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Five Best Ways to Stay on Top of Rapidly Changing Consumer Trends

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Five Best Ways to Stay on Top of Rapidly Changing Consumer Trends

 
In a fast-paced world, consumer trends are rapidly changing. What was popular six months ago can quickly become a forgotten fad as new technologies and styles push it out of the limelight. Oftentimes, just as a business begins to catch onto a trend and try to adapt to it, a new trend emerges, leaving companies one step behind, always playing catch-up with what consumers want.
 
This is a challenging way to run any business, much less a booming enterprise. So how can companies stay on top of consumer trends when they are changing so frequently and so quickly? Here are 5 tips.
 

Ask Your Customers

 
As with any relationship, open communication is the key to successful innovation. If you want to know what kinds of products and services they’re looking for, just ask! Oftentimes, your customers have needs that are not being fulfilled by other businesses. Or, they’re performing tasks in an inefficient manner because a better way of doing things simply hasn’t been offered to them.
 
So, ask your consumers specific questions about their lives and the things they’re looking for. What are their pet peeves? What are some tedious tasks they hate doing? What are some things that they wish they had? You can often ask questions like these via a simple social media poll, and their answers can spark incredible innovation and new ideas within your business.
 

Start Where You Are

 
Sometimes, the best innovations are not those that create a brand-new product or service. Rather, they improve on the things you already offer, and turn it into a must-have item for your consumers. You should always be looking for ways to improve on your existing products and services, either by correcting issues or adding new features.
 
This is yet another area where you can ask your customers for input via a social media poll, or through an interactive innovation management software program. These programs encourage people to provide input, as well as organizing the data, detecting trends, and enabling progression of innovation from idea to implementation. As stated on the Qmarkets website, it’s all about harvesting “the wisdom of the crowd” in order to improve your business.
 

Ask Your Employees

 
In addition to your customers, your employees are one of your greatest sources of knowledge and input. Not only are they consumers themselves, with their own perception of shifting trends, but they also interact directly with your customers. They’re selling your products, speaking to customers, fielding complaints, and overall, gathering input regarding how you can improve.
 
Even if your customers don’t tell you what areas you can improve on, your employees could probably do it for them. They’re likely very much aware of the things that your customers complain about most, and they may be able to note a shifting trend in customer satisfaction, which can help you to pinpoint the issue and improve it to better suit your customers’ needs.
 

Watch Your Competitors

 
While you certainly don’t want to always be playing catch-up with your competitors, it is still important to be aware of what your competitors are up to. What new products and improvements are they rolling out this year? What might have pushed them to make this change? Of course, you don’t want to just blindly copy everything they do; rather, assess the changes they’re making and decide for yourself whether or not it’s something your enterprise should follow.
 
Keeping up with customer trends is a vital part of running a successful enterprise in today’s fast-paced business world. If you lose touch with what your customers want, it won’t be long before your enterprise is driven out of business entirely. So be sure to follow these tips and do everything in your power to stay ahead of consumer trends, rather than being left in the dust.

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