Business trends 2020 | Onwards and Up

I know I am posting my top 5 trends for business 2020, just a bit on the late side. 🤦‍♀️ Where does the time go? I wouldn’t mind, but being busy, ideas and content get prepped months in advance and then something … shiny comes along and takes your eye off the ball. #distraction101

If you visited the tradeshow Topdrawer in London, January, I was part of the Trends Talks, presenting. Did you see me? 🙂 Presenting as Onwards and Up talking about all the top things to look out for and think of to support business growth for the coming year. Such an exciting time.

Funny how in a space of 8 weeks that has all now paled into insignificance. Who could have predicted that the world would come to a grinding halt by a global health pandemic, Covid-19. Our nation’s government ordering us to stay at home and behave ourselves.

Here we are, social distancing and catching up on the extensive list of things to do, including finishing this blog post and catching up on all those posts I have been meaning to bring to you.

Whilst the pause button has been pressed in the world of commerce, lets look on the bright side. Time to get ahead of the curve for when we can come out to play again. This is a great time to review, research and plan for a stronger future. 💪💪


Have You Heard of TikTok?

Tiktok what, I hear you say? Depending on how old you are, this is either going to go over your head or you’re going to be totally down with the new pass time trend. I hear the groans of “not another social media app, I can’t keep up”.

I know, and I hear you loud and clear. To be fair this app is not for everyone but is it one that you should keep a close eye on and it feeds into other trends that I cover in this post.

Tiktok is a Chinese social media app launched in 2016. It has over 500 million active users worldwide every month and is the first social media app to be created outside of the Silicon Valley. In January 2020 the app was downloaded 100 million times and is the fastest growing social media platform.

The app encourages creating and sharing creative video content 15-60 seconds, dubbed with music. If creating video content is not your bag then you may want to skip this app.


Some Interesting Stats About TikTok

  • 41% of user are aged between 16-24 year
  • The average time spent on the app 52 mins per day
  • It has active users in 155 countries around the world
  • TikTok is the 9th most popular social network sites.

The focus is on being inventive and creative with your content. Just pushing products in the traditional sense on this app just won’t do. Brands and businesses need to get their creative heads on and find new ways to promote their business without it being salesy on the app. Set up challenges that users can participate in and share the content. Sharing brand-related content and getting high views is the name of the game on this app.

Utilise your influencer, fans and if you’re lucky, celebrity base to get involved in generating content for you.


Successful Guess #inmydemin campaign

Partnering with Tiktok, designer fashion brand Guess ran a challenge using the hashtag #InMyDenim that led to 38 million views. A great way to use sponsored hashtags to trend without being in your face, hard sales and clickbait. Check this link that shows all videos from Guess.

Whether this is an app for your business or not it is always worth logging on checking it out. Give yourself the opportunity to have a birds-eye view of how brands and users are engaging with the app. Get inspiration and ideas for your own marketing plan and campaigns.

Be careful this app does come with a warning of #suckyouin. You can lose many hours of your life scrolling through the mass of crazy content.


The Rise of GenZ The New Consumer Trend in Town

Gen Z – born between 1997 and 2012. Interesting fact: did you know that this cohort of millennials makes up 40% of the global consumer population? In the words of President Donald Trump , “be nice” to them.

This is the generation that was raised in the era of internet and social media. This year they first will be entering the workplace in 2020.

Why Are Gen Z So Powerful?

Generation Z | Onwards and Up

This generation has great consumer spending power and influence. The US alone, they’ll have direct access to up to $143 billion in spending power, (MNI Targeted Media Inc). As well as having their own opinions and perceptions about brands, they also have the power to influence how their parents and grandparents spend their hard-earned cash. That is four sets of pockets, a group that cannot be ignored or written off by any business, no matter if you do have a specific target customer base.


Characteristics of Gen Z

When it comes to brands and brand loyalty, look for out for Gen Z they are a hard customer base to please. Seen as being traditional and progressive, fickle but loyal and ready to drop a brand if they don’t fit with their values.

Having seen brands chopping their businesses into separate categories and silos, Gen Z has no time for this nonsense. They are open and ready to have an all-round experience no matter where they are. Like so many other brands in an immersed social media generation, you are competing for their time and money.

They are mobile savvy and spend on average 29 hours a week on their smartphone.

Final tip. Whatever you do make it Instagram worthy!

Check out the Mckinsey Report: Generation Z and its implications for companies


Characteristics of Gen Z | Onwards and Up

Top Tips To Engage Gen Z

  • Sell experiences rather than products – brand loyalty is NOT a priority.
  • Create engaging video content. Gen Z it’s all about streaming and watching videos – One of the reasons Tiktok has great appeal with this group.
  • Create useful campaigns with relevant influencers – see below 👇
  • Respect their privacy and their trust in your brand. Be conscious of how you use their consented information, don’t annoy them.
  • Actively seek out feedback from customers and find ways to open new dialogue. Opportunities to collaborate with them to build a stronger brand. Gen Z love to get involved.

Influencer Marketing Leading The Way

The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019. A successful campaign to sales conversion is focusing more and more on the brand-influencer authenticity.

Back to the Gen Zers. They are not fooled and can clearly see when they are being sold to the brand and influencer do not align.

Don’t be fooled by shiny pristine feeds and explore the wider context of influencers that you consider suitable. So many businesses have worked with have been seduced by such visuals engaged with them and got very little return fr their efforts.

Influencer marketing Trend 2020 | Onwards and Up

Things To Look For When Considering An Influencer Partnership

  • Follow new posts and monitor the number the likes and engagements they receive over a 12 hr period. are their posts loitering around 150 likes and then in a short space of time hits 500-1000+ likes.
  • Go through and review their follower’s list. Look up the accounts where possible to see if they are really followers/customer or if they are fake or the blogger squad.
  • Do the posts receive any comments? look and see who s commenting. On a number of influencer posts, I just see lots of other bloggers and influencers commenting and average public. That is not going to get you business
  • If they have a website, find out what their domain score is. You would be looking for an influencer/blogger to have a score of around 25+
  • If they frequently publish posts promoting and talking about brands, are the brands being named and given relevant backlinks to their own website

Working With An Influencer

  • Identify influencers and bloggers that naturally fit your brand, who is an ideal would just love your products
  • Keep it real. The size of your budget vs the size of the influencer. What’s your elevator pitch? how can you appeal to them to work with you
  • Build a long term strategy with content to be posted over a longer period of time to demonstrate authenticity. pushing out one post will see no return on investment. Creating a long term campaign with relevant content across different platform pushed out over a period of time, will be more effective
  • Be clear on what your objectives are and what you want to achieve from the activity to
  • Formulate your strategy with the influencer rather than telling them what it is you want them to do. again think about authenticity and how their audience engages
  • Set business and measurable goals for both parties to work towards. It will save a lot of arguments and wasted time in the long run.
  • Value influencers of all shapes and size. From Macro influencer 100k+ to micro-influencers up to 50k+ followers to nano influencers upto 1000 followers and niche followers.

It’s All About Being A Flexi Business

Flexible Business 2020 | Onwards and Up

Gone are the days of chopping your business up into silos. Gen Z are not interested in it and economic conditions do not make this type of thinking viable anymore.

Categorising your business into wholesale, online, retail events, PR just won’t wash anymore. The number of times I hear companies saying that they want to focus on just building wholesale business or one sales channel are missing massive opportunities.

It’s 2020 and like the gender, spectrum business must adapt to become more fluid. Seize the opportunities wherever they maybe. To successfully achieve this you have to have your pricing strategy together.

Creating pricing strategies that are rigid and give you limited room to compete for new opportunities is a lot of small businesses downfall. Whether it is selling wholesale, taking on an agent, working with affiliates/influencer, digital agencies, or selling online. Every business requires some form of margin and to make profit.

Creating a flexible pricing strategy that can adapt to any of the selling channels at any time will enable you to maximise your sales and not put all your eggs in one basket.

The current crisis with COVID-19 has highlighted how fragile sales and supply channels across the retail sector, in particular, can be.

Business of Fashion Logo | Onwards and Up

Check out Business of Fashion article and Podcast.

Retail Futurist Doug Stephens on How Coronavirus Will Shift Consumer Behaviour

Other Strategies to Create in 2020

  • Prioritise digital advances to grow your sales online and offline.
  • Create a responsive business rather than reactive – What does the future hold and how can you exploit these to increase sales.
  • If you are a small business become a more human fronted business with a personality rather than having a corporate brand message.

Brexit Is Coming!!!

So at the time (in January), it was part of my trends talk for 2020. Brexit was coming and this was the only thing that consumed the airways and news. January 31st 2020 saw us officially in leave the European Union and enter the new transition period of negotiations. Time to thrash out a new trade deal.

COVID-19 has refocused the Government’s efforts in recent weeks. Brexit as of yet is not on hold, as the Government have written it into law that the UK will leave at the end of December deal or no deal.

Brexit is coming 2020 | Onwards and Up

The cliff edge has not gone away and alongside COVID-19 the cloud of uncertainty remains until the pandemic worldwide has been brought under control. June is technically a milestone in the negotiations and thought the EU Michel Banier is open to extended the transition period, Britain is playing the stubborn child and not giving up on this ground. Lets see what happens come June. watch this space.

In the meantime with all this downtime familiarise yourself with our Brexit checklist blog and be prepared for whatever scenario comes our way.