Join the Esme team as we explain what a consumer trend is, how they can affect your business and provide a number of examples of how excising consumer trends have affected other businesses. We’ll also share our top five ways to identify a consumer trend early on.
Consumer trends are essentially an analysis of consumer’s habits in relation to goods or a product. Consumer trend data will look at what they buy, how much they spend, how they use a certain product, and how they interact with a brand.
Consumer trends are constantly changing, whether it’s societies’ relationship with technology or growing concerns with the environment. A consumer trend could affect one business, but not another – so it’s beneficial for companies to consider and identify these consumer trends as they could influence a business and its future. A good example of how a business has adapted to a consumer trend and incorporated it into their marketing strategy is with the recent launch of Greggs’ vegan sausage roll. The company, which is notoriously associated with meat pasties, responded to the growth and interest of consumers choosing to eat a plant based diet. According to research carried out by supermarket chain Waitrose in 2018, one in eight people are now either vegan or vegetarian, which meant that Greggs were no longer appealing to a large proportion of people. The brand reacted by launching a new product that related to and targeted those consumers. Greggs heavily marketed the launch and received a huge level of positive engagement, as well as selling hundreds of thousands of rolls within the first week. Adapting to consumer trends doesn’t necessarily mean you need to diversify your business, it can just be a case of considering consumer trends for your business’ marketing strategy, in order to maintain relevancy and still appeal to your target audience.
There are a number of ways you can identify consumer trends in the early stages to ensure your business can quickly adapt to them.
Twitter and Google Trends
A lot of digital consumer trends are identifiable online and more specifically, through social media and even Google. Looking at Twitter trends and Google trends occasionally can give you a good insight into what people are talking about on social media and what’s trending.
Regularly reading articles that are associated with your business’ market can give you a good indication to any external factors that could be affecting it in either a positive or negative way. If spare time is a rarity, you can subscribe to industry publications’ newsletters to get a quick glimpse at what is going on.
Staying up to date with your competitor’s activities could give you an indication to any consumer trends that may be incorporated in their marketing activities. It doesn’t have to be a direct competitor but one within the market. For example, if you own a high-quality furniture store, Ikea may not be a direct competitor, but their marketing campaigns or independent research could give you an indication to how the market is changing and what consumers may be looking for.
Market research surveys and trend reports
By conducting a survey, you can get a direct insight into how consumers relate to your offerings and brand. It also gives you the chance to spot a consumer trend early on and adapt your business to ensure you are still able to relate to your market. There are also a range of existing trend reports for various industries that can offer an overview of how consumers interact with your industry. You can buy existing market reports for your industry with Mintel.
The customer is the most important factor for most businesses, and so encouraging your customers to give feedback can give you an understanding into the changes in consumer behaviour. By responding to these changes, you could increase your chances of customer loyalty and staying ahead of competitors.