Are you the type that goes with the flow or do you belong to the more rare variety that can actually create a trend and make other people follow you" Though some might think that these two types belong to different universes and do not have much in common, the reality is that they both derive inspiration from the same source, namely the present. The difference is how they treat the present.
The first type likes what it sees and it wants to belong. So it does everything possible to match and become a part of the present environment. The second type is an expert of the present and only that allows them to push the envelope and play with reality imposing their dreams onto others.
The same in business. There are companies that want to ideally fit into the present and satisfy the existing needs of customers. And there are others, the brave ones that create these needs and do it so artfully that customers do not always realize that they have acquired a new want that they used to perfectly live without before. Like the need to indulge ourselves with small affordable luxuries. They keep chanting from the screen "because you are worth it" and we go to the Starbucks and treat ourselves to a coffee for 6 dollars instead of a 1 dollar coffee in a corner doughnut shop or buy a Dior mascara once in a while for 25 bucks. In countries with stable economies and low rate of unemployment people do have some extra cash. Clever businesses try their best to make customers spend that extra on their products.
One of the most efficient ways to convince customers that your business has everything to meet their needs is to monitor popular cultural trends and to keep an eye on any changes and shifts in this area. If a business is able to make a brand an integral part of a consumers culture, then the business has a key to success. If a business can predict changes in cultural and health trends, popular philosophy and approach to life, then it has a key to a long-term success.
You have doubts that culture can have such a powerful impact on business" Let's hope the following examples of some popular cultural trends will convince you that you have underestimated the importance that the ideas, beliefs, and customs shared and accepted by people in a society may have for a business.
The idea of longevity, in particular, the conviction that a human body was created to live for much longer than just 100 years, created a broad spectrum of opportunities for many companies. People want to stay healthy and fit; they want to look young, sexy and fashionable at 50, 60 and long time after, because if we are to live till at least 120, then being 50 means that you are just entering the grown-up phase of your life. Unlike the above idea, that has become a goldmine for many businesses quite recently, the "cocooning" trend has been exploited by businessmen for many decades. The meaning of the term cocooning is best disclosed by the old expression "My home is my castle". People have always wanted to feel safe and comfortable where they live. All kinds of house building materials, landscaping products, alarm systems, water filters - the list of products that companies sell to fit in this trend is endless. You want some more examples of cultural trends that can bring cash into your company's pock et when
implemented properly" Here you go: customization and social responsibility. Consumers nowadays want to have custom built furniture, personalized clothes, jewellery, credit cards, etc; they want to become personalized members of the society. At the same time they feel responsible for making the society in particular and the world in general a better place. They are eager to buy green products; they want to work for environmentally conscious companies or companies with moral goals.
Thus, the key to the business success lies not only with tracking the number of repeat purchases, the convention rate, monitoring the market share, brand equity and other similar metrics but also in diagnosing to what extent the company keeps abreast of current and future cultural trends.
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