So I wanted to pull out a recent event that happened to me two weeks ago to illustrate the really important aspect of realising the world around you and how that impacts on trends in the most fundamental way.
If you have a blog, website, use social media, or even just use a computer for work, you’ll know the importance of computers in today’s society. Some of us, a bit older, will remember a world where computers didn’t really factor that much other than some word processing, maybe an excel spread sheet or even the occasional email. Yes that world did exist and it wasn’t all that long ago. In the last 10 years, the internet has exploded in all areas of work and socialising. We spend more and more time on our computers and now laptops make work possible from home, on holiday and on the move. Mobile phones are another story but the overall message, if you haven’t guessed it, is that mobile technology is now fundamental. To be honest, the days of not using my phone to check my emails, is now a distant memory……..
So a few weeks ago my laptop decided that one of the cooling fans wouldn’t work. A bit of dust, maybe? Nope, I cleaned it and checked. I even know enough to check the bios is updated and working correctly……. And it was. Nope the issue was a bit passed my level of tech savvy, so off I go to a shop in London which was a computer retailer. Actually it used to be two before the big economic crash and the two have amalgamated into one huge superstore. So I walked into Curry’s / PC World and I’m thinking to myself that the issue of not having my laptop for a couple of days will be a bit of a pain, but manageable and as I walk up to the repair counter I notice the massive banner on the wall that says “Getting you up and going in no time”. So after chatting and handing over my £50, I remembered to ask how long it would take…….. Now at this point, have a guess at how long you think the guy said? 2 days? 4? Maybe a week? No, No, No……. 2 weeks! Yes 2 whole weeks!
Now it actually took closer to three and over £100 to fix a cooling fan! But that’s not the point. At this point in time, considering that laptops and computers are an essential part of most people’s lives, 3 weeks is an unbelievably long time for that company to have my laptop. The trend of mobile devices and more people working from home should mean that people in that industry need to be responsive to keep up with the world around them. I actually couldn’t believe how long it took and as well as the really poor service, I will definitely never go back to them.
Trends are not just the items you produce, they are the services you provide and the way in which people use that product or service. You have to understand that as well as a social network being used by a company to have a page or get followers, think about how people use it? How often do they use it? Is it just for personal use? Think outside the box. For me to be without my laptop for three weeks was unbelievable. I’m self-employed and I can’t run all of my programmes from a mobile device. I had a website that was being re-launched, a book that was in the making, a competition running that was not accessible via mobile friendly website, as well as two blogs I needed to write for and of course all of my freelance knitwear design contracts. Can you even understand the issue that the three week period had on my work life? It was truly hard. But because Curry’s / PC World couldn’t understand the parameters of the objects they sell and how they are now used, they’re service hadn’t caught up and the trends in which their products are being used, clearly wasn’t reflected in the way they thought about their business. Because of this [ and appalling customer service] I will certainly never use them again. Trends evolve. The world evolves. You have to be responsive to it otherwise you’ll be left behind. 3 weeks might have been OK 10 years ago, or if you are asking for the entire computer to be built, but it certainly isn’t in this web/computer trending society.
I was really tempted to go back to the store and change the banner from “Getting you up and going in no time” to “Getting you up and going in no time that soon”