Keeping up with trends in the decorated apparel industry is a major part of helping your business stand out from the crowd, but with your schedule tightly packed with filling orders and keeping the business up and running, following every blog, magazine, and social media account can seem impossible. Rather than falling down a trend-filled rabbit hole and wasting time and energy, make an effort to regularly check these four sources.
See What Your Competitors are Up To
As a general rule, if your competitors are doing it and making a profit, you probably should be too. This isn’t true in all situations, but when it comes to trends, it’s never a bad idea to consider looking to your competitor for guidance. Even better, check out companies that are a little bigger than yours. See what they’re up to and try to scale it down to fit your business’ budget and clientele.
Read Popular Trade Publications
Depending on how much time you have to devote to trend research, this can take a few minutes or a few hours. There are countless magazines, websites, and blogs out there saying they know what the next big thing in DA is, but not all of them can be trusted.
If you fall into the category of only a few minutes to research, focus on reputable trade publications. Try Printwear and SGIA Journal. Both discuss the newest services and products customers are looking for as well as discuss new ways to improve your business overall.
If you have a little more time or are just stepping into the decorated apparel world, take a deep-dive into the industry’s publications and tradeshows. Take it a step further and start following their social media accounts for the latest news. While you looking for trends, you might even find some great business tips along the way!
Hit the Stores
You might not need an excuse to go shopping, but now you certainly have one! Check out retail stores to see what trends have hit the shelves. You may see that embroidered denim is all the rage or that elaborate flower designs fetch a pretty penny. With a keen eye and a little time to poke around a couple stores, you’ll be able to get an idea of what trends you should consider incorporating into your business or at least be aware of when discussing orders with customers.
Follow Fashion Week Trends
Even if you aren’t an haute couture aficionado, checking in on the various fashion weeks around the world can help you get a grip on current and even future trends. There’s no need to shell out thousands of dollars to attend, just take a look at a few fashion blogs, even some mainstream news sites cover the big shows. Keep an eye out for little details and embellishments that customers may be looking for in the near future. Even if all the looks are extravagant, you can be pretty positive that at least one element will trickle down into every day fashion.
Now that you know what the trends are, you have to decide what to do with them. Your next steps can be as simple as updating your marketing images to as intensive as adding a whole new service. At the very least, when talking with customers you’ll know what they might be looking for and can give advice on the latest styles.