Those trends are just so… 2008

03 Dec 2009|Added Value

trends176If you are reading this then you are interested in the future. And you have probably spotted that too much trend work actually just records the past. It paints a familiar trajectory picture, based on data points you already know. Which isn’t much use when you are trying to develop marketing activity that is fresh and distinctive. Take Health & Wellness; it has been around for years and, no surprises, there is an awful lot of generic health-oriented marketing.

We believe the best marketing keeps brands “mobile”. It makes them feel agile, fresh, prescient. On the crest of the trend-wave, not washed up on the beach. Or worse, spinning round in the under-tow, not knowing which way to turn.

Nike are the trend masters. Ten years ago they tapped into the emerging Go Create trend with their Nike ID Studio allowing sneakerheads to stamp their own identity on their feet. One year on, they were hot on the heels of the Mass Participation trend with RUN LONDON attracting over 10,000 people. Fast forward to 2006 and we see the brand simultaneously tapping into Localism, with a product range dedicated to Hackney Marshes and Joga Bonito, the football orientated social network to tie in with the 2006 World Cup. Nike spot trends early and uses them to create  disruptive activity that shapes our culture.  

We’ve developed a new framework to help you spot trends early enough for your brand to make good use of them.  We’ve organised the world into nine cultural fields which we observe closely over time to see how they evolve and move. Our interactive Trends Trax tool shows how trends emerge when these familiar, slow moving cultural fields collide. We have identified 36 of these collisions. Each produces an emerging trend which we have documented with concrete cultural manifestations. Some you will recognize; most should feel fresh.    

Take “the Crisis” . Once you have emerged from the suffocating mountain of data, what do you actually do with it? Likewise, “Social Responsibility”. They are just too big to harness on their own. But dig a little deeper and watch them collide. You’ll find Freeconomy, where people are coming together to address common interests and share resources – borrowing and loaning rather than buying and owning. Such as internet boards like Freecycle and Gumtree who facilitate people offering their goods for free.

And Simple Living, where we see pared down, practical products that are affordable, high quality and pleasing to the eye preferred for their simplicity. Brands such as Uniqlo and Muji offering affordable basics that do not sacrifice on quality.

Take creative autonomy, as the internet becomes the medium for creative innovation encouraging and enabling collaboration and new kinds of artistic expression. Brands like Ponoko allow you to get your own designs produced to order online.

Trends Trax is a refreshing change to the standard approach to trends. It gets you past the big, fat, lazy trends that have been curled up in your office for too long and puts you face to face with some fresh culturally-charged brain fuel. It will help you understand where fresh trends come from, why they matter and how you can harness them before all your competitors have squeezed them dry.

prev next