By the time you read this, it’s already too late.
No, you don’t need to hurry out to try to save the planet from disaster (although you might want to consider recycling a little more and maybe conserving fuel).
We’re talking about trends – what’s trendy at the moment, according to journalists and publications, is probably on its way out. This isn’t a backhanded slap at our friends in the media, it’s simply an acknowledgement about how fast trends move today in this increasingly rapid-paced global economy.
And it’s not just trends themselves, it’s the word trend. Tracking trends is a lifeblood for millions of Americans involved in market research, product planning and, of course, marketing and public relations. But by the time a trend makes its way into the media, you’ve probably already seen examples of it on every corner in the country’s trendiest cities, let alone its sleepiest burbs.
We’ve obsessed over trends forever; from following the fashion styles set by royalty to seeing what’s hot on Twitter or Facebook, consumers the world over are positively trend-manic. With the power of social media and Internet journalism, staying trend-setting is even harder than ever. No trend-leader can emerge long enough to stay on top, so the masses follow whatever works to gain popularity the fastest.
Twitter users can stay on top of what’s trending every minute of every day by checking out the moment’s top tweets, while Google keeps tabs on what people are searching.
This matters to us because we can help manipulate trends, even if their staying power is only for a few minutes. Last fall, Ford simultaneously unveiled its 2011 Ford Explorer SUV at events held in major cities across the country – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington, D.C.
By inviting some of the most-connected journalists, Tweeters, social media gurus and even the old faithful print scribes, Ford helped make “2011 Ford Explorer” the most-searched term on Google all day. That consumer interest translated into sales just a few months later – the redesigned Explorer has seen demand more than triple over the last few months compared to the outgoing model. While a vastly improved product helped keep the nameplate more relevant to the marketplace as a whole, Ford’s dynamic debut made the Explorer a trendy item months before it officially went on sale.
Perhaps the trendiest trend at the moment is simply watching what’s trendy. It’s people watching in a digital world.