Trends and insights indicate as to where your brand currently is and ideally where it should be. They are used to guide your decision making and help in the formulation of the strategy until the whole picture evolves.
The trend can be best described as the general direction such as consumer buying behaviour is developing and is changing, it therefore has no beginning and has no end as it provides indicators in the development of the brand.
Trends are driven by attributes such as a specific look, a lifestyle, a colour, fabric, style, a shape or innovation. It is crucial that a trend is accepted by the target customer in that they need to understand and embrace the trend as well as the fact that the style can be adapted for mass appeal. The trend must be able to be accommodated in the existing price structure and have an acceptable amount of risk that will blend into the overall range. It is therefore really important that to minimise the risk that the trends have to be identified as those that have staying power and have the potential of becoming profitable and that the strategy can be adapted in order that they are in accordance with emerging trend data so as to match the customers’ needs , wants and desires.
It is important to note that trends are not necessarily continually on an increment, some explode and become relevant while others disappear. They are also not created in isolation as they are influenced by social and environmental factors which will have an effect on various industries, individuals, companies’ products and services which makes the harvesting of accurate data paramount.
An insight differs in that it comprises of accurate understanding and intuitive analysis of the person or thing that is served. In other words it is the “why”, and ‘what if” and so it therefore depends on creative thinking and analysis.
There is often confusion in the distinction as to what is a trend and that which is a fad. To distinguish between the two, a trend is a popular general direction which takes longer to build than a fad and lasts longer for which there is a bigger demand. The fad generally has a smaller demand and seldom migrates into the mainstream and characteristically generates a very high rate of interest for a very short period of time and is often just a flash in the pan. To draw a comparison belted waists for dresses may be seen as a trend for an entire season or longer but “oncies” all in one fleece garments for men were a fad that did not last very long.
It is therefore understandable that the implementation of trends, insights and fads can be considerably complex but eventually the objective through the integration of the three elements is to through being innovation and steady management to provide a nimble, agile and flexible business plans, marketing strategies, brand development, and organisational structures within a constantly changing operational environment.