Today’s topic you may or may not have heard of before: Microtrends. What are they, who are they, and most importantly – how can we apply microtrends to building our brand and bringing up sales revenue? Well, buckle up because I have a few thoughts on this:
In 1996 Bill Clinton’s chief political advisor, Mark J. Penn, identified “soccer moms” as a crucial Microtrend that helped win him another term.
“Soccer moms helped Bill Clinton win another election? The van-driving, Surburban-living, Starbucks-drinking Moms of the Midwest are the golden ticket?”
In former-President Clinton’s case: yup. Microtrends are groups driven by their identity. They pop up and have a good run for three to five years, before deciding if they’ll man up and become a Macrotrend ( a long- running trend ) or disappear for the good of society. Crocs anyone? Low-rise jeans? *shudder*
So what’s an advertising firm to do when it comes to cashing in on these fleeting “trends”? (Twisted mustaches, fedoras, suspenders… Microtrends are often a hipster’s paradise.)
Identify How Your Brand Fits with the Microtrend
Knock-knock! Who’s there? It’s an advertising executive coming in to reap the benefits of your Microtrend addiction!
Often times your brand may not be centric to the Microtrend. For example, what’s an insurance company going to say to the people demanding trendy sneakers? Often times Microtrends speaks a lot to the emotional side of consumers. Qualitative research would reveal just exactly these consumers want emotionally from the Microtrend – and then you can offer it to them, via that sexy insurance package. Perhaps they are craving effortless style – why not effortless insurance?
Although this may seem far-fetched, think of all the products you view as partners to more centric things in your life. Crop tops with your brand new Adidas Superstars, KIND Bars with your health-kick, trendy insurance to go with your fine, trendy self.
Finding the Perfect Microtrend
Alright, maybe you really can’t think of any way you can incorporate a particular Microtrend into your brand. Great news! You don’t necessarily have to – Microtrends abound.
As a small business, you do not have the luxury of shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct research on what Microtrends are happening now. That’s fine – ask yourself what’s going on in your general area – what are you seeing often? This is where the power of social media comes in – what are people talking about, what kinds of pictures are being posted? Dig a little deeper and you can often identify some Microtrends yourself.
For instance, the retail revolution – malls are on the downfall, online shopping is up – how can you position your brand to succeed as the retail scene changes? Another Microtrend: the desire for independent living. “Tough” brands are making a comeback: LL Bean Boots, Timberlands… perhaps people want to reject the Suburbs a bit? Get in touch with that Alaskan wild side we all know we have?
Just Have Fun, Kid
Don’t stress if you’re getting the Microtrend angle just right – tap into the market and start having fun with your marketing and branding! Even fleeting things such as this month’s most popular meme can garner attention and traffic to your brand.
Trash dove + your brand = true love.
Microtrends are useful because they can indicate bigger trends coming. They help you garner an audience and create relationships with consumers. Advertising can be quite flaky in this way – a certain style may remain true, but the characters and phrasing may change depending on society’s latest distraction.
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