Former editorial director of Entrepreneur Magazine and current CEO of Growbiz Media Rieva Lesonsky gave a lecture about upcoming business trends for 2018, tactics for starting and running a successful small business and the importance of marketing when running a small business on Wednesday.
Lesonsky started off her lecture by talking about some of the upcoming trends that are projected to grow over the fiscal year of 2018, including the wedding industry, the beauty products business, niche fitness programs and home remodeling.
Lesonsky explained that these trends are often results of generations coming of age or growing older. She said that since many millennials are entering the marriage stage of their lives, and millennials are such a big demographic, the wedding industry is projected to grow seven percent in 2018. Another example Lesonsky gave was the rise in home renovation as baby boomers enter retirement and sell their homes.
A major point Lesonsky made was that companies and entrepreneurs need to think about and market toward specific demographics, be it race, gender or age.
“Entrepreneurs should be looking at the demographic of the customer and asking ‘What else do they buy?’” Lesonsky said.
Lesonsky talked specifically about how to market products and business toward the different generations of people, particularly millennials and people in Generation Z, the generation after millennials. According to Lesonsky, the earlier a person is exposed to a particular brand, the more likely they will develop brand loyalty and continue to use the same brand as they get older.
“I still use the ketchup my mother used when I was 5,” Lesonsky said.
According to Lesonsky, a strong online presence for a person’s business is even more important than brand loyalty. She said that studies have shown that the majority of teens in the U.S. said the most effective way to market toward them was through Instagram. The so-called “selfie culture” also impacts which trends are popular, Lesonsky said.
“People don’t drink blue wine because it tastes good. People drink it so they can post a picture with it,” said Lesonsky.
“I work in marketing, so it’s cool to hear about the upcoming popular trends,” said recent marketing graduate Mike Vinik. “I work for a big conglomerate so the trends in different industries [are] interesting to me.”
“It’s interesting that companies have to make things Instagram-worthy,” said senior marketing major Shivantika Rungta.
Rungta’s classmate Charles Fine, also a senior marketing major, agreed with both Lesonsky and Runtga.
“It’s such a big part of marketing these days,” Fine said.
Lesonsky ended the lecture by discussing how it is a great time to be a small business owner or entrepreneur because of the connectivity and resources the internet provides.
“I’ve been in the business since 1978, and this is the best time I’ve ever seen to be an entrepreneur,” Lesonsky said.
Mack Cooper can be reached at [email protected]