Published On: Fri, Dec 7th, 2012

Identifying Changing Market Shifts

By: Gerald J. Sherman

Many successful businesses hope to stay in their magical “comfort zone,” where things always stay the same. However, they will find that just as there is change in their daily lives so is there change in their daily business environment.

Today’s fast-paced world places an enormous pressure on companies to keep up with change. Demographics, social and political events, competition, all contribute to the volatile shifts in the marketplace.  How do you keep up with these changes? How do you anticipate why and when changes occur? What strategies will you use to stay ahead of these changes and manage them?

Change is not only a natural process in the business world, but one which is also necessary for the company’s existence. Consumers changing attitudes and preferences intensify the changing process. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary change is defined as “to replace with another – bto make a shift from one to another.”

Consumer demand and competition are forces that cause market shifts and are generated from outside your control. It is important to recognize these market shifts when they take place. There are three types of market shift changes: (Sherman&Perlman).

  • Product-oriented Market Shift — a significant change in the product or service which can potentially affect sales
  • People-oriented Market Shift —  a significant change in the demographics and psychographics which can potentially affect sales.
  • Structure-oriented. Market Shift — a significant change in the structure of the industry – the way product/service is designed, manufactured, distributed or sold –  which can potentially affect sales.

By evaluating a particular ‘Market Shift’, we determine its importance, significance, and the appropriate adjustment methods. It is important to recognize when a market shift is taking place, and take steps needed to adapt to it in order to take advantage of any opportunities the shift presents. Ignoring a market shift, or failing to take the steps necessary to adapt to it, could bring about drastic negative consequences to the company’s survival.

Ideally, the organization should have a reliable resource to identify the type of market shift; product-oriented, people-oriented, or structure-oriented and formulate a strategy of adaptation. Then it is a matter of processing the information.

Unfortunately, there is no rule in the Real World prohibiting market shifts of a different type, or several of the same type, taking place simultaneously. We are currently in a state of constant change which is evident in the changing markets. No field or industry is free from change.

Excerpts from the Best Seller, The Real World Guide to Fashion Selling & Management, Gerald J. Sherman & Sar S. Perlman. Fairchild Books, Division of Conde Nast Publications, N.Y.

Gerald J. Sherman, MBA, DBA Sherman & Perlman LLC, Public Relations & Marketing is a Boca Raton-based, author, marketing and public relations consultant who has written several books and articles on these subjects. http://www.shermanperlman.com jerry@shermanperlman.com 561.715.2788

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