It’s difficult to stay on trend today. Within minutes of an event it’s viral. Next week it’s old news. And it’s not hard to predict. I can safely predict today that by the time you read this blog Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke will be replaced by another event that’s just as newsworthy.
And there’s no greater sure death for any marketing or advertising campaign than being out of date. Like I said it’s not easy to stay on trend. It’s not all bad. We do have some advantage in that we can easily and quickly update our sites and tweet the latest.
But, not every project or campaign can enjoy the velocity of the web. Design takes time. Printing takes time. Radio takes time. Photography takes time. So many aspects of marketing and advertising take time to produce no matter how fast we work.
But there are a few simple strategies that can help you keep on top and stay on trend.
Stay on trend with the classics
There’s a reason something is classic. A classic has stood the test of time and still comes up winning. It’s not simply because it’s a favourite. A classic implies continuance and consistency while at the same time adapting to our conventional point of view.
You can’t get older than ancient Greece. Well yes you can, but you have to agree ancient is pretty old. And you wouldn’t really think that staying on trend would mean stealing from the Greeks. Or would you?
Who could be more on trend than Nike? Yet, Nike chose its name from Greek mythology. Nike is the goddess of victory. A “classic” example where a brand has reached into the past and adapted it to fit the modern market.
We all know Amazon.com and Mars candy bars. The Apollo Theatre is a famous music theatre in New York. And I’m not going to even talk about Trojan.
Stay on trend with old ideas
There are times where an idea didn’t work. It wasn’t a bad idea but it didn’t work during that particular moment. Hang onto these ideas. Next time when you want to jump on trend, resurrect those ideas. You are already ahead of the game. You can capitalize on the time you saved and jump that much faster on trend.
Stay on trend by pulling from the past
Radio and TV and other media outlets create material ahead of time on news that hasn’t happened yet. This allows them to stay on trend and be current. They pull information from the past and use it to provide content to complement upcoming news. For example, there was lots of background material that made it easy to prepare fill in for William and Kate before the birth of Prince George.
And when you take it one step farther, it was easy to prepare two versions of the event. Boy or girl? People want to know what happens to lineage based on the sex of the baby. Easy to prepare ahead of time. As soon as the birth is announced up pops material that was already prepared.
Stay on trend with Mark Twain
There’s no argument that staying on trend means understanding your target market. That’s where your professional ability comes into play. But when staying on trend is getting your frazzled, there is some pleasure in Mark Twain thoughts on the subject.
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”