Are You a Trend Follower?
I read with vigor information which indicates impacts on businesses and industries in order to stay ahea
d of the game (or at least in the game!).
IBISWorld’s January 2012 report on “Industries to fly and fall in 2012” indicates that the five growth industries for 2012 are diamond and gemstone mining, motor vehicle manufacturing (interesting day to mention this), online education, biotechnology and online shopping. The five declining industries in 2012 are listed as iron and steel manufacturing, institutional building construction, cotton ginning, cut flower growing and pulp and paper and paperboard manufacturing.
Of particular interest is that the decrease in pulp, paper and paperboard manufacturing is linked to two of the growth industries – online education and online shopping.
Most online education providers do not use hardcopy textbooks but rather provide resources online. Further, there is a significant trend by mainstream schools and educational institutions to move to online resources. IPads, Tablets etc also facilitate online reading which is resulting in the decline of the traditional bookstore, such as Borders, who simply cannot compete with the electronic versions or online store selling (at a far cheaper price).
So if you are considering going into a business or are already in business, what does this type of information mean for you.
The clear message to me is that internet selling/stores will continue to grow significantly at the cost of bricks-and-mortar retail businesses and that these businesses will need to respond to the challenge or run the very real risk of becoming another KODAK type of business (yes, it is not just about books!). KODAK dominated its industry for decades but eventually failed to meet the new challenges of the digital era.
Further, it is critical that businesses remain alert to the world around them and be able to see (and respond to) emerging trends before they overtake them.