Staying up to date on the top industry trends can feel like an insurmountable task. How do you know where to begin? Why should you follow the top industry trends in the first place?
Industry trends give you a snapshot of what is currently in your market and a sense of what comes next. This is fuel to the fire for innovators who constantly pour over trends to find what is working, what is not, and what comes next.
However, you don’t need to be an innovator to follow trends.
You can easily stay on top of your industry in your own time. You don’t need a consultant, and you don’t need a guru. You just need to know what to look out for and what to pay attention to.
4 Ways to Find the Top Industry Trends: Looking in the Right Place
If you’ve ever been curious as to how so many media and business moguls seem to know what their industry trends are, then you’ve come to the right place.
Maybe it is your job to retain or acquire new markets and industry knowledge is a necessity. Maybe you are looking for that key edge to get ahead in your career.
Finding industry trends that will help get your business ahead is not a plug and play deal.
It is a mindset shift that will set into motion a change in how you approach data, analyze results, and watch competitors.
Making the shift in work lifestyle to one of creating trend analyses will not only be beneficial to your growing business but will help you get ahead faster and with lasting impact.
So, how do you do it?
1. Keep an eye on competitors
This feels like a no brainer, but itis worth mentioning. You’d be surprised at how many businesses are not paying attention to competitors in the market.
Keeping a watchful eye on industry competitors goes beyond who holds the most market share.
Do you follow your competitors on social media? Do you regularly search for them online? Do you notice changes in their consumer demographics?
These are all expert ways to stay highly attuned to what your competitors are up to.
This level of monitoring allows you to establish growth trends for your competitors, to see where they are shifting to, and lets you know how to compete against them.
Take the lifestyle fashion brand KatyDid for example. They identified that many wholesale retailers in their industry were knocking off brands to create fast fashion look-alikes at a deeply discounted rate.
This type of practice negatively affects sales for the company and directly competes for market share.
As a result, some brands choose to avoid wholesale marketplaces due to concerns of being knocked off as some of their competitors have been.
This is the level of attention to detail needed when surveying your competitors.
2. Pay attention to consumer opinions
Changing your mindset to a growth-oriented trend following lifestyle entails looking at consumer research.
However, to truly find industry trends, you need to look deeper than low hanging fruit such as approval ratings, customer reviews, and marketing engagement.
To spot industry trends from the consumer level, you have to see your business through their eyes.
What would you want from the service you’re offering? More than that, what do you expect from it?
No business goes from newly minted to a lifetime supply of loyal customers overnight, unless you are Apple. Take CBD Choice, for example.
“The cannabis industry is booming right now. Unfortunately, not all of the companies out there selling CBD products are dedicated to quality assurance.
With CBD Choice, I want to instill a sense of trust within our customers and, ultimately, help destigmatize the use of CBD nationwide by selling only trusted, lab-tested brands and products,” says Adam Diaz, CEO of CBD Choice.
Just as they did, your business should also be asking: How do we build trust with our consumers?
As the old saying goes, trust is the foundation of every relationship. And if you want your business to get ahead, then consumers trust is a trend you should be looking out for.
If you are at a loss of how to begin, take a look at successful businesses from other industries. Which leads us to….
3. Cross-industry streams
It is okay to not know where to begin. That’s why you are reading this, right?
Staying abreast of trends in other industries or the overarching one for your industry can help you notice trends happening within your business, and it may just spur an action that will push your business ahead of your competitors.
You can always look at successful businesses in other industries to get the thoughts flowing. The reason being is, their pull on your market share is little to none.
So you can research and adapt ideas and trend alerts to your industry easily.
River Comics did just that. They saw how increasingly popular streaming services are, and figured out a creative way to apply that trend to their industry.
The result? Their new motion comic app some even call “The Netflix of Comics.”
By casting out the trend analysis net to larger circles, you can reap big rewards and become a trendsetter in your own niche.
4. Review Industry Trend Reports
Regularly review the available market reports for your industry.
For example, many industry leaders actually complete their own internal research to discover trends within their own company. They then publish these reports, which you can use to find any relevant trends that may apply to your business.
Just make sure you read through a variety of these reports from different industry leaders in order to get a more complete understanding of the overall market.
Additionally, you can utilize analytics systems, such as Google Analytics, to determine any trends within your company.
For example, what are your best-performing products or services? Are there certain keywords visitors to your website are using?
If you know these details, you will be able to grow your business around those current trends.
So let’s recap. We know that finding industry trends that will help your business get ahead is not something you can just Google.
It requires changing your mindset and thinking outside of your normal circle.
If you keep an ever watchful eye on your competitors, establish consumer opinion, and survey other top industry trends you too can start identifying new trends and ways to escalate your businesses success.
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Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She covers the latest developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, and CRM solutions, but also enjoys writing about events, home trends, and travel.