When On-Trend Is a Different Trend

by : 

Megy Karydes

April 11, 2016
Marketing Mondays - When On-Trend Is a Different Trend

Some retailers like to consider themselves “on trend” by offering the hottest colors or latest designs, but there is another type of trend you might be missing: lifestyle choices.

Tiny homes, minimalist designs, and even international sensation Marie Kondo and her KonMari style of organizing have become part of our everyday vernacular. Kondo’s approach to getting rid of things that don’t bring you joy has even become an adverb: “I’m KonMaring my socks today.” You think I’m joking? Look it up. There is a right and wrong way to organize one’s socks in their sock draw, apparently.

There are other types of trends taking off, too, that might be even more obvious tie ins to your shop: how to practice being mindful, new ways to meditate, new ways to de-stress.

Others daydream about leaving their stressful lives, a mortgage, and their job and becoming digital nomads. Technology has helped connect us to the rest of the world, and being tethered to a cube farm is no longer required.

So, how can you help those looking to buy less? You help them find things that bring them joy, that make them feel calm by having it in their lives, or that make them feel happy to give as a gift. Think of things that are portable and makes them smile when they see them.

Bring in products that appeal to the less-is-more demographic. Some will say minimalists are not your target market; I beg to differ. Only a small percentage of the population will go all-out minimalist, and even they need stuff to live. However, more and more people are becoming enamored by this seemingly “less” lifestyle, so providing products that serve this purpose will go far in your shop. Think dual-working products, such as art pieces that can serve practical purposes.

Other options include hosting a book reading featuring an inspirational title. Bring in Kondo’s book so your customers can discuss how they are KonMaring their home. Have a demonstration on how to organize one’s sock drawers (I’m telling you – it’s a thing!). Then ask customers to choose one item from your shop that brings them joy and why. Get them talking. As the shopkeeper, you can share your favorite items and tell the story about how those products came into your shop and why it brings you joy to have them in the store.

For those who want to practice living a more mindful or meditative life, bring extra attention to your offerings by creating focal merchandise displays of beautifully designed candles, note cards with pretty pens, yoga mats, or inspirational quote artwork. Think textiles, too. Incorporate soft fabrics. If you sell things like tea or mugs, include those, too. Help customers select the items to find their “center” or “balance,” and use terms that will connect with them.

You can also bring a feeling of freshness to your product mix by ordering products that are already strong sellers but in the latest Pantone colors or the hottest new patterns. It's a great way to incorporate trends in your store and appeal to a broader range of customers.

Megy Karydes helps small businesses harness their marketing power. She’s also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic’s CityLab, Midwest Living magazine and Chicago Tribune, among others. Find her at MegyKarydes.com.