Blog

Spot the difference between a trend and a fad

You only have to type the word ‘marketing’ into a search engine for all the latest trends in the business to pop up and vie for your attention. While some are genuine ideas to take advantage of while they’re fresh and relevant, others are just fads, regurgitated by people who actually know little about the marketing climate, and are simply putting their ideas out there.

Trends and fads

Image credit: FTAdviser.com

Spotting the difference can be tricky. Fads crop up out of nowhere you see, usually from a seemingly reputable source, and all it takes is one or two people to spread the word on the right platforms, and suddenly everyone is raving about a trend that actually hasn’t taken off at all and never will. Education will save you a lot of bother in this area. How do you tell the difference between a genuine trend in marketing, and a fad?

Follow the right websites

Keep an active eye on the most relevant and reliable blogs and websites on the subject, because they will do a lot of the Trend Searching for you. You’re allowed to be and should be selective about the websites you keep tabs on, because there are hundreds of websites claiming they can predict the future, that they have the lowdown, when actually they can predict a trend about as well as Mystic Meg can predict ‘great things for you’. Vague and pointless generalisations are to be avoided, with factual and resourceful pages in their place.

I read it so it must be true

Putting an idea down in writing is not basis for its reliability. A random blogger could write an entire post about future trends that will absolutely take off next year, but it doesn’t mean they are telling the truth, or have any evidence to back up their claims. I could write an article about the possibilities of time travel, and did you now that the dinosaurs are not extinct? Turns out they’ve been living in a cave on the other side of Peru all this time. Who knew? Don’t believe everything you read, because a person’s supposed intuition could prove to be next year’s proven fad.

Keep an eye on people

We’re not suggesting you peep through your neighbours curtains. Keep tabs on your friends, the customers you interact with and your main competitors through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram. Wow, there’s a lot of ways to view people’s online habits these days. Keep it simple and pay attention to the tweets they send, the status updates, videos they link you to and the latest topics in discussion. You’re more likely to spot a potential trend, if you’re continually in the know.

Broaden your view

Trends don’t necessarily begin in your business sector. Let’s say you work in recruitment, the fashion sector isn’t necessarily the first place you’d look for the next trends in recruitment advertising and marketing, but you might be surprised how many trends which catch on initially start in the fashion and technology sectors. If nothing else, a look elsewhere might give you inspiration.