As trend analysts and market researchers, we are studying trends on a daily basis; we understand how trends start, where they come from, the speed at which they grow, how they interact with each other, and most importantly how they will impact on the consumer in the future.
This is our job and we love it; we are fascinated by trends, we get really excited by the way they evolve and grow (or disappear), how one trend can generate growth in one industry and yet decimate the market in another, how seemingly unconnected trends can contribute to the same outcome.
It’s always very satisfying to look back at the trends we have tracked over the years and see the impact they have had on the way we use our homes. A great example of this is the Wellness megatrend, which combined with the rising trend for open-plan living has led to a surge in sales of air quality and acoustic products. Look at Generation Rent and the ripples it sent through the housing market, or how our preoccupation with food waste has changed the way we shop for groceries which in turn has driven advancements in fridge technology and food storage, the rise in single person households and postponed parenthood is driving up pet ownership at a phenomenal rate … I could go on, but I think you get my drift.
Of course, the Covid pandemic threw all of our trend predictions up in the air, at least temporarily. It caught us all off guard and resulted in many short-term behavioural changes. Everyone started talking about ‘the New Normal’, and forecasting long term changes in social, consumer and retail trends .
We decided to keep quiet for a while and ignore all the noise. In reality the new consumer behaviours witnessed during lockdown were the result of fear, confusion and lack of control. Behaviours that are forced on us in this way usually don’t stick, they are just reactions, whereas true changes in behaviours (otherwise known as trends) happen over a long period of time, slowly changing our attitudes and habits.
This is why we have held off until now before updating our generic trend map to show the impact of Covid on the trends influencing the UK home improvement sector. In reality, Covid hasn’t changed our behaviours as dramatically as some people would have us believe, but what it has done is speed up some trends that were already happening and evolving, and slowed down others.
We are aware that for our clients, from the outside and even before the impact of Covid, trends can look like a bewildering array of contradictions, having both positive and negative effects on an industry depending on perspective or market positioning. A trend may cause a major disruption to your business or never impact on you at all, or it may turn out to be just a fad igniting overnight only to disappear just as fast.
So how do you decide which trends are important and which to ignore?
This is where our Trend-Mapping workshops come in.
Designed to help you future-proof your brand, these half-day interactive workshops map out the specific trends having the biggest impact on your target market, and ultimately your business.
From macro to micro, industry to cultural, global to local, these workshops will uncover how evolving social, demographic, environmental, consumer, retail, design and innovation trends will influence what and how your customers will buy in the future
We facilitate these workshops for your team at your own premises and focus specifically on your brand and target market. Thought-provoking and interactive, the session will guide your team to look beyond industry silos and view trends from the wider environments, explaining the connections between different and contrasting trends, ideas and values, and cutting through the hype surrounding temporary fads to highlight the trends with longevity.
The output is a digital map of trend influences which have the potential to directly or indirectly affect your brand. This map can be reviewed and updated at the click of a mouse.
We believe that trend-mapping is an important tool to support business growth as it will …
- Identify potential new markets and customer groups
- Highlight gaps in product categories and ranges
- Spot new opportunities ahead of the competition
- Tap into changing customer attitudes, mindsets and habits.
And that’s not all …
We have found that these workshops are an excellent way to promote inter-departmental discussion, they generate a shared view of the future across the business and are a great team building exercise.
Interested? Find out more here >
Or contact us on hello(at)trend-monitor.co.uk or 0113 209 3288