The importance of market trends – of looking at what is going on outside your company – shouldn’t be underestimated.

It’s easy to get so engrossed in your own company that you forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
But that is when you can see where things are going in the future and what you can do to stay ahead.

Have you ever missed the boat? ⛵️

The Importance of Market Analysis

Let me tell you a little story:

“Facebook won’t take off,” he said! I was doing some consulting 5 years ago, and that’s what the CEO told me.

He didn’t agree with me when I said that they should offer Facebook ads as a service to their clients (this probably sounds ridiculous now as Facebook is huge and an obvious channel for many businesses but at the time it didn’t have the traction that it now has)

I persuaded him that we did, he finally gave in and a few years later that was one of his most profitable departments.

He very nearly missed the boat – big time. I always wonder if he remembers that conversation! 

It’s easy to be so ‘inside’ your business that you forget to come up for air!

When that happens, it’s like being in a bubble, and when you’re in a bubble you can miss out on what’s happening around you.

That’s why getting some outside perspective can be useful. It’s good to see what is happening outside your business.

The importance of market trends is that you need to differentiate your brand and gain cut-through in a crowded marketplace.

To do this you need to look at:

  • Your competitors
  • The market

I have already spoken about the importance of competitor analysis. Lots of info here on how to review your competitors.

Looking at the market, what are the customer trends and industry trends? What opportunities are there out there that you can leverage?

Keeping up with Industry Trends

You can keep it very simple by reviewing industry trends and customer trends. This is where Google comes in handy.

Google ‘Health and wellbeing trends’ or ‘Trends in X in 2020’ or whatever it is that is relevant for you.

You can also use Google Trends and put in the relevant keywords for your business. This is one of my favourite market analysis tools (run by Google) that shows you the popularity of search queries over time, which you can sort by region and language. Quite cool.

Identifying Consumer Trends for Market Research

The importance of market trends goes beyond your competitors. It’s important to know what’s happening with your customers, too. Consumer trends don’t just relate to things like how much consumers spend on products and what they buy.

It includes things like:

  • How are customers engaging with brands?
  • What is important to customers when it comes to buying from brands?
  • How do they like to communicate?
  • What is important to customers when it comes to buying products?
  • How do they like to buy?

For example, I was talking recently to a client about having a direct-to-consumer e-commerce store. Currently, their customers can only buy their products from a salon.

For many people, this might not work. They might not be able to get to a salon, they might not have the time or the money.

Customers are now able to shop online (and often get it delivered within a day) and send things back if they don’t want them. They are able to try things out in the comfort of their own home.  In fact, I was at a wedding last night and my friend was wearing a dress that she had ordered the day before – quite amazing to think that we have everything there at our fingertips!

Things have moved on, and we need to be aware of these trends.

Advantages of Market Analysis

Knowing what consumers want means being able to communicate with your customers in ways that work for them.

If your customers want to communicate via WhatsApp, then offer that as a customer service channel. I love the fact that Zara is doing this – how cool is that?

Think about your customer and what works for them. What do they need? How can you make their experience the best?

How to Identify Market Trends

You can look at media perceptions and what topics interest the media when it comes to your industry or product.

You can use tools like BuzzSumo which will give you the popular and most shared topics in the industry.

This will help guide you to the kind of content that is popular, and also what is interesting to the market.

Look at the trends in the marketplace and see what scope there is for you to grow your business. Have a look at your competitors or brands that are doing well in similar industries. What can you do to stand out?