Every year, in specialty leasing, there’s a new fad that everyone seems to want to jump on board for. If you’re in specialty leasing like me, you’ve probably been getting a TON of requests from business owners wanting to adopt Fidget Toys. These are really neat toys for kids to adults design to alleviate stress, anxiety, and give an outlet for people with ADHD.
One of the most popular toys is the Fidget Cube:
The cube has all sorts of fake buttons, switches, and other things that someone can absent-mindedly play with. They had a kickstarter campaign a few years ago that raised almost $6.5M. Unfortunately for these guys, there’s now a wide variety of Chinese counterfeit versions of these hitting the market. There are reviews on Amazon saying they’re cheap, plastic, break easily, and the buttons often don’t work at all, but they’re less expensive.
These Fidget Toys are most likely the current new yearly fad. In 2014, Splat Toys was the popular fad. In 2015, we had hoverboards, 2016 was LED Shoes. 2017 is Fidget Toys. It’s looking like Fidget Toys is FAR more popular than hoverboards or LED shoes ever were, though. I’ll show you why.
One of the most powerful tools you can use if you’re in specialty leasing is Google Trends. Google Trends allows you to see the popularity for any search result, a very strong indicator of interest in a particular search term. If you search for “hoverboards” across the United States, it looks like this:
Not surprising, right? Public interest in the United States peaked in during Christmas of 2015, and we saw a pretty rapid decline afterwards. This gradual or rapid decline in popularity is what is refered to in the marketing cycle as “decline.” As seen below, a product is launched, then experiences its growth (like it did in the latter half of 2015), matured during Christmas, and then rapidly declined as they blew up in people’s homes and people realized they were trying to be cool while riding what is essentially a unicycle with Bluetooth.
Now, if you look at the Google Trends search for “fidget toys”, it’s currently at its most popular point so far. IMPORTANT TO NOTE – you can see that it already got to 100 and went down a little bit. So you may be wondering , “Okay Jym so you’re saying that we should be playing hardball with a product that’s about to hit its decline?” No… the 100 score just shows the popularity peak SO FAR. As months go by, you can come back and see April 2017 as having a lower score than it currently shows that it has, because these graphs are relative. You can also compare one search result with another, like I’ve done below with Hover boards and splat toys.
You can see on the yellow line that the 100 score Hoverboards had before now shows up as ~77 because it’s relative to the even MORE popular fidget toys. If you’re having trouble finding the red line, that’s okay. It’s so low that it barely even registers. It also peaked in popularity in Christmas of 2015, but didn’t hold a candle to anything else. As I said before, we can now see that the score of 100 just signifies its peak SO FAR, and as evidenced by the above graph, fidget toys are going to blow hoverboards out of the water in terms of popularity.
One Last Thing:
Not only is Google Trends a powerful tool to look at national trends, you can localize it. Maybe something is really popular across the nation, but is it popular locally? It’s important to understand the tastes of your shoppers. Below is a search result for “Skyline Chili”, a popular (and AMAZING chili joint in my home town of Cincinnati, OH across the United States. You can see it’s extremely popular in Ohio and barely registers on anyones radar outside of my beloved home state.
Alright! That’s it for now! Head over to http://trends.google.com and play around with it! Type in some of the products your tenants are selling. Do you see any risks or opportunities? Remember, you can always click on the map to look at it by state, city metro area, and even specific towns!
If you have any questions or comments, let me know!