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Staying on Top of Industry Trends

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Staying on Top of Industry Trends

Staying on top of the latest trends in your industry is essential if you want your business to thrive. There was an excellent post on this very topic yesterday on one of my favorite marketing blogs, Kinetic Ideas. I am going to expand on some of the ideas presented there.

In today's rapidly changing world, entire industries are being transformed almost overnight. Look at photography, travel, and advertising - here are three industries that have experienced extremely rapid change in just the last decade. Google is now the most valuable advertising company in the world based on market capitalization and it didn't even exist 10 years ago.

There are many examples of companies that did not see the latest trends in their industry, and had to play catch-up with their more nimble competitors. In photography Kodak was in denial for many years about the growing trend of digital cameras; General Motors is in trouble now in part because they didn't see the trend away from gas guzzling SUVs soon enough; Schwinn Bicycles didn't see the mountain bike trend coming in the late 1980's and the family owned American company was forced into bankruptcy in 1993 - it is now owned by a large Canadian company.

So how do you stay on top of industry trends? I think there are five important factors to consider:
1. Listening to your customers - what new questions are they asking?
2. Watch your competitors closely - are they offering something new?
3. Read industry publications, and look to see what new developments are happening. 
4. Look at new technology and see how it could be adapted to your business.
5. Read blogs - if there are new trends happening you can be sure some bloggers are writing about it.

Here at Lightning Labels we try to consider all these factors as we position our business for the future. There is an industry trend in label printing towards shorter runs of labels, so we have streamlined our operation to take advantage of this trend. Our customers and prospects want instant pricing for their labels - so we have developed an easy to use online quoting system.

I know there will be many new trends in our industry in the future. We hope to recognize them early and be one of the first companies to benefit from them.