Trend vs Trendy: How Strategists Know When to Jump On The Bandwagon

Trend vs Trendy: How Strategists Know When to Jump On The Bandwagon
SHARE
THIS



With data abound, it’s easy to tap into the latest craze, but how do we differentiate from what’s merely Trendy to what’s a true Trend? OMD’s Peita Pacey asks the question.

As strategists, our job first and foremost is to be a virtual soothsayer into a consumers world. Often asked by clients to help them identify relevant trends which they can tap into to ensure the future success and growth for their business. With data abound, we can these days tap into an extraordinary amount of information to keep us abreast of the “latest”. The latest craze, gadget, band, product or designer who is setting our consumers world alight, all in real time. It allows us to speak to our consumer in a relevant and engaging manner. But the real challenge is to be able to differentiate from what’s merely ‘trendy’ and what’s a true ‘trend’, and then applying that to our clients business.

So what is a trend anyway? According to Trendwatching.com (and they should know) “a consumer trend is a new manifestation among consumers – in behaviour, attitude, or expectation – of a fundamental human need, want or desire”.

A fad however is a more transient way in which to serve that underlying consumer need. As Bruce Cohen in Industry Voice defines it, “Fads are driven by an emotional need to purchase, based on hype and idealistic product perceptions”. It’s a quickly embraced, short-lived, enthusiastically followed behaviour of a mass population, and generally deemed ‘cool’.  They follow a typical lifecycle of insider discovery, media hysteria, and finally mainstream acceptance.

Trends have longevity and can fundamentally change the way a community works; their effects felt for years. Whereas fads can cross cultural borders with rapid uptake. Think gamification (trend) vs Pokemon (trendy). Think casualisation of formal fashion (trend) vs the platform sandal (trendy). Think binge drinking (trend) vs SubZero alcopop (revolting). Think pop music (trend and cultural shifter from the 1960s onwards) vs Justin Bieber (hopefully a short lived blight on the music landscape).

A great example which encompasses this is the phenomenon that is Tinder. The basic human need to belong, coupled with advances in technology has developed the ability to connect socially online. The trend we see is the expectation that these instant connections will spill over into our offline lives. Facebook was the first articulation of this which has then evolved into Tinder; a perfect example of a fad which allows this trend to be a part of our daily lives. What will come after Tinder we are yet to see but the one guarantee is that the basic human need to connect will continue as long as we do.

Another great example of a trend is peer to peer consumerism. Driven again by technology, and our basic human need for discovery and community, we see the success of businesses such as Kickstarter and Air BnB. If you think about it, the Trading Post was an early incarnation of this type of consumerism.

People often refer to Hipsters or Emos as being a trend. But for me, they are a fad based articulation of the trend of identification through individualisation, driven by the basic human desires for acceptance and community. Because afterall, we’ll still want to fit in once we get sick of the beards. Same way we did with tattoos and piercings back in the ’90s and noughties.

The question we should really be asking is how should trends be considered when it comes to a brand’s identity? Because really, authenticity (the key to success for any brand these days) comes from using a trend only when it fits in with a brands DNA. If a brand puts caring and wellbeing at the core of its DNA, then it would make sense to see how it could use the trend of connected objects within NPD strategy. Or if a brand puts innovation at its heart, why not tap into the trend of Pretail with the consumer desire to shop for products and services at concept stage?

So the next time your client asks you to find the next Loomband opportunity, try to identify what the real trend is that they could tap into to place their brand in the heart of your consumer, because no one really wants their legacy to be Justin Bieber.

Peita Pacey is a strategy director at OMD

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Image lead story UnLtd’s ‘Big Clash’ Raises Over $120K, With Media Owners & Media Agencies Crowned Champions
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

UnLtd’s ‘Big Clash’ Raises Over $120K, With Media Owners & Media Agencies Crowned Champions

With over 50 companies taking part, the fourth annual Big Clash cricket tournament has been the biggest yet, raising $124,000. The event once again brought the industry together for a great afternoon of cricket, drinks, music, and charity activations. This year, the event was expanded to have Media Owners, Media Agencies, Techies and Creatives all […]

SCA’s Profit Drops 21% Due To “Years Of Heavy Lifting”
  • Media

SCA’s Profit Drops 21% Due To “Years Of Heavy Lifting”

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has experienced a negative first half of the 2018 financial year, posting a dramatic drop in overall profit and a slight drop in revenue. The group’s net profit after tax fell 21.2 per cent to $48.5 million in the six months to 31 December 2017 (compared to the previous corresponding period), […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Lord Of The Fries Pays Homage To Kanye West & Kendrick Lamar In Clever Ads Via Milkman
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Lord Of The Fries Pays Homage To Kanye West & Kendrick Lamar In Clever Ads Via Milkman

Creative digital agency Milkman has helped Lord of the Fries (LOTF) pay homage to two of the fast food outlet’s favourite artists through a series of clever art poster adverts. Milkman re-created the latest album covers of Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar with a LOTR vibe to highlight the brand’s hip-hop roots and its favourite albums […]

Keep Left Wins PR Account For Greening Australia
  • Marketing

Keep Left Wins PR Account For Greening Australia

PR and content marketing agency Keep Left has been selected by proactive conservation organisation Greening Australia to raise public awareness of its flagship programs and national footprint. The relationship began in 2017 when Greening Australia engaged Keep Left in support of Reef Aid, a project launched with corporate partner Virgin Australia to improve water quality […]

Now Screen Repositions Organic Care Brand With New Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Now Screen Repositions Organic Care Brand With New Campaign

Aussie agency Now Screen has teamed up with Organic Care to reposition the brand in what has become one of the most competitive FMCG spaces. The new campaign, ‘Caring Comes Naturally’, celebrates what Organic Care has created since its inception: products that are as good for your body as they are for the environment. In […]

Can You Speak Data?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Can You Speak Data?

We're certainly fluent in gibberish, balderdash and claptrap here at B&T, but sadly data isn't part of the lexicon.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath

B&T has partnered with UnLtd to showcase industry heroes! Well, it's arguably more heroine in the case of Emma Heath.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve
  • Advertising
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve

Unlike B&T's mystery office farter, this columnist argues ad fraud is a problem that can possibly be solved.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years

In this opinion piece, Gavin McDonough (pictured above, co-founder and managing partner of Urban, shares through his own experience some valuable advice for independent specialist agencies. In November 2017, my brother Ryan and I celebrated 15 years in business. We started business out of my front room in Melbourne in 2002 – not with any grand […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges
  • Advertising

W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges

Susan Hoffman, co-chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy (W+K), has been appointed chair of judges for the 39th AWARD Awards. Known to challenge the status quo, Hoffman is behind some of W+K’s most memorable and game-changing ads, including Nike’s ‘Revolution’, Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and Chrysler’s Super Bowl spots starring Eminem and Clint […]

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers
  • Marketing

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers

Leading experiential marketing agency, Kreate Australia is embarking on an exciting growth strategy following its purchase by three of the agency’s existing management team from its UK founder, Steve Evans.

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!

This is a clarion call for B&T 30 Under 30 entries, although it's probably more mariachi band than angelic harbinger.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast
  • Media

The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast

Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network has announced that rising radio star and comedian Tanya Hennessy will take over hosting duties for its weekend breakfast slot in 2018. Hennessy will bring content to the airwaves each Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am to 9am with a regular rotation of guest co-hosts. The self-described talker, not walker […]

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients
  • Marketing

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients

Health, wellbeing and lifestyle PR agency Straight Up PR has welcomed Changing Habits, Unichi Wellness, enerGi, SleepX, and Healthie Hampers to its client portfolio. Straight Up PR’s projects will include bespoke PR services and influencer marketing packages specifically focusing on communications strategy and execution, media and influencer relations, PR launch events, product seeding and gifting, […]

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia

Independent creative agency March One has developed a new fundraising event for White Ribbon Australia that turns a social moment into a social movement. Starting on Thursday 22 March and going until Sunday 25 March, Cheese for Change will ask Aussies to create a cheese platter that matters by gathering friends, family or co-workers together […]

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced
  • Marketing

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced

The winners of IGN Australia’s sixth annual Select Awards were revealed during a huge special event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on Friday, February 16. Some 225 Media & Game Publishers alongside 320 IGN Community Gamers attended the annual event. 2017 was absolutely crammed with terrific games and several categories were extremely tightly-contested. The top […]

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!

When it comes to an industry "who's who", you'll find there won't be too much who-ing with this impressionable lot.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs
  • Marketing

ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs

Mardi Gras is only weeks away and B&T has already hoisted the mirror ball and donned the hotpants to bring you this.