There are a few companies business owners everywhere look to who seem to have their finger on the pulse of the trendiest products and marketing tools. So how do they find out what’s new and next. Two words: trend spotting.
Trend spotting or cool hunting, when combined good sourcing and great marketing, can great demand for your products out of nowhere. Your kiosk can reap the benefits of this strategy immediately. Read on the find out ways to spot trends and find products that will skyrocket your cool factor, fast.
Know Your Customers
You need to realistic. As a shopping centre kiosk owner, your competition is not the big box retailers like Target or Kmart. The trendy crown generally doesn’t shop there. If anything, you will need to separate yourself from the mass market mentality as much as possible. Be inspired by in-the-know online shops and trendy boutiques, it’s more likely that’s where cutting edge culture is really happening.
Focus, focus, focus
Before you jump in, you need to know what your current and future customer bases are really thinking. Create an online survey or put together a focus group to find out what your clients can’t live without within the demographic you're targeting. This will help you understand what’s trending right now with your customers, and give you the chance to get your foot in the door of a new market. Its a good idea to create an incentive for your focus group or survey participants, a free gift or discount is always good.
Follow the Early Adopters
This is the fun bit. Find people who aren’t afraid to try out new ideas, so you can position those ideas as future trends. Look for themes and patterns that pop up over and over. Some great websites for trend spotting are Pinterest, Tumbler and Instagram because they give a great sense of what’s happening out there in the great world. Don’t forget cool media sources Vice and Gawker for the latest news. Following Trendspotter or Coolhunter is also worthwhile. If you have an in-the-know employee, get them to hit the street and see what’s trending at the moment.
Go Straight to the Source
Once you’ve found some trends, its time to get the goods. Ask someone on the street where they found their cool phone case, put together a list of links from your social media digging. Either way it will be a a bit of work. Markets can be a goldmine for merchants, or even websites like Etsy can give your some great, quality products not sold elsewhere.
Mix Low and High End Items
You’re not finished yet, you still need to check your margins. You want to keep your overhead low, by buying and selling on the cheap, but the problem with this is that inexpensive items may take a while to show good returns. Don’t be disheartened though, many people will pay $20 on an item you only paid $4 for, as long as its unique. Just don’t forget to incorporate a couple of big ticket show stoppers into the mix. Welcome to the trendsetting world.