Mention Trend Forecasting to most people and the majority are unsure what it’s about; and those that have heard of it, well they mostly associate it simply with pattern and colour.
But, to use it so, is to almost completely waste the true value a good consumer & interiors product Trend Forecaster can add to a company’s success. There are very few business tools available that, if used well, are guaranteed to improve business performance, no matter how you measure that. The more broadly the Trend research information is integrated into a company’s activities, the greater the performance improvement will be. A results and performance uplift might be seen in production as design costs reduce, PR success increases as content marketing is improved, product ranges can be smaller and the number of ‘slow-moving lines’ reduced; sales will increase as product & service offers better match the wants, needs & desires of your customers. The story telling and content meets the same degree of success in both B2C and B2B sectors. All of this ultimately leads to better profits.
Yes, our Trend Forecasting for the interiors market will do all of that!
The biggest, most valuable resource that Scarlet Opus Trend forecasting gives to a product development team, manufacturer, retailer, interior designer or marketing strategy is…. ‘TIME’. The pressure on all of the business teams in any company, is significantly reduced because our trend research extends the time in which the total business cycle has, to be completed. No need to ‘spot trends’ at an exhibition(s), hope you’re right & then rush to bring your version of a product/service to market before the trend diminishes; engage with Trend Forecasting which will provide you with the same inspiration 12 – 18 months ahead of that exhibition being visited. You’ll gain more as you’ll also gain trend/consumer back stories to build your content marketing; you’ll get specific material, pattern, texture, shape & colour guidance as well as being able to explain ‘why’ this will all match with future consumer desires.
Trend Forecasting for interiors will give you a detailed view of those consumer desires up to 2 years in advance of the point at which your product should be brought to market. 2 YEARS! As a general view this could be increased to 5 years.
Imagine knowing the detail of what your customers will desire in 2 years’ time and knowing with certainty.
Research shows that company employees work more efficiently when they are relaxed & confident. Designers are more creative, salespeople convert more sales & PR events run more smoothly. If the risk associated with New Product Development or Services development is significantly reduced; your staff can focus on creating the best PR, producing excellent content marketing, targeted marketing support materials and preparing, rehearsing and enacting sales presentations that will demonstrate to buyers how well your company understands what consumers want and will pay to get.
Dr. Robert Passikoff (Founder of Brand Keys) says of 2014:
Consumers Expect More: Over the past five years, consumer expectations have increased on average by 20%. But brands have kept up only by 5% annually, a big gap between what’s desired and what’s delivered. The ability to accurately measure real, unarticulated expectations will provide significant advantages to brands that can engage and delight.
This describes beautifully, the gap that consumer, business & design Trend Forecasting will fill for any company. Why then aren’t more companies engaging with Trend Forecasting? The answer might lie in these 2 thoughts:
- It requires taking, quite a’ leap of faith’ to engage with someone who tells you that they can ‘see your future in detail & with certainty’!
- It’s possible that Creatives see Trend Forecasting agencies as an external design source; instead of an external design resource.
Trend analysts, spotters, reporters, colour & trend consultants all play valuable roles; but only a Trend Forecaster can create so much time and:
- Inspire design teams to create products in materials with textures, patterns & colours that the consumer will want to buy. It’s global social, political, cultural & natural events that influence how humans behave & want to surround themselves with.
- Inform sales teams how to support product presentations with trend information that will help buyers to choose their products to meet consumer demand.
- Give Marketing teams an understanding of what caused a trend to emerge & how the consumer will feel as a result. Excellent content marketing will follow and help to leverage consumer marketing by suppliers of complimentary products.
- Identify which trends specifically suit a company and its product offer/sector; enabling a more focused product offer to be developed. A trend forecaster will identify which trend next year is best suited to ‘Bathroom’, or ‘Dining’?
- It’s crucial to identify trends for interiors that have longevity giving manufacturing/sourcing teams the opportunity to optimise production planning.
- Produce inspirational PR events especially for the trade press always hungry for future trend information. ‘Expert’ endorsement is gaining traction with consumers over ‘celebrity’ endorsement.
- Design exhibition stands reflecting ‘future trend themes’ making them stand out and provide a unique ‘visitor experience’.
- Design retail showrooms to deliver a shopping experience the consumer wants. Men & Women shop differently.
- Assist buyers translate Trend research into design briefs for manufacturing partners; or buying guidance for retailers.
There is so much value that Trend Forecasting adds to a company’s activities in all areas that it needn’t actually, even include the obvious product development. A business with a ‘fixed’ product design can still be more successful marketing it’s products within the framework of consumer wants, needs and desires.
It’s realistic to engage a good Trend Forecaster with the expectation that sales revenues will increase by double digit percentages, with a similar reduction in relative costs.