Should I be Chasing Industry Trends?

by | Jul 12, 2021

We all know what trends are. It can be boiled down to a bunch of people following the same styles or activities.

But, did you know they’re happening in your industry?

Why they’re an important part of your business growth?

Industry trends are typically methods of design or engagement, it’s important to keep up with the goings on around your industry and make sure you’re not left behind. Be it trends in design, social media, or different types of marketing – most aspects of marketing go through phases of following similar creative direction.

So should I be looking into marketing trends?

Absolutely. It’s a good place to start with planning, seeing what others are doing and the results other businesses are getting. Even if you’re not adopting any of the latest trends, it’s important to stay afloat in the world of marketing. Staying in the know is all part of being successful, and not only that – but it will help you gauge where you should aim next!

That being said, you can spend too much time chasing – and not enough time setting yourself apart. Let’s look at a few good examples;

Web presence

Let’s use our company as an example.

Our business – for the most part – has a digital only presence. Meaning it’s rare that people will come and physically visit the offices, especially nowadays where more and more businesses are conducting meetings over Zoom.

We know we’re a team full of fun, reliable and super hard working* group of people – but people don’t see us. So what do they think of us? How are we perceived by those looking in?

Here’s an image of our first website.

Now, we’re still mostly the same team – although admittedly we’ve grown a bit since then – but when I was preparing for my interview at CTUK (many moons ago now), I looked at the site, and made the assumptions, it was a small company, and given the dated structure and UX I assumed it hadn’t been updated in a while.

When I arrived on my first day, I was met with a vibrant, friendly, somewhat over-the-top office. Not at all what I’d imagined, or what an online presence led me to imagine.

As we started growing, we began to make things happen with our online presence.

This is our site today.

Now this isn’t necessarily a design trend, but an evolution of how we expect things to work and function over time. The way the user navigates a site, what they expect to see, where they expect to be taken when they click a link – all things that have been refined over time. These are the types of things it’s important you stay current with – especially if most of your business is conducted online.

Now design trends in web stick around for longer, web design is more expensive, more resource intensive, and as a business – you don’t want to keep changing something your client base is familiar with.

Trends is marketing however, are much more fluid. Campaigns are running at all times, and they’re in our faces everywhere we go. Some run for longer than others, but campaigns are constantly being testing and tweaked to get the best results.

I actually started writing this post because my colleague Tom – who some of you may know from our weekly newsletter – saw a LinkedIn ad from major brand about marketing.

It was selling brand boosting services and was explaining that the way you catch the attention of the crowds is with the latest trends.

That’s where I disagree.

By trade, I’m a designer. New and flashy things naturally appeal to me, I like staying up to date with trends and techniques because – that’s just how I am.

When I look at your marketing, it needs to sell you – your company. It’s great if you look current, it shows people you’re active and if you have the budget for this kind of thing – I’d highly recommend.

However.

The truth is, some designers can over-value design.

The same way some non-designers can under-value design.

If you look like everyone else, no matter how good you might look – what are you doing to be remembered? You see 6 websites, billboards, leaflets, email campaigns in a row. All of which following a similar structure – why should you remember any of them?

When is a good time to break off from the trends? Make your moves? don’t level the playing field. Run it.

Trends are important. They help establish a normal, unifying user experiences and engaging concepts pushing current technology and knowledge to new heights.

They just shouldn’t be your entire identity, think outside the box, and constantly be asking yourself if you’re moving in the right direction for your business.

If you’re interested in how we help companies shine in their industries with memorable marketing, have a read here.

Until next time.

 

*Though on the odd occasion there is the potential for fake snowballs to be hurled around the office.

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