The problem comes when identifying what is going to be the next big trend, versus what’s going to be a fad or even a failure.
Trends can include things like: new strategies of marketing, new products or services, or changes in culture. Thanks to big data, especially information from social media, it is possible to accurately predict trends. Here are some tips to help you do so.
How a Trend Grows
Understanding how a trend is born is important to being able to determine and focus on the right trends while ignoring ones that will fail. The earlier you can figure out which trends you want to pursue, the more time you’ll have to perfect your approach and get the most money out of it.
Basically, the very start of a trend is when a single person comes up with something and it catches on in their surrounding area or circle of influence. Then, it spreads to more and more people in a specific community. It then moves outside of that community and into others, either by social media or by adopters of the trend going to other areas. Over time, social media influencers will pick up the trend, spreading it to massive audiences and making everybody aware of it.
Then comes the time to find out if the trend is going to be a quick fad that burns away quickly or will become a part of our society. A good way to determine this: if it brings actual value to people’s lives, then it will stick around for a long time. If it doesn’t, it’s likely to fade away quickly in favor of the next fad.
A prime example of this is the trend of vaping. Thanks to Twitter, it’s possible to track the rise of vaping, starting in New York and Los Angeles and then spreading out from there. When vaping was first noticed, many claimed it just a fad, but it clearly provides a service people want — and since it first started in 2015, it has become popular across the nation.
Watching Trend Setting Locations
When looking out for the next big trend, you don’t need to be watching the whole world, just a few key places. Depending on your industry, part of your challenge is determining where these places are, but in general, it’s good to keep an eye on major cities in the U.S.: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and nearby cities to your locations. These are all good places you want to stay up to date with.
Most major trends start in large cities like this, so if you can catch what the next big thing is there, then you can bring it to your market at the right time.
A very helpful tool to accomplish this is social media and the data it produces. When people become early adopters of a new and hot trend, they post about it online. They share it with their families, friends, and followers. There is software that can pull that information and transform it into hard data, if you are looking to track trends with this approach. Then, by using that data, you can predict if and when a trend will impact your target market or community. If you want a more broad, but free approach, you could use Google Trends, and when you hear of an emerging trend, plug it into there to see whether people are searching for it online.
Connecting With Trend Setters
Keeping your eye on geographic areas is good, but sometimes there are specific people in your industry who create trends. These movers and shakers can single-handedly create trends that you can use for yourself, but you need to keep an eye on what they are doing.
Typically, trendsetters have massive followings looking to do the same thing you are. If you aren’t paying attention and they do something big, you’ll be way behind your competitors when it comes to adopting the new trend in your business.
If all you can do is simply follow a trend setter on social media, then do so, but don’t stop there. If the two of you are in the same business, try to find some way to collaborate or meet. Attempt to network your way into their circle and find a way to get to know them. If you can work with a trend setter and get to know them, you might be able to work with them to create the next big trend.
Differences Between a Fad and a Trend
Both a fad and a long lasting trend can be profitable, but each require a different approach. This is because of the longevity a fad can have in today’s world versus a trend.
A fad is when something becomes extremely popular very quickly but typically has little substance and becomes unpopular just as quickly. A trend has much longer lasting power with the potential to change either its industry or the world as a whole. For example, fads are things like fidget spinners, planking, and most toys from the 90s, while trends are things like social media and smartphones.
Properly capitalizing on each comes down to how quickly you can determine whether something is a trend or a fad and how to react to it. If you notice a fad emerging, and it’s something you want to get involved in, you have to move immediately. A fad can burn out within a few months to about a year. If you wait too long, you might miss your chance. With a fad, it’s all about speed.
A trend, on the other hand, still requires quick reactions, but you have more time. As you start to notice a trend emerge in outside communities, take time to prepare and plan. That way, when the wave is about to hit your market, you can be the first to profit off of it. Jumping the gun too early will just leave you sitting with little success and waiting too long will leave you in an oversaturated market. Capitalizing on a trend is all about timing.
Improving on a Trend
As more and more people jump on board with a trend, competition becomes fierce. That means you need to find a way to stand out. It’s not just enough to be a part of the trend, you need to bring something special to the table. Improve on what has already been done.
If you combine this with being able to quickly identify trends, and can implement it into your business at the right time, you are bound to find success.