Imagine you ran a gourmet food shop, the type of place where people go for fancy ingredients, specialized cookware, and all the other nifty things that make playing in the kitchen fun. Now wouldn’t you like to know that over the course of the next 6 months to a year, you’re going to see an increase in demand for all kinds of home brewing kits, artisanal avocado and olive oils, and home barista gear? If you did know this, you’d be able to buy merchandise strategically to meet this demand, as well as begin planning the best way to promote that you’ve got exactly what your customers are looking for.
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There are two ways to get this particular bit of information. One way relies on hope; perhaps the LA Times will do all the legwork for you and identify all of the trends you need to know about for you. Of course, this is a precarious situation – the media may not cover what you’re looking to learn, and even if they do, you’ll be finding out the information as the same time as your competitors.
Give yourself a competitive advantage and eliminate the uncertainty by using Pinterest as a market research tool. Strategically browsing what your customers and followers are choosing to save to their boards can help you identify trends as they emerge. The gourmet food retailer who becomes aware of many of their customers pinning recipes using lavender, for example, may capitalize on opportunities to stock lavender-infused ingredients. The strength and prominence of the trend will obviously be a determining factor to how deeply one wants to get on board with it. When it’s done right, digital market research can play a vital role in helping you position yourself as the business that has exactly what your customer is looking for, when they’re looking for it.
Pinterest isn’t the only tool you can use for this; Instagram and even Google Trends are great at serving up of-the-minute insights. But who doesn’t love playing on Pinterest? Just remember, you’re not playing, you’re trend-spotting. And that makes all the difference.