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How Businesses Can Benefit From Trends Beyond Their Primary Industry

Marija Milasevic Profile Picture
Marija Milasevic Bio

Markets are changing rapidly. Understanding trends that are most important to your industry should be a top priority. 

At the same time, it is also essential to identify and act on trends beyond your primary industry to access new opportunities and horizons. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can gain from expanding your focus.

1. Share one vision with partners

Having a holistic understanding of consumer behaviour and market trends beyond the narrow core of your business is vital for stakeholders to forge mutually beneficial goals. Successful partnerships are based on many things; however, sticking to a common objective remains the most important. 

Engagements in the form of webinars, expert discussions and workshops are effective platforms for shared learning where partners can challenge each other, acquire new skills and develop ideas based on a common vision and purpose. 

Global companies like Google, Mastercard, Visa and Nestlé have already started adopting this approach by hosting official market intelligence events for their partners and stakeholders on a regular basis.

2. Understand blurring lines between industries

Industries are evolving and increasingly overlapping, making it more important than ever for you to have a 360-degree view of markets. 

For example, there is no longer a clear difference between foodservice and grocery retailers as most channels are becoming meal fulfilment centres. Other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are following the same trend, creating blurred lines between categories, such as snacking and dietary supplements. Soft drinks giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are entering the alcoholic drinks category while beer brewers are developing hard sodas and spirits. 

In terms of pricing, hard lines between mass market and luxury are disappearing and demand for affordable luxury goods is growing. 

Ultimately, watching trends in adjacent spaces can help you identify opportunities in new industries and product segments. Having the full market picture gives you a more comprehensive understanding of consumer behaviour and how it will evolve.

3. Learn from (and potentially become) trendsetters

When we think about companies like Apple, Google and Amazon, we don’t usually associate them with just one industry. Instead, key areas like strategy, consumers, marketing and innovation come to mind. 

Most organisations are being shaped by emerging trends in politics, economics, consumer behaviour and competitors; this is where market leaders become essential. 

Trendsetters provide direction not only for specific industries but for the whole market. For example, cashierless automated Amazon Go stores disrupted retailing and impacted the majority of FMCG categories. Third-party delivery companies also seized a gap in the foodservice industry during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing consumers with more accessibility. Delivery coverage is expanding from foodservice to non-food products like beauty and pet care. 

The decision to implement such changes is, of course, up to individual companies but staying informed about market leaders puts you in a stronger position to innovate and stand out.

4. Stay ahead of disruption

Some trends originate in one industry and then expand into others while others can influence the entire FMCG market. 

Authentic Automation is just one of the 10 biggest consumer trends in 2023 set to reshape how shoppers interact with and use technology.  

64% of professionals expect AI to have the biggest impact on their company in the next five years. 

Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey, fielded November 2022 (n=567) 

Most, if not all, businesses are now embracing digital transformation. The challenge for businesses remains the speed of transformation. Investing the time to understand trends, and more importantly in a holistic manner, is therefore essential to staying competitive. 

Market research is not new to business communities. However, knowing how to use it to look beyond core portfolios can help you plan for the future. 

Passport Plus is a new service that connects you directly to our experts for tailored thought leadership to help answer your questions through the lens of your business. 

Through interactive presentations, expert consultations or workshops, we help you understand what our insights mean for you and what next steps to take as a team or larger business unit. Connect with us to learn more. 

Editor's note: This article was originally published in April 2022 and has been updated. 

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