Earlier this month, I was asked to present on the Main Stage at Spring Fair - and ‘lifestyle’ was one of the major trends I talked about, explaining why it’s of particular importance during this time of economic and social uncertainty in Britain.
If you read my last blog, you’ll remember that during troubled times, our longing and need to stay in touch and celebrate occasions with loved ones shines through. And this is not just a text or whatsapp but sending cards, popping round and phone calls - much more personal contacts.
This has a direct impact on the sales of cards, notecards and stationery to support this lifestyle.
Remembering and recognising things of personal importance to others needs is also more important to us in these times - and when we buy someone a present we are now tending to buy something functional and useful. Of course, it can be funny too! It is important to laugh and enjoy ourselves but whatever we buy we don’t want it to be ‘tat’.
If something is going to be functional and useful it needs to be relevant to the recipient, what they do and the way they live. It might be unusual to look at or have additional features - all this adds to the feeling that it is a thoughtful gift.
Personalisation is a good example of this in that you have gone to the effort of getting something done, changed or added especially for the recipient. It shows thought and planning and makes the recipient feel very special.
There is also a move towards donations being made to charities when products are bought as consumers seem to want to support others either involved in the production of the product or through direct support links. This has happened in the Christmas card industry for years but there are all sorts of links being established nowadays from shoes to food, water, education, environment and more.
But perhaps more important than all these trends during times of uncertainty – ultimately we’d rather be HAVING FUN, so humour is very important. We need something to laugh at and you could see that a lot of product at Spring Fair this year carries humorous lines on them. Your critical job as a retailer is to select the type of humour that your customers will want to buy.
Next week on my blog I’ll be sharing four more product trends that every retailer should consider…