What Trends Up, Must Come Down

by David Bullock

If you are in the consumer market, you may find yourself looking to satisfy a current fad, desire or trend.

And we all know how fads go: in one day and out the next. Fortunes are made and lost on following and investing in trends.

Trends affect companies large and small. Look at the SUV market in the United States. There was actually once a time where you had to wait for months to get your hands on an SUV! Now with fuel prices rising and the “green movement” becoming mainstream, hybrid cars have become the new hot thing and the auto industry is trying to adapt to the marketplace shift. If your business is built around the SUV, you should be thinking about diversifying your product and service line. (Heck, you should already have done so!)


When following trends, you will have to ask yourself what forces are working with – and against – your market strategy. You can follow trends here:

http://www.trendwatching.com

http://www.trendhunter.com

Bear in mind that the economy, the government, and the environment can move the trend against you.

If you are working with a business and they are looking to stay in business, you have to adapt your offer to help them to stay in business. It is not a question of “maybe we will stay in business or not.” It is a question of “who can help me to stay in business and keep my operation running smoothly”.

On the other hand, if you are catering to consumers, you may find that the consumer can just stop buying because discretionary income is no longer available and your commodity is not important to maintain.

Think this only happens to the little guys? The ones selling China-made “Twilight” novelties on eBay? Think again. Check out what happened in this 2008 closing of 600 Starbucks cafes.

Consumers faced with a big fuel price increase radically shifted their money away from that $6 cup of coffee, so that they could afford that gallon or two of gas. If your small business was based on the luxury coffee trend as a stable industry, you could be out of business.

Fortunes are made and lost on following and investing in trends.

What are *you* doing to protect yourself from the dangers of trends? Tell me in the comments below.

Comments

comments

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Keating September 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

David

I agree that it is important to keep an eye on trends but sometimes you never know what huge world event can suddenly change the playing field. Trendwatching probably won’t save you when something like the global financial crisis gets in the way of life.

On the flip side how often does the GFC come along? Businesses that market themselves well and have good products will probably always be around. For Starbucks they had to streamline their operations but they are still in business.

Neil Johnson October 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Interestingly, you mention the large organization syndrome where companies have had to restructure.
I am a 51 year old who has been made redundant after 20 years with a blue chip company and we are the forgotten thousands, but don’t worry, the companies are proofing themselves against the downturn and we have just become a statistic.
On the other hand, it has put me into a position where I can learn something new and try my hand at this internet marketing malarkey.
How hard can it be?
Anyway, thanks for the concern for the individual.

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