Daniel Levine, trends guru, executive director of The Avant-Guide Institute, and featured speaker at the upcoming NALP Leaders Forum, offers some insight into trends you can capitalize on in 2017.
To understand what’s trending, and why, landscape professionals need to look outside of their own industry to see what’s exciting their customers. That’s because trends are not specific to any one industry. They reflect needs and desires that your customers want answered in all parts of their lives, including the clothes they wear, the cars they buy, and the landscaping decisions they make. It’s about lifestyle: how they see themselves, and how they want to be perceived by others.
“In short, trends are the grand forces that motivate people to purchase products and services as well as make all kinds of lifestyle decisions. Unlike fads, which can be shallow and temporary, here are five trends we are tracking for 2017 that can be successfully harnessed by landscape businesses to win customers and increase sales.”
- The Rise of “Meaningfulness”
Political and economic uncertainties of 2016 will continue into the next year, causing people to re-assess what is really important to them. The answer will be things like self-improvement, personal growth, physical and mental health, making soulful connections and being socially responsible. In short, “meaningful experiences” that endure, without regard to the ups and downs of bank balances. Landscape businesses can benefit from this trend by marketing their services as a means to achieve stable personal environments that foster “togetherness” “friendships” “calm” and “happiness”.
- The Age of “Connoisseurship”
People are increasingly looking to become “mini-experts” in specialist niches, from cheeses and olive oils, to aromatherapy and electronic music. In 2017, engaged consumers want to learn and share their knowledge with others. Yes, knowledge is the new luxury. Landscape professionals can take advantage of this trend by incorporating learning experiences into their offerings. Include a bit of education in your offerings. What can you do to help your customers become connoisseurs of your industry? What’s cool about what you are doing that most people don’t know? Tell them!
- The Tipping Point for the Internet of Things (IoT)
2017 marks a turning-point in the world of technology: the dawn of the IoT Era, in which the world we live in will be electronically communicating with us. This means that your customers will increasingly be getting used to cars, homes and workplaces that monitor themselves and can be activated by their user’s voice or behaviors. Your customers will be expecting this kind of connectivity when it comes to their lawns as well. What this means exactly is anyone’s guess, but to stay ahead, now is the time to explore what this will mean for your business.
- Use the “Language of Brooklyn”
Just because you aren’t from Brooklyn doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk like you are. In Brooklyn these days, everything is organic and local and artisanal and small batch. Now, companies around the world and across the industrial spectrum are embracing this trend by creating products and services that incorporate this aesthetic into their offerings. And landscape businesses are no exception. Your customers are looking for unique, personal solutions that are good for the environment and good for the community.
- Go Green
The “green” trend is probably the biggest and most enduring trend for the rest of our careers. Companies of all types are falling all over themselves trying to understand how they can take advantage of this trend. Meanwhile, the landscape industry is uniquely and naturally positioned to lead this trend and take it to new heights. If being green is something is part of your commercial DNA, you should be asking yourself how you can push this trend into new territory.
Join Daniel at Leaders Forum in St. Thomas, Jan. 12-14 and learn more about how to adapt your business to take advantage of future trends. Sale pricing ends, Dec. 12, 2016.
Daniel Levine, called “the ultimate guru of cool” by CNN, is a widely-acclaimed keynote speaker, author and trends expert. As the Executive Director of the Avant-Guide Institute in New York City, Daniel is the head of a global team of over 10,000 “trend spotters.” Daniel has an uncanny ability to describe complex ideas in plain language and help consumer oriented businesses be more relevant, innovative and profitable.