It’s impossible to run a business without a market to serve. Even if you’re running a non-profit organization such as a charity, it’s essential that you target the right people for your fundraising efforts, while also being as inclusive and open as possible.
This is especially true if you’ve taken the initiative to run uphill with your brand in hopes of servicing a niche market. For example, organic health food shops tend to serve a niche market, and they do so by making certain they have a vast range of health alternatives and imported supplements or foods to try.
However, while it can seem as though some markets are there to stay, that’s not always the case. Markets can shift, disappear, realign, and curate different priorities over time. Think of how even timeless brands like Bentley are starting to embrace the EV market with a range of hybrid models that showcase their prestigious approach to engineering and automotive luxury, even if ten years ago many in the market would have thought this a subversion of the principles the brand stood for.
So, put simply, it’s essential to never take your market for granted. Many businesses learned this the hard way during the Covid-19 pandemic. But what resolution can you put in place to pursue the market (or direct it) no matter where it goes? In this post, we’ll discuss a few metrics any business leader can use to inspire that visionary thinking:
Inspecting & Understanding Trends
Trends can define the market or splutter out entirely. Think of how fidget spinners are no longer that impressive despite them taking the world by storm in 2017, with many investing a great deal of money on inventory to shift during this time. Some market trends that were dismissed at first, like the mobile app economy, now define the entire market and how it functions.
As you can see, some trends are worth paying attention to. We can see how those might be progressing now – especially with the advent of AI chatbots. It may be that integrating new trends can put you ahead of everyone else, but what matters is fully understanding the trend, all of its permutations, why it’s gathered steam now, and in the long run, how it might reflect on your brand. A full assessment will help you avoid jumping at any perceived opportunity in the hope of staying relevant, which is a mistake many make.
Taking a solid approach toward competitor analysis can help you see exactly how other enterprises in your sector are responding to the market as well. For example, it was interesting to see how many companies responded to the aforementioned pandemic, be that investing heavily into remote work, taking the time to close for a certain amount of time while making use of furlough schemes, or opting for delivery-only sales.
Competitor analysis not only gives you inspiration but warns you of difficult mistakes you could have made in that position. At the very least, you can also see how their share of the market will react to such change, and if this influences the visionary approach made before such a reaction.
Moreover, markets are often led by innovators in the space, so makes sure you keep watch over them to see how new norms are now expected, or how new integrations can inspire you. For example, Uber may have revolutionized taxi travel for smartphone users, but you can bet other industries took note of the revolution and began working on their own digital integrations too.
Regulations & Changing Standards
It’s not just the market that shapes itself with new norms and tastes, but the regulatory environment in which they find themselves. For example, this excellent article discussing the Western International Trust Company Limited perspective on the Cayman Islands and how financial services are sure to change there over the upcoming years can help you see how regulatory changes and standards can reshape markets anew.
We mentioned AI earlier in the article, and you can certainly expect this to curate the expectations of client all over. For example, in the marketing space, AI-written copy and marketing campaigns are now commonplace, and many agencies are having to decide their place within that new norm without losing the touch of the human creative spirit they once thrived on.
If you’re vigilant about understanding these changes you can consider which reactions are suitable to your brand, and hopefully make the most informed position possible. You may not always get it right, but you at least say you were working with the best knowledge you had at the time.
With this advice, you’re sure to never take your market for granted.
(Cover Image Source: Pexels)