Could this be the next big – whoops, it’s already here!

March 4, 2010
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Spotting trends early-on is the ultimate challenge in marketing. It’s one of the tricks that demand chain management (DCM) solutions can do if they are fed with real-time sales data and leverage powerful analytical capabilities. What makes trend spotting so challenging is the fact that it only makes sense if you manage to do it in a relatively small time frame: the trend must be there but it mustn’t be obvious to everybody yet.

If you want to know what a trend looks like at an early stage, ask Magnus Lindkvist. He identifies trends for a living – in the old-fashioned way, actually walking the high streets and other places, watching people. Click here to see a perfect example from his website. The video demonstrates impressively the various stages in which a trend evolves…

Spotting trends early-on is the ultimate challenge in marketing. It’s one of the tricks that demand chain management (DCM) solutions can do if they are fed with real-time sales data and leverage powerful analytical capabilities. What makes trend spotting so challenging is the fact that it only makes sense if you manage to do it in a relatively small time frame: the trend must be there but it mustn’t be obvious to everybody yet.

If you want to know what a trend looks like at an early stage, ask Magnus Lindkvist. He identifies trends for a living – in the old-fashioned way, actually walking the high streets and other places, watching people. Click here to see a perfect example from his website. The video demonstrates impressively the various stages in which a trend evolves:

  • a trend is (usually) started a long time before you can tell whether it will ever become popular
  • a handful of “first movers” does not automatically mean that there will be a massive breakthrough (albeit it makes it more likely)
  • once there is a critical mass, the trend is self-sustaining and it attracts more and more attention from bystanders
  • once people start joining the existent “in-crowd” in larger numbers, it turns into a stampede as nobody wants to miss out

In the video, a successful trend spotter would have to predict the popularity of the dancing at some time between 0:55 and 1:30 (because afterwards, it really is obvious to everybody.) Not so easy, don’t you agree? Well, it’s retailers’ daily business. Economic uncertainty has made consumer demand extremely volatile, which means that retailers need to identify changes quicker than ever to take full advantage of their insights. We are sure that Magnus Lindkvist’s keynote at the Teradata Universe Conference in Berlin will spark some new ideas how to enrich the existing trend analyses in retail as well as in other industries.

 

Mario Bonardo