Good day our RéanArtists' companions!
In an ever growing digital era, we RéanArtists know the importance of staying on the cutting edge is only ever-growing. Pop culture has in part given way to internet culture, and the churning of new thoughts, ideas, and trends is growing faster and faster. In this climate, the concept of Trend Forecasting has never been more timely. Forecasting is used in almost every aspect of business today, yet somehow still maintains a status on the down-low in the grand strata of known marketing strategy.
How does Trend Forecasting work?
In order to find the ‘Next Big Thing”, a trend forecaster has to look through known consumer behavior in order to find a thread of common thought that could spawn the latest trend. This, of course, takes a skilled eye and more than a bit of imagination. Once a trend has been identified, the forecasters begin to track it through its lifecycle by looking at other factors, such as identified market research, previous trends, and research into underground subcultures. This provides the researchers with an idea of how long the trend might last based on the history of similar trends in the past.
One of the biggest areas that has influenced Trend Forecasting especially in the fashion industry is the growth of streaming live catwalk shows, a practice popularized by Burberry and their cutting-edge Social Media Marketers. This practice, allowing customers to purchase directly off of the runway instead of waiting for products from a given collection to show up in stores, allowed for big growth in the forecasting industry because it forced the fashion industry to have a turnaround on a given set of trends from a particular collection of a few weeks instead of several months.
Who Does Trend Forecasting?
One of the premiere companies that does Trend Forecasting, especially in the sphere of fashion and fashion merchandising is WGSN. Companies come to WGSN not because they can’t spot the trends themselves, but rather because WGSN gives them data to back up their hunches of what is going to be in this next season. While that might seem a little flimsy a reason for a company to spend thousands of pounds, it makes more sense when you consider that a serious misstep to a fashion brand could not only cost them sales for that season, but also impact how their brand is seen for a while after. Trend Forecasting is insurance: it keeps a brand from falling behind in the public perception because it allows brands to stay a step ahead of the game.
A different approach to Trend Forecasting than WGSN is the Tribe mentality of The Future Laboratory. Instead of aggregating data en masse about consumer behavior, The Future Laboratory finds pockets of society that they divide into so-called “Tribes.” These Tribes provide patterns of consumerism in specific markets, which can be incredibly helpful to companies that know their target client. Trend Forecasting within these Tribes can read a bit like listening to a description of different cliques in your high school: the feeling that you know someone like a “New Millennial” or “DIY Foodie” or “Yama Girl” runs very strong because their predictions are so on the nose. This is the power of Trend Forecasting: that it gives a company a road map of what their client exactly wants.
We, at RéanArt, know how important it is to be on the cutting edge of things, and so we want to help you create new trends, ideas, and images so that you can appeal to your ideal client the way that you want to. Image is everything, and with the right tools, your image can say more “Next Big Thing” rather than “Been Done Already.”
Which Tribe do you feel you represent? Start the discussion with us on our social media channels and get involved!