12 Trends that will define business in the “New World”
“Business as usual” is undergoing a transformation due to changing consumer tastes and economic pressures. Companies have to find new ways to appeal to consumers scarred by the economic crisis.
Even though business operations are under a lot of pressure, they are recognising and finding ways to move forward. To help ensure the future of your business, CAD Partners lists the 12 trends that will define business in the “New World”.
1. Short Termism
The financial crisis has made people less trusting of large organisations. People now buy based on immediate requirements. Consumers understand that innovation outdates expensive technology. They have learned a ‘wait and see’ attitude towards products and services.
2. Brand Aid
Companies are building brand loyalty by helping consumers navigate through today’s complexities. An example is the American Express openforum.com that help business owners find success.
3. Conscious Consumerism
With less money to spend, consumers will be looking for aesthetics to durability and heritage to sustainability. Businesses will need to target products more to attitudinal and needs segments.
Consumers suffer ‘choice fatigue’ and will seek edited choices in the future. Multi-use products, such as a single device that can perform many tasks, will reduce luggage and costs.
5. Mobile Purchasing
Mobile phones are becoming virtual credit cards and mobile processing terminals. Customers can swipe their phone make purchases. Businesses should consider buying a small card reader that hooks to hand-held devices.
6. Emotional Branding
Brand with strong emotional content will command the highest prices. Businesses that develop a strong relationship and understanding of their customers will succeed. The most common failure of a brand to resonate emotionally is when customers perceive indifference.
7. Reputation Management
For your business to be trusted or have influence online, your online reputation has to be in good standing. This can be achieved through knowing what is being said about the business online, participate in social media, ask to be recommended on other sites and most importantly, do not do anything online you wouldn’t want people to find out.
8. Behavioural Segmentation
Segmenting customers by demographic will become out of date. Instead, you can create profiles by what customers do on your website so you can predict what offers and content they may respond to and increase your sales conversion.
Business Operation Trends
9. Becoming Green
The company’s carbon footprint will be on the business balance sheet in the future. Carbon auditing will be performed on companies so they can prove their carbon credentials. Your business should get a lifecycle impact audit done on products. Start reducing environmental impact and let customers know what you are doing to give the business a competitive advantage in the future.
10. Collective Intelligence
A good way to research your market is to gather information from the consumers. However it needs to be done in a way that’s quick, cost effective and can provide solutions for business issues.
Crowdsourcing and freelancers are a few examples of collective intelligence. You can also broadcast a request for help online and offer a prize as payment for people’s time.
11. Evolution of traditional sales models
Traditional sales models are being disrupted by robust websites, social media and online reviews. It’s now all about ‘pull’ marketing rather than ‘push’ selling.
Some elements of ‘pull in’ marketing includes: easy online services, real (and honest) reviews posted by third-party sites, a website optimised for search terms and targeted ads pointing to your website.
When people look for solutions they get recommendations from peers, read online reviews and then go to the company’s website. In order to create trust in the market place, your business should take the following steps:
- Capture your fan base on video and put in on your website
- Build credentials by publishing articles, blogging and speaking
- Affiliate your business with thought leaders. Sponsor their talks, publish their white papers, and invite them onto your board of directors or advisors.
- Get certifications and credentials in your industry.
12. Constant Business Pressure
Operating during the recession has required tight controls. It is now all about ‘better, faster and cheaper’. Creative business models have been moving forward and it is vital to have better cash-flow control and manage the balance sheet.
To offset slower growth in traditional business lines, companies should look for opportunities in industries and sectors that have revenue growth potential.
For more financial information and business advice, contact CAD Partners CFO On CALL or visit their website.13.01.2012