Are You a Trendsetter or a Trend Follower?

The business market is indeed a saturated and competitive place. Every business has goals and they are keen on meeting them no matter what it takes. While some businesses are struggling to compete favourably on the market, some are on top of the competition and are meeting their targets quite well, expanding their business and introducing new products and services constantly. How do they do it?

They have set up the right business conditions and they know the right business opportunities to seize. They are not trend followers, they are the trendsetters!

 If you are a business that is struggling with finding your competitive advantage and meeting your targets, not all hope is lost. This article will help you how to strategically position your business and acquire a high market share.

So then, how do you move from just observing market trends to actually setting them?

Identify a gap in the market and solve it immediately

There are several other organisations providing the same product or service as your organisation, but you can offer the same product to the same customers in a different way. Engaging with customers can help you to understand how they interact with your products as well as those of your competitors. From there, you can determine the type of experience you want to offer to consumers. Are you going to add additional features to your product? Will you give them a variety of choices of the same product or are you giving them a totally new experience?

For example, Agripredict identified that there is a lack of access to timely agricultural information for most farmers, which has for a long time posed a threat to their yields. With the use of machine learning, Agripredict offers farmers information on demand by predicting the likelihood of agriculture risks occurring.

Related reading: Product innovation: The right solutions for the right problems

Know your customers and think like them

If you want to know how you can cater to customers needs and provide products that they will value, talk to them. Effective communication with customers at every stage of the customer journey is vital to the long-term success of your business. Pay attention to their reviews and act on them. What customers have to say about your business makes you who you are. Positive reviews encourage you to do even better while negative reviews allow you to improve.

Use your personal experience as guidance on what kind of products or services you would want and why. Placing yourself in the mind of a customer gives you a clear picture of the entire customer experience and presents new opportunities for your business.

Read more: Customer-driven innovation

Be innovative

If you have built a culture of innovation in your business processes, your team or in the development of products and services, you will always be up to date with the latest industry trends. An out-of-the-box thinking strategy helps you to do what no one else is doing and that’s your competitive advantage. Make use of open and closed innovation strategies in your innovation process as well as innovation labs.

An innovation lab can help you to come up with new ideas, execute them, and iterate until the idea is fully executed or integrated into the business.

In 2019, Zanaco launched Zambia’s first innovation lab in the banking sector aimed at enhancing the bank’s role in providing a platform to startups, the youth and its partners to facilitate the development of ideas.

A dedicated team

For a business to thrive, it needs a dedicated team of people who are managing its operations. The people you employ to help you achieve your business goals determine if the business will succeed or fail. Your team members have to align themselves with your objectives and they should work in harmony. As you aim to have the right team members in your organisation, ensure that your organisation also attracts the right talent.

These are some of the things you can do to become a trendsetter in business and outperform your competitors. If you would like to explore how some of these strategies and more, can help your business, we can help.