At one time it was said that fortune tellers could "read the tea leaves" and tell you a host of information. We believe that a single leaf might tell you more...
Here is the story, to be fully engaged in business and know (no see) what consumers want/need you must be able to drill down to the leaf. In this case "the leaf" is the micro-trend that may be totally invisible to those who are not paying attention...and, in our experience that is most small business owners.
Here are a couple of examples of "reading the tea leaf"
The folks at TrendWatching.com call it 'Urbanany". That's the startling shift in urban living patterns. Did you know that 100 years ago less than 5% of the world's population lived in cities? By 2008, and for the first time in human history, that figure exceeded 50% and is growing at a rate of 3 million people each week. By 2050 over 70% of the population will live in urban areas.
So...these urban dwellers have specific buying and trying patterns. They are much more willing to move, and move fast, between brands. That shrinks brand loyalty issues. That means when you have a product or service that goes to market you had best focus on innovative rather than copying.
And, another thing...this trend expects products and services to be transparent. There are no more secrets.
Savvy, hip consumers will have at his/her disposal "real time reviews" of your product or service. This huge demographic won't have to wait for the latest product review to show up in the newspaper. Hundreds, if not thousands, will have already tried your product/service and rated it on-line long before the ink hits the paper. So...no guessing and you had best be listening to what is being said about you...in real time.
Faster, deeper, mission centered, sustainable business get it...do you? If not, maybe we need to talk.