It’s nearly the end of January 2018 already, I’ve no idea where this month has gone and it’s no doubt a sign of things to come in terms of how quickly things pass us by. For small businesses it’s hard to find the time to keep up with current reports and predictions so I’ve read the Positive Luxury® 2018 predications report for you and here are my key takeaways from it, I can tell you now, it’s good news for independent businesses!
Create an emotional connection.
Positive living will be one of the ‘mega trends’ for 2018 and what consumers perceive to be ‘positive’ will be based on their emotional connection with businesses and brands. This is great news for independent businesses as we automatically have a truly authentic passion for our business which generates an emotional connection, we don’t have to remotely train teams of staff in brand values and corporate ethics, we are what we do.
Authenticity continues to be a key feature in any brand influencer marketing so if you’re thinking of collaborating with a social media influencer, really do make sure that they and their audience will be seen as a genuine, natural connection with you and your business. It would look disjointed if Lubylu® tried to partner with a home interiors influencer who specialises in the pure white, minimalist, sharp edged style, (the homes where you wouldn’t dare to sit down in case you made the place look untidy) as we are more about colour, fun and a sprinkling of glitter. There would be no resonance with their audience indicating that Lubylu® didn’t know its customers very well at all.
Be part of the journey.
As smaller, independent businesses we can make our customers feel part of something, they can feel as though they are on the journey with us. Their values and goals align with ours and that’s a very powerful emotional position to be in. Millennials, who no longer form a niche in the market place, will be the dominant players in the workforce in less than 3 years and whilst they are growing up and their disposable income is reducing (mortgages, childcare costs…), their beliefs will become more entrenched meaning that they will choose very carefully where to spend their money and they want to care about the businesses that they spend their money with.
The ‘experience’ is what it’s all going to be about. How does what you sell and how you sell it make your customers feel? Again, I believe that independent retailers have an advantage over say a large department store on this matter as there is a definite feeling of warmth, intrigue, belonging and that your custom actually matters when you walk into an independent store compared to an overwhelming feeling of anonymity when you cross the threshold of large, corporate stores.
I care, you care, we care.
Consumers are also increasingly caring about what you care about and not just in terms of business, they want to know about the heart of the brand which is so much easier for independent businesses to communicate as we are our brand. When consumers are concerned with animal welfare, they will naturally lean towards businesses who also share this passion and conviction. They will want to be associated with the brands who reflect their ideals and increasing their ideals are focused on sustainability, environmental awareness, humane treatment of animals and humans and a general feeling that we should be doing more good than harm. Lubylu® customers love that they can buy incredibly fragranced creations that look great on shelves in shops and on your mantelpiece alike but know that we don’t generate any wasteful packaging.
Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why’ sums up very clearly how brands and businesses who have a very clear message as to why they do what they do resonate much more with consumers than those who simply list features and benefits of their products compared to their competitors. As a small business owner, you’re not just in business to make money, it helps of course, but there will be a more fundamental, underlying reason why you do what you do and this is what will attract your customers. Lubylu®’s ‘why’ is that life is too short for boring candles and I want to run a business that I am proud of.
Think about your ‘why’, your emotional connection with consumers, what are you passionate about, communicate it well and it’ll help you decide where best to find your perfect, loyal, returning customers….
Hope you enjoyed your cuppa while you read this.
Chief Glitter Sprinkler