We follow trends because it's important to understand where business is going rather than where we've been. Not to say we should forget about our history but our eyes should always be on tomorrow so that business can adjust to the market. And we're not just talking about color schemes. We're talking about major shifts in consumers that drives marketing/advertising.
Home Depot is a case in point.
Last week, on the Business News Hour, we had a story about how Home Depot was changing their marketing mix away from the Do It Yourself person and focusing more on professional re-modelers and contractors. For a business that has built their brand on DIY this is a seismic shift.
Because the understand the trends in home-ownership. Consider:
- Home-Ownership at an All Time Low: Only 63.5% of Americans own their home the lowest number since 1967;
- DIY Gives Way to Do It For Me: As Baby Boomers age they are not as interested in tackling a kitchen or bathroom re-do and would rather hire it done;
- Got No Skills: In many parts of the country "Shop Class" is a thing of the past. Shop was replaced by computer science and a generation didn't learn about building stuff;
- More Renters: Blame it on the recession, stagnate wages, the desire to have fixed monthly expenses; whatever the reason more and more people are turning to rentals. Check the chart below.
So, here are some questions for you: Are you staying ahead of the trends? Are you paying attention? If sales are in a slump, or just not as robust as they once were, is it a trend away from your product or service? Do you know?
Maybe it's time to think about it...
Thanks for reading!