Trendspotting How-to's

January 1, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Trendspotting How-to’s

Yogi Berra once said that you can observe a lot just by watching. That might explain why there’s an entire industry dedicated to the practice of spotting trends. Ira Matathia, co-author of NextNow, offers a few guidelines on the art and science of it all:
Go global: Make sure you have a good set of antenna to monitor trends and make sure that your monitor is global. The United States is not the center of the trends world.
Look to other categories: “Influence comes from any number of directions. I don’t think there are hard lines between what is relevant to a marketer in one category versus another these days,” says Matathia. “Consumers tune in to what’s relevant, and what’s served up in a unique way, and tune out the rest. They don’t ‘consume’ marketing by category.”
Identify trends vs. fads: Beware a rapid rise in popularity (i.e., low-carb).
“A trend has an identifiable lifecycle: it’s born, it goes through adolescence, adulthood and old age. Durable trends, rather than dying, often morph/mutate, adapting to the culture,” says Matathia. “A fad has a ‘moment,’ and then it’s gone—which is why fads aren’t very useful to brands and marketers, who generally can’t move fast enough to capitalize.”
Embrace contradictions: Don’t get stymied by contradictions in your trend research. “Many trends do have a natural ‘yin and yang’ and opportunities often present themselves in that contradiction,” says Matathia. “Think about the tension of ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’, to understand how design may look ‘retro’, but [require] ‘innards’ [that are] state of the art.”
Look for meaning: Don’t be trendy for the sake of trend. You want “applied trend-watching,” where you’re turning a sighting into actionable intelligence. Matathia says, “You need to steer a trend in the direction that is most meaningful for your customer.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to BRAND PACKAGING Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

10th Annual Packaging That Sells Conference, Chicago, October 2012

Posted Date: October 29, 2013

BRANDPACKAGING’s packaging conference returned for a tenth year with a focus on a single message: Make It Matter.

Brand Packaging Magazine

brandpackaging cover story

July 2014

 The July 2014 issue features the latest on eye-tracking.  You can also read the issue at the Digital Editions.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Design Gallery Volume 11

Design Gallery Volume 11 is not just a study in good design. It’s a look at how packaging can successfully demonstrate structural and graphic innovation, make strong shelf impact, meet consumer, shopper and retailer needs and support and convey the brand story

More Products



facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.pnggoogle plus