How will consumer trends impact your business in 2016?

It’s that time of the year when marketers and business owners think about what the New Year will bring with respect to continued success.

It’s that time of the year again when marketers and business owners start thinking about what the New Year will bring with respect to continued success. The challenge of course is to be able to zero in on the trends that will impact their business.

Many will need to focus or perhaps refocus on some of the trends that have been with us for a few years. Some of them are fairly obvious like the growth of mobile devices such as smartphones, which will continue to provide greater opportunities for interaction with customers.

This in itself will lead businesses to ramp up their relationship marketing strategies. Building stronger loyalty and long-term engagement with customers rather than one-off sales will create greater opportunities for developing brand awareness.

Social networking will continue to grow and occupy a great deal of people’s time. Businesses that find ways to become part of their customers’ conversations and create brand advocates will also find that they need to be able to develop shorter and more compelling ways to attract attention.

According to various studies, the average user picks up their smartphone more than 1,500 times per week, spends close to three hours per day, or accordingly is online for nearly 45 full days per year. Given these kinds of statistics, it becomes increasingly important to be able to provide content that captures their attention.

This of course is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Trying to isolate trends that affect your business can be a daunting task, but fortunately today we have an incredible tool at our fingertips … the Internet. A quick search reveals a plethora of overarching trends that will affect buying decisions not just locally but on a global scale.

Here’s just a few that need to be considered when making marketing decisions. Consumers will continue on their search for value while at the same time take a more cautious approach to credit. There will be greater focus on ethical issues and a rise in social responsibility.

The quest for products that are more natural or organic will heighten the chemical backlash movement, and the fight against obesity will continue to preoccupy health concerns. So too will the focus of postponing old age for boomers and the blurring of age boundaries as more and more people place greater emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle.

The growth in mobile device use will promote what is being labeled ‘mobile cocooning’. Trending research shows that the next generation of users will increasingly rely on digital devices for more than basic communications, social networking and Internet browsing. We’re already seeing that in the number of apps that do just about anything that can be imagined … from turning out the lights, to depositing a cheque to keeping tabs of your exercise program.

While there is a focus on technology and social values, marketers and business owners should not forget the other trends that can affect their businesses. For example, colour trends will impact fashion, home décor, graphic design and even influence product packaging, store display or your booth at the consumer or trade show.

Although there does not seem to be anything life changing on the horizon to create another one of those paradigm shifts, we will however continue to see many of the current trends and products accelerate in terms of development. As a result they will take a greater role in helping people make decisions on the purchase of products and services. Positioning your business to play a key role in this decision-making process will ensure continued success.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Geoff Garbutt takes over as City of Courtenay CAO on April 14. Photo supplied
Courtenay council selects new city CAO

A new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be joining the City of… Continue reading

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The Town of Comox will formally examine speeding within the town. Black Press file photo
Comox to examine speeding within town

Following discussions at various council meetings, Comox council will formally examine speeding… Continue reading

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

A conceptual drawing of the preferred conveyance route for the Comox Valley Sewer Service.
Preferred conveyance route chosen for Comox Valley Sewer Service

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission approved a plan Tuesday to upgrade the… Continue reading

Most Read