DIYMarketing Expert, Marketing Strategist and Small Business Marketing Advisor, DIY Marketers
Now is the perfect time to take another look at consumer and industry trends and see how you can give your product or service a marketing makeover to better match what your ideal customers want.
Trendspotting is not only a verb that means keeping your eye out for consumer trends that are driving how and why people buy, but it’s also a creatively pulled together web site that can be a great resource for trends and examples of the latest worldwide trends.
Here are a few consumer trends I’ve pulled from “Trendspotting” that you can use to generate new reasons for why your customers should choose you instead of another alternative.
Products and Services that Defy the Doom and Gloom
Consumers have really had it with all the negativity in the media and in their lives. Anything you can do to create a positive and pragmatic spin on your features and benefits will make you a more appealing choice to your customers.
Offering Free Help in Hard Times
Hyundai is the first and biggest brand to differentiate itself by offering to literally take back your car if you happen to lose your job. But it wasn’t long before Saturn got into the game by offering to make your payments for up to nine months if you’ve lost your job. What I love about this trend is that it is so easily adaptable by just about any business of any size. All you have to do is make sure that what you’re offering is valuable to your customer and provides a real help during a tough time. FedEx Kinkos is offering to free black and white printing of up to 25 copies of your resume! What product or service do you offer that can really help your customers out during a tough time? The key is to follow FedEx Kinko’s lead and choose something that doesn’t increase your costs, yet provides your customers an experience and real value. Besides by offering something your customers need for free, you’re working the reciprocity trigger and they will be more loyal to you when things get better.
Practical and Pragmatic Products Win Out Over Luxury
This economy has re-awakened the practical side in all of us. Products and services that help your customers enjoy the priceless things in life are going to be more popular than luxury products of years past. In what ways does your product or service promote family time or fun at home? Board games and video games are sustaining sales and growth as families spend time at home rather than going out. Semi-homemade meals at supermarkets are more popular than ever. Think about ways in which your product and service can displace a more luxury alternative. Start research luxury items and how you can take the product down a notch or two.
Movement Toward Doing It Yourself (DIY)
Service businesses that could have been perceived as luxuries such as lawn care or housekeeping have really taken a hit as more and more people move toward doing most things themselves. In the world of small business sales and marketing, this DIY movement has really taken hold. Video’s don’t have to be “professional” to be effective, blogging is relatively free, designer-quality brochures and business cards can be designed and printed in minutes for pennies on the dollar of what a professional design firm might charge. Consumers absolutely LOVE the customization that Doing it Themselves offers – especially when they don’t have to sacrifice too much on quality or technology.
Market to Moms
Everyone has a mom! And these days, being a mom is about as cool and trendy as it gets. There’s something very hip about running after kids, cleaning up after kids and driving kids and feeding families. Notice how many products are catering to the mom market; supermarket brand shampoos that promise salon-quality care, chocolates that promise a few minutes of quiet time away from screaming kids and sandwich dinners that promise a smiling happy family without all the fuss. Take your current product or service and see if and how it helps moms do all the things they do and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The key to every trend I’ve mentioned here is that it’s transitioning consumers from a failing economy into a growing economy. All of these trends are working the angle that out of a difficult economy, we’ve learned to appreciate the simpler things in life. The core value that your product or service brings is more about values, than the benefit we receive for the amount of money we pay.
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About the Author: Ivana Taylor has spent over 20 years helping industrial organizations and small business owners get and keep their ideal customers. Her company is Third Force and she writes a blog called Strategy Stew. She is co-author of the book "Excel for Marketing Managers."