How to... spot trends

In this issue we have provided you with more trends than you can shake a stick at. But how can you tell the difference between fads and genuine trends? Here's how to follow relevant websites and trends - before it's too late.

Identify the opportunity. It might seem like only fashion designers or those who work for Apple have the ability to spot trends early on. The trick is not to focus on how you can set trends but, rather, on how you can identify them, apply them to your business and take them to the next level.

Look outside your business. If you want to predict the next big thing, take a look at what is happening outside your sector (fashion and technology, for example, are traditionally the two biggest sectors when it comes to setting trends, see point above). There isn’t too much that you can learn from an area that (it is hoped) you know inside-out already, so look further afield for inspiration.

Follow relevant website and blogs. Trendwatching, Trendhunter… if you want to get information on the "latest" trends, you don’t have to go far to get it. But be selective – with the hundreds of websites all claiming to predict the latest trends, you could spend most of your time following them, rather than doing something about it.

Use and exploit social media. Track what your "friends", customers and competitors are tweeting and posting about, or updating their statuses with, and check out shared links. This will give you an idea of what people are discussing, thinking about or working on – in other words, potential new trends.

Don’t believe everything you read. There’s no hard and fast rule for forecasting trends. Much of it can be self-fulfilling or down to intuition, and your next big idea could prove to be that little bit too early or just a passing fad. Nor does it always pay to be the first mover – what matters is being fastest when it comes to delivering to your customers.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Microsoft profits boosted by cloud computing drive
Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers