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The evolution of trends in Marketing
Most management and CEO’s in the region identify trends after tangible products are developed rather than exploring a movement that would set their companies into a leadership position
July 30, 2012 10:01 by kippreport
The more our lives reach new comfort levels we constantly see manifestations of trends developing into products. The speed that marketing is able to educate society of upcoming developments is amazingly quick. Most people foresee trends as tangible products or lifestyles, though in actuality, trends are a thought or an idea that have yet to be manifested into products. The standard procedure is, CEO’s and other executives observe trends on charts, data and decide to follow the fashion that the research provided. Now the question is: if a certain trend appears and several companies identify it and follow it, then doesn’t that specific trend become saturated?
For example, take the Islamic banking market. If one company sees a trend of a certain Islamic fund and everyone within that category decides to follow that, how much room does the audience have to observe the products? And what would the product life span be?
Trends can either have short and long life spans, but in marketing, trend’s life span’s are measured by consumption or usability. The question is: how much can companies depend on trends? And furthermore, what kinds of trends should companies adopt? The critical point to recognize is: not every trend is feasible. So, who manages the movement?
If trends are left upon research, top management or CEO’s, then the company is in serious misfortune, like most companies in the region. Trends should be managed by well-experienced marketers to measure the expectations and to plan the strategy of each development. If each movement turns into a product, marketing should determine the development based on audience demand, not data. Seasoned marketeers can predict the life span and position of the trends as a market advantage.
For the past few years, the world of marketing was not able to distinguish between “trends as ideas” versus “trends as products.” This confusion came from management sticking their nose in every marketing strategy. Most management and CEO’s in the region identify trends after tangible products are developed rather than exploring a movement that would set their companies into a leadership position. The current category-war in each industry shows that most management is failing to observe the differentiation factor, which is quality. They’ve made the crucial mistake that quality could also be a trend that consumers follow. Companies should take note to not debate about quality but rather making it an overall requirement.
In today’s market, quality is the differentiation factor not specific trends between companies. Quality alone is hard to transform into a movement and garner an audience. However, establishing a trend can automatically place a company in the leadership position, for example, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn all helped create the social media trend. Each of the mentioned brands falls into an existing trend called social media and differentiated themselves enough to lead or create a category.
By Said Aghil Baaghil, Brand Marketing Strategy Consultant