Every modern entrepreneur will recognize it: we operate in a society that is full of start-ups, in which everyone can vent wild ideas at any time of the day and where creativity is no longer a luxury, but a determining necessity. In order to be truly successful as an entrepreneur, in today's world it is more important than ever to be at the forefront of brand new trends. You snooze, you lose.
Trendwatching: some people make it a full-time job, but today's entrepreneur has to do it a little bit wrong. Anyone who does not recognize trends in time will follow the crowd. But recognize a trend before your competitors do, how do you manage that? We give you seven tips.
Way 1: Snap how trends work and unmask fads
And that starts with the question of what a trend actually is. In this earlier blog We have already explained what the definition of 'trend' is and how a trend differs from a fad. Fads may be interesting, but in the long term they will bleed to death completely: the smart entrepreneur does not invest in it or get out in time.
Method 2: Recognize the maxi trend above the microtrend
No trend stands on its own. There is always a maximum trend - a general need among consumers - that causes trends. Does that one new product, which nobody knows yet, fit in perfectly with that one maxi trend that is already the catalyst for so many successful products? Big chance that you have spotted a new trend!
Method 3: Check facts and figures
Before you go on a smooth elevator pitch piggyback or decide to invest in something: check facts and check figures. Make sure you know the truth. A lot of companies are interested in presenting their products as if they were part of a great trend, but this is not always the case.
Method 4: Pay particular attention to small start-ups
Most trends are marketed by small entrepreneurs and start-ups. Large companies rarely start a trend. Even a giant like Google mainly buys start-ups that launch successful trends, rather than actually doing it themselves. Remember: with large companies, lengthy meeting sessions, procuration processes and other processes must first be completed before marketing can begin.
Method 5: Look, listen and learn
Many entrepreneurs are good talkers, but if you want to be at the forefront of a trend, it pays to listen carefully. Watch and listen to what's going on in society and with your customers and learn from it. Especially think that you have the truth not have a lease, but assume you are wrong. This open mindset alone will help you identify trends.
Method 6: Follow the conversation in your target group
The trends are up for grabs, you just have to know where you can do that. Where do your customers go? In which forums and in which markets? Where do they come together? By actively participating in discussions on, for example, a forum where your target group is located, it becomes much easier to be able to distinguish growing trends in time. So join your customers and take a good look around you.
Method 7: Look at applications
A innovation has to solve a problem to be or become a trend. 3D printing and the blockchain, for example, are incredibly interesting, but do not seem to be catching on in the market yet. As soon as an innovation still has to look for a problem, there is no valuable application yet.
Way 8: Follow talent
Which choices do the best graduates in your field currently make? Where do they get started, where do they end up, what do they find interesting? And why do they actually make that choice en masse? There is a good chance that the place where all that talent will gather is a hotbed of new trends in no time. It is never unwise to interfere.
Way 9: Stop with "yes, but"
We tend to see our own practices as logical and sacred (why else should we do it that way?) And burn down alternatives before trying them. And we would like to come up with some obstacles. You do not spot trends by maintaining obstacles. Every time when you think, hear or say with a new idea "yes, but", you have the opportunity to substantiate for yourself However proceed to realization.
Method 10: Do not stare blindly at one success or miss
The greatest innovators in the world have launched numerous failed products. Apple was once almost bankrupt. That does not mean that the trend to which these products responded did not exist. Do not focus too much on individual products and their success or failure, but look at the broader perspective.
Way 11: Look for trends outside of your own market segment
It is not uncommon for new trends to emerge from (collaborations with) other market segments. The latest innovations in the home security sector stem from trends related to connectivity and telecom. If you, as an entrepreneur, understand this in time, you can predict new trends of this kind earlier than your competitor and make the necessary adjustments to your way of doing business.
Way 12: Forget about demographics
The time when a target group would only consist of men between 25 and 49 years old has passed. Real trends break current demographic barriers. People are more connected to each other than ever and they do so through media that do not look at location, age or origin.
Way 13: Introduce the product that would ruin your business
What are you most afraid of as an entrepreneur? Which product or service would mean the end for your company? What should a competitor do to kill your business? Introduce it yourself. Turn your own products around the neck. Be the Picnic between the XL supermarkets. The Netflix among the video stores. Introduce WhatsApp for people who pay dearly for SMS bundles.