Bang on Trend:Do Small Businesses Need to Follow Fashion?

Fashion – it’s a here today, gone tomorrow, throw away kind of thing. You can’t base business decisions on it can you? Unless you are in the fashion industry of course.

No, long-term trends are the things you need to look out for; those slow, steady changes in  the way people consume, dress, holiday and behave.  

Companies who are not overtly fashionable still look at trends for marketing opportunities and ideas.

The clothing company Boden decided to go to Camp Bestival this year, tapping into the fashion for family friendly festivals and posh camping. But it’s not enough just to show up, they made sure their tent was full of interactive fun that fitted the mood, rather than simply setting up a shop on site. By all accounts it paid off.      

Camping is a trend that shows no sign of disappearing and the way is still open for entrepreneurs hoping to develop products and services around it. On a big camping trip this summer involving over 20 families we got the supermarket to deliver our BBQ right onto the field – a great tv ad yet to be made and I even suggested an app to tell you the location of the nearest micro brewery when you run out of beer, but apparently something like that has already been done!   

Camping fits with the gloomy economic outlook which means Staycations aren’t over yet either and nor is our love affair with locally sourced,  premium quality food. I’ve long argued for joint promotions between holiday lets and local food suppliers. People are happy to spend money on holiday and what better way to treat yourself when you are self catering – a wonderful leg of Welsh lamb and some local wine and cheese? Perfect. 

Dogs are big news. After after the babies come the pets and all sorts of products and services are being punted at the new dog owners. I wrote about that here.

I have even heard that there is a trend for parental outsourcing – that’s tutoring, sports coaching and household chores to you and me. My lovely friends in the concierge business will be pleased!

So keep watching the trends for gaps in the market and new ways to promote your existing offerings. You may not be a dedicated follower of fashion but you will be bang on trend.

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