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How Do You React to Emerging Trends Affecting Creative Businesses Today?

by David K. William | The Web Writer Spotlight: Aug 25, 2016

React to Hot Trends Affecting Creative Businesses

Trends come and go all the time. Some of them have an incredible reach; others don’t. Because many creative business owners and entrepreneurs only have a limited amount of time and resources to spend, and new innovations appear all the time, it’s important to carefully consider which trends are right for your business. Failure to do so and you might find yourself wasting precious time and resources on the latest fad.

Consider the recent Pokemon Go craze, for example. The whirlwind mobile gaming app has captured people’s attention far more than its developers ever could have predicted. The app has been installed over 100 million times and earns more than $10 million in daily revenue, according to data from analyst firm App Annie Intelligence.

Businesses – big and small – have embraced the game to reap the rewards. Cafes and bars all over the country are offering discount deals on Pokémon-inspired drinks and snacks if players show the game in store. Other businesses have become designated Pokéstops and taken advantage of the subsequent increase in footfall.

It seems like the perfect time to take advantage of the trend – or is it?


Trends may not be universally popular with consumers


Already there are indications that Pokémon GO may not be as universally popular with consumers as one would think, given the game’s seemingly unending headline splashes in the media.

According to a Nielsen Mobile Game Tracking report cited on Forbes magazine, among consumers who were aware of Pokémon GO in the July 4th week leading to the title’s launch, 60% said they were interested in downloading the game, while 22% also said they “definitely would not,” a notch more adamant than the survey’s option of “probably would not.”  

“The 22% rate ranks among the top third of rejection rates for all game titles tracked by Nielsen,” said Nicole Pike, Director of Client Consulting for Nielsen Games. “{Though} the game generates above average interest and uniqueness, rejection levels leading into launch week were also high... suggesting the game is popular but also polarizing,” said Pike. Pike added that Nielsen describes a game as “polarizing” whenever the title has above average acceptance and rejection rates.

Plenty of instances of social antipathy toward Pokémon GO around the world give anecdotal credence to Nielsen’s early findings. One person in Vancouver has gone so far as to declare the Pokémon GO craze more stupid than the Hammer pants fashion craze of the early '90s. This person announced a strong aversion to Pokémon GO in a viral photo making the rounds on social media showing a lawn sign warning Pokemon Go players not to trespass.   



The anti-Pokemon lawn sign has gone viral on social media. (Imgur)

Similarly, Snapchat has become an incredibly popular social networking platform lately, and is starting to make an impact beyond its initial teenage user base. So too have video streaming platforms Periscope and Facebook Live.

Brands and businesses that engaged on these trending platforms, and those whose tone of voice is appropriate draw wonderful engagement and new prospects from the platforms. However, more often than not, things can go horribly wrong with brands awkwardly shoehorning their message into every trend only to find themselves in a costly puddle.

So, when is the right time to jump on a trend and make the most of it for your online business?


When to jump on a trend and make the most of it


Online businesses and entrepreneurs can avoid a faux pas by having a clear brand point of view, as well as a checklist of criteria that a trend needs to pass before getting involved with it. Ask yourself: does this connect back to the work we do? If you are clear on that, it can be really helpful.

Here’re some more questions that can help you in making the right choices about reacting to trends.


1. Is this the right trend for my business?


This might sound pretty basic, but before delving into a new platform for your business think about whether your business needs to be there. It’s great to be involved in a trend that the world is embracing, but if it feels forced it’s not going to perform well for you. If you are a business that deals primarily with other businesses, you probably don’t need to be on Snapchat, for example. However, if you’re a business with a well-known team and a public-facing image, it could be perfect for you.


2. Have I timed it well?


Timing is everything. When it feels right and you get the timing correct, that can be pivotal to your success in riding a trend. For example, now could be a great time to jump on Snapchat. With 150 million daily active users, Snapchat acts as a benchmark for most other platforms. In the last 15 months, it has introduced new ad formats, features and subsequently expanded its user base. Users are able to create images and video stories that are available for only 24 hours. So popular is its ephemeral photo and video stories feature, that competitor Instagram has launched its own version – #InstagramStories.  


3. Do I have the time and resources to make the most of it?


If you get involved in a trend, it’s inevitable that your customers will start directing queries, questions and complaints to your social channels. You will also be required to post regularly on or about the platform to keep your audience engaged. It, therefore, becomes imperative that you allocate adequate time and resources to manage each of those channels effectively. While we might want to be on the forefront of each and every trend, sometimes it not necessary nor even wise to do that. Generally, it’s better to be on a few platforms that you can fully commit your resources to and run effectively than on all platforms that end up depleting your resources and rendering you unable to manage any of them properly.

See Also: 15 Free Online Marketing Tools to Help You Grow Your Business.


David K. William is a writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Everything he writes is inspired by life experiences and study. David is also founding editor of Follow him on Twitter @DavidKWilliam.

Image Credit: AFP Photo/Drew Angerert



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