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Steve Isenberg

To Trend or Not to Trend?

Posted on: November 8, 2018

By: Steve Isenberg

Trends come and go so fast it’s like trying to monitor a cluster of spinning tops. While some are taking off, others are slowing to a wobble. Few enjoy a genuinely sustained period of intense spinning. That doesn’t mean they aren’t cool to watch. It’s just hard to predict how long anyone top can maintain adequate speed to stay upright.

Just like it’s tough to know how long a hot new trend will remain hot. Long enough for your company to hop on board and net a profit? Or just long enough for your investment to evaporate because the steam leaked out like a pin-pricked balloon immediately after your feet landed on deck.

The one thing we can say for sure is that trends are unpredictable. They may spring up overnight and slip away the same way. Those considered least likely to have a lasting impact sometimes leave predicters shaking their heads in awe. Other trends pegged as a “sure thing,” slink away in the night, never to be heard from again.

So, what’s a business to do? How should organizations respond?

Of course, there’s the ALWAYS approach or the NEVER approach. As in always jump in with both feet at the first whisperings of something new, with no exploring past the hype or even a second spent on research. OR a vow to never, ever even lean in the direction of a trendy anything no matter how promising it seems or how well it’s working for others.

Here’s the thing. There’s a difference between catching some positive attention by riding the fringes of a trendy wave and sinking everything into what promises (maybe) to be a sure thing but, of course, could end up in the we-knew-it-was-too-good-to-be-true column. Recognizing that difference is the key to navigating the world of trends.

Base an entire, wide-reaching, long-term ad campaign on the latest, greatest thing? Or base one portion or element of a more immediate campaign on the newest, hottest trendsetter. Sure, get some mileage from the slick new whatever-it-is, but to throw all your eggs in the basket of the latest fad? Not the wisest move. Oh, it could work, could even be big in a positive way. But it could also be huge in a devastating way. If risk-taking is your thing, and even the slim possibility of a huge pay-off has you chomping at the bit, then go in with your eyes open. At the first hint of things heading south, have a plan in place to move forward, to minimize the damage/loss of revenue.

The best bet is to keep tabs on what’s trending through sites like Trend Watching. Research the origins, study early results, seek advice, opinions, and feedback from colleagues. Try to strike a balance between ignoring anything trendy and throwing caution to the wind. Instead of ALWAYS or NEVER, how about SOMETIMES and WITH CAUTION.

The answer to the question in the title? Sometimes yes and sometimes yes.

ASJ Partners has their finger on the pulse of the marketing world, so they can advise clients on the best strategies for creating and maintaining a strong presence in the world of staffing. Contact their team so your team can stand out amongst the competition.


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