is essentially about spotting trends and making decisions based on these trends.
Although some trends can occur for a short time, there can be other trends that have a longer arch when it comes to implementation. This is especially true in the world of business and technology.
As the two cross paths on a regular basis, it stands to reasons that several trends follow. However, just because the masses are acting in a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean we should follow suit.
Becoming caught up in the short-term trends can mean that we’re taking our eye of the ball in relation to the long-term trends.
Harnessing trends in the right way ensures that businesses and professionals can make the right plans when trying to grow in the future.
The trends that you pay attention to can vary depending on the nature of your business and what you’re looking to achieve.
It’s also important not to overburden the business when it comes to the service on offer. The larger businesses may have a large following, but there can be problems when it comes to customer service.
As such, a smaller business may take longer to fulfill a task, but if there is smooth communications and updates, then this could be the USP of the business.
These means it doesn’t have to meet unrealistic timelines that the industry leaders can easily carry out.
Examples of Trendspotting
When starting a new business, there are several things that need to be considered before the business is even launched.
How will other businesses connect with the business? What expectations will the customer have? Are there realistic expectations in place when it comes to the customer and company relationship?
Although these are decisions that could made by the business alone, it’s easy to become caught up with trends that have already been set in motion by our peers.
For example, those using a mail order company may want the same features as that of Amazon. Similarly, those searching for information online will want the information to be delivered quickly.
It stands to reason that for a business to be successful, it must adopt technology in some form or other to ensure the business is recognised.
Similarly, trying to keep up with too many trends can not only be expensive, but could be the wrong approach for your business.
Finding Business Value in Trendspotting
Many will examine trends for several reasons. Some may have an interest in trends and the data the produce, while professional may want to harness the data and ensure that it’s instilled in the right way.
It’s also worth noting that when a business or professional starts trendspotting, it can be difficult to stop. This isn’t because the art if trendspotting is addictive, although it can be.
The need for constant research because how the wants, needs and tastes of a customer change over time.
Essentially, change is constant and staying abreast of trends can give a business an overview of what’s happening in real time, as well as the effects in the long-term.
To be able to find business value in trendspotting, it’s important to consider what is of value to your business, and not that of the whole industry.
It’s easy to get up with idea of “thinking big” and take punt like the big companies do, but not every business will have the capital to cover any loss.
As such, when adopting trendspotting, it’s important that an infrastructure is put in place that helps highlight some of the more viable trends doing the rounds.
Trendspotting Still Requires Due Diligence
Trends can come and go or remain for several years, so when looking at information, it’s important to ensure that the risk is assessed as well as the benefits.
A business that uses guesswork when dealing with trendspotting could find that is several approaches fail at the same time, then there’s little to fall back on.
There could be some trends that while impressive on the surface, could actually lead to disrupt the relationship made between a customer and a business.
Speakers well-versed in trendspotting have not only highlighted the benefits that trendspotting offers, but also the disruption they could suffer in the future.
It’s also important to ensure that businesses and professionals are considering all aspects of the trends being analysed.
For example, changes in the health sector could impact your business, even if you’re a private company. Similarly, online changes could mean that a more unique approach is needed to reach prospective customers.
It’s difficult to ascertain what information is relevant to our business when identifying trends, and in some instances, there can be some trial and error.
Trendspotting doesn’t mean that a business or marketing professional will be able to garner positive results in every instance but understanding how trends develop and change over time allows you to structure your business model to employ and make use of these changes.
There’s certainly nothing wrong in taking advantage of short-term trends as long as the business understands that’s exactly what they.
When getting positive results from a certain trend, businesses will be tempted to carry on. However, not recognising other trends could mean that you’re using a platform that’s no longer relevant.
Similarly, there could a resurgence of interest on a specific platform and becoming proficient in spotting long-term trends could mean that your business could be taking advantage of the platform before everyone else.
An Overview of Some of the Modern-Day Trendspotter Keynote Speakers
Given the benefits that trendspotting can offer, it should come as no surprise that several keynote speakers and business professionals are keen to talk about trends and how they can affect professional and businesses
Magnus Lindkvist is an author and keynote speaker who has been promoting the benefits of trendspotting for several years.
Lindkvist has stated that while many of us can get caught up with short-term trends rather than concentrating on long-term trends.
The popularity of his philosophy has seen Linkdvist engage with several leading brands, such as Coca-Cola and the BBC.
A relevant point is also made that some of the more popular businesses of yesteryear are being ignored in favour of digital start-ups.
However, entrepreneurs that focus on “less-desirable” businesses, such as a spa outlet, could find that there is a demand for products that’s being untapped.
Kjell Nordstrom is a Swedish economist and public speaker who offers a fresh outlook on a work being overtaken by automated trends.
Nordtstrom points out that current trends offer a similar business model among many corporations.
It also means that some markets are becoming more saturated than before. The mobile phone market is an example of this.
The current trends see modern handsets adopt a similar design, with brands looking to outdo each other with the features available.
The philosophy delivered by Nordstrom would look to capitalise on the benefits on offer but offering a unique angle could offer something that stands out among the crowd.
Although it’s names such as Apple and Samsung that seem prevalent in the mobile community, many Chinese and Indian manufacturers are creating their own niche market by offering an affordable solution to high-end mobile phones.
Although the Western world may be embracing the technology on offer, other markets are considering the needs of the everyday use, who may not have a large budge when it comes to purchasing a handset.
Statistics are important, as is technology, but that doesn’t mean that we should be come too reliant, especially when the best ideas can only occur within the human mind.
These views are shared by Kjell’s frequent collaborator, Swedish business speaker Jonas Ridderstrale, who co-wrote “Funky Business” with Nordstrom.
Trendspotting can mean different things to different people, but ultimately it relates to looking at information over short and long time periods and deciding which of this can be used by the business to strengthen its infrastructure and create more awareness of their brand or product.