This is opinion, and rant… also, well worth reading 🙂
I was reading some Top Trends for 2011 lists from various wedding media, both online and print. The more I read, the more I became annoyed.
I first encountered ‘trends’, when going to private school in New York City. Way-back-when, from about fifth grade, and up, boys were required to wear jackets and ties, daily (that tradition ended in senior year). Frankly, I found the clothing climate, pretentious, but I digress.
My mom would take me shopping to a retailer, aptly named “The Prep Shop”. In recommending buying options for me, the owners would crow “This is what they’re wearing this year”. Already old enough to have a BS Filter, I would ask: “Exactly who are they?”
Later, during my disc jockey career, in addition to weddings, I provided music for about 100 fashion shows, annually. It was there I witnessed Stage 4 Pretention in the form of society women following brand name fashion designers of the highest order. They would blindly pay big bucks for dresses for the it-designer-of-the-month. Sometimes the style was a hit, sometimes a miss. The cash register would ring, in either case.
For the last 15 years, my involvement with the wedding industry has been primarily from a marketing perspective. It strikes me as incredibly bizarre that so many brides and businesses follow the lists of others as though these trends were etched-in-stone.
It strikes me as completely contradictory to follow trends while concurrently trying differentiate one’s wedding or one’s business from others.
My outlook is this:
“Brides are caught up in the vortex of the engagement. Asking them to reconcile the contradictions is a tough task. For wedding industry businesses, it should not be that way. Don’t be a trend-follower. Be a trend-setter. Be a forward thinking company that has competitors chasing you. If you want to become a wedding SuperHero in your market, you don’t get there by adding products or services that are floated out there as trends.”
Get out of the office, go to an association networking meeting, drive to a regional conference, fly to a national or international conference.
Read both digital and dead-tree resources. Watch TV shows. Attend special events.
Then, don’t blindly play follow-the-leader. Employ a thoughtful filter to add what suits your company personality, and what you think will connect with the target customer in your area.
Don’t just copy. Adapt and have an original thought, from time to time.
Be a leader, not a follower. Set yourself apart by NOT simply following trends.
End of rant! Thank you for your patience 🙂
The Wedding Marketing Authority