IDENTIFYING TRENDS WILL DEVELOP STRATEGY – #105

Trend Meetings need to be conducted by YOU and your managers to ensure that you will have effective strategies to be ready to put in the overall Plan for the short and long term. If you aren’t working with a strategy, you are wasting the time of everyone. To grow as a leader, you need to understand your business strategy and align your thinking, projects, and managers with organizational goals and vision. Companies that are surviving and meeting the shifting demands of their Customers, plus making some profit, had a plan in place that included an upside and downside strategy. Plan, plan, plan and make sure that you have a trust established to allow for participation by every person who might want to share market and business cycle data regarding existing products: status of discontinued products; future and new products to serve a market that might be shifting due to demographic and aging data. These meetings should be held on-site and virtually as often as possible. To assist the thought process in conducting effective meetings I have listed the following that represent real situations and should provide some direction in setting the stage for Trend meetings.

  1. DIY Projects drive Boom in LUMBER. Trickle down effect!
  2. Will Americans take to Seltzer Water as beer declines?
  3. Remote Work Fuels Laptop Boom = will remote represent the future? Computer Mfg’s. can’t keep up with demand.
  4. Chinese Apps Dealt A BLOW in India!
  5. Lululemon jumps to another Trend – Entire Line of Gym clothes in light of success of YOGA pants. Also, acquired Mirror a chain of exercise centers.
  6. Burger King stopped dull marketing programs, and introduced 50- 60 promotions a year that were aimed at using WhatsApp, their chat tool of choice in communicating with their Customers who have provided some of the most creative ideas for their programs and promotions. They changed their product to include MOLD, and nothing cuts through the extensive fast-food PR than MOLD. They must have had trend meetings only to find that efforts were not hijacking the culture’s fleeting attention span and, therefore, not getting the business growth that other franchisors were achieving.
  7. Etsy an e-commerce leader in the female clothing market switched towards the great opportunity that the new pandemic market offered. They recognized very quickly that idle sewing machines could build face masks, and sold 12 million masks in April while the rest of market sank. They have agility and the ability to recognize the need while they acquired four million new Customers in April alone and that 32% of the mask-related purchases that month made subsequent purchase on the platform within 14 days. They must keep milking the golden cow and keep having trend meetings to have a strategy ready for when the mask opportunity is replaced by vaccines and other competitors. Don’t keep counting on a 79% growth rate in total sales which separated gross market sales.
  8. Consumers are paying off their huge credit balances and using Government injected monies to pay off the balances. The credit balances fell 11% between February and June, and new applications for credit declined by 33%. What effect can this credit reduction have on your business? Hold a trend meeting if your business is credit dependent.
  9. Kodak has been trying to re-invent itself since 2012 bankruptcy when along came an epidemic and a $765 million Government loan under The Defense Production Act. The loan was granted to Kodak in order to expedite domestic production of drugs that can treat a variety of medical conditions and loosen the U.S. reliance on foreign sources to the tune of $3.9Billion from China alone in 2017. If you had bought the stock at $2.00 per share or $33.00 per share that was available midweek a week ago. You were happy when the stock finished the week at $60+. Why wouldn’t your firm benefit from a loan that might be tied to the epidemic?
  10. Boeing is now predicting a cut in workers and production will cost $900 Million.  Downsizing is painful – they could be higher. Irreparable is the word to be used to gauge the costs of shrinking – you simply can’t replace the one-of-a-kind employee – that is prevalent in that industry.  Is there room for products or capabilities that your company could provide to this overall market  segment. How many of YOUR Customers will be affected by this reduction?

Your trend meetings should be aimed at any – and – all factors that affect your business. We are not admirers of meetings as a rule, but this one will contribute to the growth and sustainability of your business. This trend meeting will not be easy to start – stay with it.