Leveraging your brand off industry trends
The fast paced world that we live in is dominated by trends.

The fast paced world that we live in is dominated by trends. What’s trending today will be passé tomorrow – I just need to look at my children to know that this is fact.

Being able to identify trends, will enable you to take advantage of consumer fads or industry developments. Whether they are social, environmental, political, economical or technological some trends can catapult an industry or destroy it.

Social Trends

Let’s take the current trend of adult colouring-in. This particular trend started by Scottish illustrator, Johanna Basford has seen a plethora of colouring-in books hit our shelves. I’m not talking about the $5 children’s colouring in books. I’m talking about beautifully designed, foil covered and professionally printed books that cost at least triple the price of children’s book and take pride of place on the coffee table.

The unsuspecting industry that has been effected by this colouring-in craze is the pencil industry. Suddenly for every book sold, a box of pencils is required. Instead of being a casualty of the digital age, pencil manufacturers such as Faber Castell, are finding it hard to keep up with consumer demands for their products. Being prepared and identifying trends early will ensure that your brand is the one to leverage off the next trend.

Environmental Trends

In Swaziland, a landlocked country within South Africa, thrives an amazing glass business. Ngwenya Glass is an equal opportunity company for all staff, who are employed from the local villages. Only re-cycled glass is used in the production of their world famous glass products. Used glass products are collected from landfills, restaurants and hotels. The company pays for collected bottled by the kilogram, which results in people picking up their glass and handing it in. This company has seen the environmental trend of recycling and has leveraged off it, building and business and keeping its community clean at the same time.

Technological Trends

Mobile phones haven’t always been the accessory that they are today. There was a time when they simply made and accepted phone calls. With the development of the smart phones and tablets, the multimillion dollar industry of mobile device covers. Every time Apple releases a new phone, manufactures rub their hands together in glee. They don’t even have to find new customers, the phone industry does that for them! They simply need to be ready with the new sized covers when the product is launched to market.

Ignorant to Trends

On the flip side, we have seen trends destroy brands. Blockbuster, once a powerhouse of entertainment pre 2000 failed to see that the technology trend was moving beyond the DVD machine and to a more online application. It’s interesting to note that Netflix founder, Reed Hastings proposed a partnership with Blockbuster. The concept involved Netflix running the the online side of Blockbuster’s brand while Blockbuster would promote Netflix in-store. blockbuster CEO, John Antioco failed to see where the world was heading and as a result we have Netflix today, but no Blockbuster.

Keeping your eye on the trends of not just your own industry, but of industries that compliment or effect yours, can mean the difference between success and failure. Be agile, nimble and open to change, and your business will reap the rewards.

Written by branding specialist Debbie O’Connor
Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Apr 26th, 2016