What’s the next big thing?

The often asked question brand and marketing managers ask isn't necessarily the correct one

When I speak with clients a question I’m often asked is: “What’s the next big thing?”

This question is natural and more than understandable.

Going back to 2005, there were those who thought Atkins was here to stay, yet there’s now a generation of brand managers who would be hard pressed to identify what Atkins even was.

So back to my initial point, what’s the next big craze?

Well, I think this I the wrong question for brand or marketing managers to ask.

Rather, companies need to find the right match between what consumers want with what their brand represents.

‘The next big thing’, therefore, is not what works for everyone, but rather what is right for your brand.

Take the current gluten free craze for instance.

Many companies have jumped on this bandwagon hoping to find an avenue for easy growth.

Calling out gluten free may seem like the fashionable thing to do, but if it’s not a fit for your brand why entertain this notion?

To properly strengthen a brand it needs to be nurtured. Waiting for the next big thing and trying to capitalize on it can mean your brand is a follower, rather than driving its own identity.

Having a foundational understanding of your consumers’ relationship with your brand is the base for exploring new opportunities and areas of growth.

What connection do consumers have with your brand? Do they consider it? Do they trust it? What differentiates it from other brands in competing categories? Where can you take the brand with the consumer without compromising the trust that it has banked?

Jumping from fad to fad makes it difficult to build a coherent and executable long term strategy that allows it to evolve.

So what’s the next big thing? Who can tell?

What I can say is that that in order to find success, it’s more important to provide a long term plan for your brand rather than reacting to the latest fad.