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Trends and fads are both things we all experience once every few years. Whether that is in the form of fashion, technology or music, trends and fads shape the way we perceive a certain brand or how we identify. They are a part of everyday life and we experience different trends and fads without even knowing it most of the time. Did you dress the same today as you did five or ten years ago? Listen to the same music? Use the same technology? It is interesting to reflect on how things have changed, and what was once thought to be a fad (or ‘gimmick’) becomes something that has become so intrinsically linked to our everyday life
Trends are what we experience when something changes are evolves along a specific (sometimes predictable) path, while fads tends to be more fleeting in their existence, here one day, gone the next. Before I go any further, let us take a look at the definition of both, according to Google.
trend – noun
a general direction in which something is developing or changing.
“an upward trend in sales and profit margins”
fad – noun
an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived; a craze.
“some regard green politics as no more than the latest fad”
So how do we tell the difference between a trend and a fad? This is the interesting part. Sometimes it follows a logical progression, and sometimes you can gauge what will be a fad based on the current market landscape. It is also worth noting that it is not always an exact science, some things that started off as fads have evolved into being trends and even become completely normal over time. (See touch based keyboards)
In order to identify a trend in involves a certain amount of vision and creative thinking, a keen eye on your product or service and how the market is reacting to it.
Let’s look at an example: You are part of a start-up tech company that specializes in retro style hardware and you are selling products more and more each month, this would be known as ‘trending’ in the right direction and that would be considered an upward trend, as per our definition above.
Using the same analogy, if your sales were stagnating every month but saw a big sales spike in October during a time when everyone was buying old mechanical keyboards for a few weeks, that can be clearly defined as a fad, and you would not likely see the same level of sales sustained over a long period of time.
Trends and fads are remarkably difficult to identify before they happen, easy to identify while they are happening, and blatantly obvious after they have happened. This is a never-ending cycle and it will always go exactly like this. Leveraging these trends as early in this cycle as possible is the key to understanding them, and will help you expand your business and get a leg up on your competition.Back Home