In the wedding industry it’s vital to keep up to date with trends and to keep one eye on the future. While all things vintage may be hot right now, you can be certain that in a couple of years, it will be something different.
Make sure that you are not left behind and that your products and services are continually updated so that they stay fresh and reflect what contemporary couples are looking for.
Here are our top tips for keeping current:
Go to at least one of the big national/regional wedding shows every year as a visitor. Which stands are popular? What trends can you see? What are the industry leaders doing? Make lots of notes and collect lots of brochures.
Wedding magazines. Try to read a different one each month.
Blogs. Subscribe to 10 or so popular wedding blogs and spend some time every week checking out the latest articles and real life weddings. This is a great way to spend your coffee break.
Be aware that blogs and magazines generally look to be original and forward thinking. Go to these for trends and new ideas.
Forums. While blogs may reflect the trendsetters, forums will tell you more about what today’s brides are looking for. Not every bride wants her wedding to be to be cutting edge.
Your customers. Listen hard to what your customers are saying – particularly if they are asking for something you don’t have/do. Some requests will be one-offs, but you can also spot trends. Check your sales figures. Are some of your previous best sellers falling out of favour? What’s becoming more popular?
Your competitors. Have they got a new range? Are they shifting direction?
Treat predictions with a degree of scepticism – they are just someone’s opinion (and often someone with a deadline and 1,000 words to write). But if several writers are expressing the same views there’s a good chance the industry will follow.
Don’t just limit your research to your own country – keep an eye on what is happening elsewhere. For instance, trends from the USA often hit the UK a couple of years later.