5 Traits of a True Trend

In the promotional products industry, knowing what’s trending can be an important competitive advantage. Being able to offer your clients the latest and greatest in tech, fashion, or design can help you set yourself apart from your competition and keep your business relevant with your customers. But how do you know what is a trend and what’s just a passing fad? Spotting trends is a complex process that requires both knowledge of the current market and predictive analytics. Here are 5 traits of a true trend that will help you discern what’s hot from what’s just another fad.

1. A True Trend is Reliable.

Trends are based on data, so it’s crucial that they are reliable. You can use tools like Exploding Topics to see historical Google search volume growth for a particular topic to assess whether it’s actually a long-term trend or just a temporary fad. It’s also important to consider the context in which a topic is popular to determine how sustainable it will be. For example, a trend may be driven by nostalgia for an earlier time period in pop culture that is cyclical and will likely return in the future.

2. A True Trend Has Broad Appeal.

A key difference between a novelty and a trend is that a novel has a narrow audience, while a true trend has almost unlimited applications. This is largely because of cost; novelties are often prohibitively expensive, while trends become cheaper and more reliable over time. For example, a new technology that uses the same basic materials as polyester, acrylic, and nylon can eventually lead to advancements such as CoolMax, Ultrex, and Ripstop.

3. A True Trend Is a Logical Progression of Existing Trends.

Most major trends are the result of a process known as “trend blending.” This occurs when multiple less significant trends merge together to form the next big thing. For example, e-tax filing is not a standalone technology; it’s just a natural extension of existing trends such as tax software and spreadsheet programs.

4. A True Trend Has Sustainable Value.

While a novelty might be fun or exciting, a true trend offers sustainable value for its consumer base. A good way to evaluate this is by looking at a trend’s longevity and how it meshes with other emerging trends. For example, a new fashion line might be considered on-trend if it’s made from organic cotton and aims to promote sustainability.

5. A True Trend Is a Viable Economic Model.

In the world of finance, trends are used to predict future stock prices. Traders can then buy into stocks that are expected to rise, sell short stocks that are expected to decline, or invest in a mix of both. This helps investors minimize their risk and maximize their returns.

Identifying and predicting trends takes knowledge of the current market, predictive analytics, and research. For this reason, it’s important to work with a reputable partner that can provide you with reliable data and insights.