Are you on trend? In the creative field, being on trend or staying ahead of the trend curve is something that needs to be constantly monitored. As designers of packaging, creators of TV ads and developers of Social Media initiatives, being on trend is a must.
… being on trend really means being next to the minute or slightly ahead of the curve. That takes talent … or does it?
We hear a lot about trending these days … we can thank Twitter for that! However being on trend and trend setting are completely different things. Of course, the concept of trend is still the same. Ultimately, it’s about what people are adopting. In other words, what’s the next big thing? What are people tweeting about most right now?
Within the creative field, being on trend really means being next to the minute or slightly ahead of the curve. That takes talent … or does it?
It’s not about talent, it’s about taking the time.
There’s a subtle difference between what is popular and what is on trend or trend setting. The ability to identify what is already passé is necessary in order to understand what’s next. How do you do that? It’s actually easy. It’s about turning habits into skills. It’s not about talent, it’s about taking the time.
- Read: Read a variety of things from a variety of sources – the more unrelated the better. Of course not everything you read will take flight. But accumulating knowledge is the first step needed before assimilating the information you gather.
- Surf the Net: Look at shops, (both online and bricks and mortar) to see what it out there. When you travel, even when you’re just out for a walk, look around. See what’s happening. Look at people, cars, colours and styles.
- Be Aware: Associate similarities across different categories (i.e., fashion, food, automotive, consumer electronics, leisure, etc.). It’s important. It allows you to connect the dots in order to see what “trend” is about to explode onto the scene.
It’s been my experience that a trend usually happens in one context. If it really catches on, it’s adopted and applied to a variety of contexts across different categories. Bamboo is a great example. Think back eight years, bamboo was a real ‘on trend’ material. Think about bamboo today. It’s definitely popular, but is it still on trend? Is it next to the minute or has it become passé?
What’s your experience with identifying trends? Let me know.