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 In ae-ideas, SXSW

Trends are all around us and they are always developing. Now that social media has hit critical mass around the world, trends move even faster. Most people today confuse trends for fads. Like fidget spinners – trend or fad? While fads may not be that important, trends are extremely important for brands to track and plan for in order to capitalize on them. This SXSW session talked about when trends are important to take note of and how they shape our culture from a broader perspective which affects products, people, experiences and even the viability of careers.

What can Create a Trend

SXSW Anatomy of a Trend

In short, anything can create a trend. The financial crisis in 2007-2008 lead to a number of trends such as fast casual dining, stealth wealth, and artisanal culture to name a few. Politics, science, technology are huge drivers of trends. Silicone Valley has a tremendous amount of impact on the latter. After Brexit, over 1 million youths in the U.K. registered to vote. If you don’t think that fact alone will start to affect purchase behaviors, you’re wrong.

The Trend Wave

Everyone should be mostly familiar with a trend wave. There are innovators and early adopters, then a trend moves from early majority to late majority and eventually into ubiquity. The most important part of the trend wave is the early majority phase. This is when a trend starts to be talked about and noticed by most people. It’s very likely the trend is covered in the news at this point. It’s in this early majority phase that decides the fate of the trend. It will either continue in the trend wave as normal, or simply fall off a cliff into oblivion.

2 Years is the Sweet Spot

Most designers and businesses start planning for a trend 2 years in advance. If you’re rolling out a product or service there are many things to consider such as the supply chain, logistics, the physical space where you’ll sell a product or service, etc. While 2 years is the sweet spot to start planning, the initial rumblings of a trend can be spotted 10 years out and then 5 years out there will start to be data that will either validate or invalidate that trend. For the trends that are validated, start planning immediately.

The Global Drivers for 2020

5G networks rolling out in the U.S. this year and Europe next year, will start to have a huge impact on our buying behaviors in 2020. Mobile is already here and very important, but with faster wireless networks people will be able to do more, faster in the near future. Silicon Valley will also have a huge impact on this through our mobile devices. As marketers we not only need mobile experiences, but we need fast mobile experiences that provide value to our consumers and clients.

This session covered so much information about trends leading into the next decade. Like, hiking is the new yoga and many more. They even covered 3 emerging customer personas that will be coming to the forefront in the next few years. If you want to talk to us more about upcoming trends in digital marketing and beyond, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to have a chat.

Check out this piece from SXSW 2018 about Artificial Intelligence!

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