At last week's Color Marketing Group conference I had the opportunity to hear Robyn
Waters, author of the Trendmaster’s Guide to the Universe, and a
12-year veteran VP for Target, speak on trendspotting. I have heard Robin speak before but this is a topic that I'm so immersed in that I never grow tired of hearing others talk about their approach.
While many individuals can spot trends not everyone can see how to turn a trend into a true business opportunities. Robyn has shown that she has the ability to take a trend she sees and turn it to cash and if you have any doubts just think back to the Target products of 15 years ago. What you can't think of anything memorable about the things you purchased 15 years ago at the store you now can't seem to get enough of? Then I hope you see my point.
Robyn takes a down-to-earth approach and squashes the notion that trendspotters are an elite group of uberhip individuals. She exudes enthusiam for the subject and for sharing strategies as to how anyone can learn to spot the next big thing.
"So....you want to spot the next big thing? Chances are you've already seen it. What you need to do is let yourself recognize it. Pur your antennae out, your periscope up, your scanner on high, and tune in to the little things, the trivial nuances, and the irrelevant data that everyone else misses. On its own, each tidbit is meaningless; strung together, thay are ahas waiting to be noticed." [from page 2, A is for Antennae, Trendmaster’s Guide to the Universe]
Even if you don't have the need or desire to spot trends Robin's tips can sharpen your awareness of the world around you and in a time when our senses are literally bombarded simply noticing what's right in front of you can often be challenging.
If you have an opportunity to see Robyn in person I recommend making time to do so and if not then grab a copy of the book. It's a quick read--45 minutes tops--but you may want to keep it out so that you can flip it open and reread a section to keep your trendspotting juices flowing.
If you need more than your own powers of observation to satisfy your thirst for consumer trend information I recommend trendwatching.com. I am one of their more than 8,000+ trend spotters that scan the globe for emerging consumer trends. You may want to sign up as a trendspotter or just to get their newsletter which brings the lastest trends directly to your inbox.
And for those more interested in starting the next big thing rather than simply spotting it sign up for springwise.com the sister publication to trendwatching.com that shares smart new business ideas, and delivers instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds from San Francisco to Singapore.
I hope you enjoy these resources. Until tomorrow I'm going to stop typing and get back to looking for --or better yet creating-- that next big thing. Cheers!