Trends. Fads. Early adapters. Making a movement….
How much attention are you paying to what is happening in the world around you? Can you take that data and synthesize it into a compelling product or service? Companies are doing this everyday. Let’s examine closer…
Twitter: Harnessing the growing popularity of text messaging, Twitter started with a couple of guys and their computers looking for a way to take text messages and blogging to the next level. Nine years later, the micro-blogging network is valued at over $24.5B – that’s billion with a “B”.
How did they do this? They noticed a trend. Rising popularity in text messaging, rising popularity in blogging, ever increasing capabilities and popularity in internet usage. They haven’t stopped there. They continue to recognize trends. For instance the trend in live streaming events coupled with the trend in narcissistic selfie and video blogging behaviour has led to the highly successful launch of Twitter’s Periscope.
And so you sit here, reading this, thinking, that’s great for technology, but my business is not about technology. Let’s look at a different trend then.
Lululemon: Recognizing the growing desire of North American’s to find balance in their lives while maintaining materialistic values, Lululemon Athletica launched a line of fashion forward, butt beautifying, active-wear that works. They work with various fabrics to ensure high performance for the sweatiest of yogi’s while maintaining posterior perkiness in downward dog. In time Lululemon recognized that looking good while working out extends beyond yoga and incorporated different lines to support the runners and cross-trainers of the world. Today Lululemon continues to watch trends in both fashion, fitness, and technology to ensure that they innovate rather than die.
Some companies struggle with understanding trends, and what they might mean for the future.
Kodak: Who doesn’t still create “Kodak moments” with their camera-phone? Who is using Kodak to create those moments? That’s right, Kodak was so caught up in their success at creating memories that they forgot to get into the now and the future and see that memories wouldn’t require film. There was opportunity for Kodak to jump on the trends that were starting years before their demise, however, they chose instead to trust in their brand. In a few years, people won’t even remember what Kodak stands for…
Blockbuster: This is the story of one company not recognizing a trend and another company harnessing it with zeal. Blockbuster didn’t pay attention to the ever increasing movement to internet, and the unlimited capabilities that are available with modern technology. Netflix on the other hand, recognized a few things:
1)People love movie nights in the comfort of their home
2)People hate paying late fees
3)The internet has unlimited growth potential and was being embraced at rapid speeds
The rest is history, as they say. Blockbuster failed to innovate and Netflix jumped on a trend.
Ask yourself this:
- Are you paying attention to the trends?
- Where are you looking for information on what people want/need? This really is market research 101.
- What are people excited about?
- How can you take something that people are leaning into and make something of it?
- Are you becoming irrelevant in the face of new innovation?
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune… We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”
How is your company taking the currents? What trends are you noticing that you can capitalize on? Take a look around you – notice what’s happening in the world and get in front of the wave.
This is the third in a series of posts over the next three weeks to help you and your business embrace innovation and creativity in your culture. Mind Set Grow is a business consulting company specializing in leadership development, creative problem solving strategy and coaching. For more information go to our full website at http://www.mindsetgrow.ca