Re-cap of second session (4th April)
The second session was our first look at trends and how to predict them.
William Higham ran the session and gave us a real insight into his career as a ‘Trend Forecaster’.
William began his career working in music PR; top projects including organising communication campaigns for Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album. He then went on to run focus groups and online surveys for research into: Why some brands are bigger than others? And who buys what brand? This research was to try and understand the future and to set him up for his career predicting trends for large brands across all different industries from fashion to finance.
Brands hire the likes of William to understand their consumers. Customers’ needs change and brands need to keep on top of that to engage tomorrow’s consumer.
Trend: The direction of Change
Consumer Trend: A long-term change in behaviours
William then went on to outline the different types of trends:
- Behavioural (People now buy online)
- Attitudinal (Growth in fear e.g. the millennium bug)
- Macro (This is a large trend e.g. social media)
- Micro (A smaller trend, usually within a macro trend e.g. social TV is a micro trend within Social Media.)
- International (macro trend)
An example of a successful trend in a brand:
Rise of the Teenager
McDonalds restaurants recognised the rise of the teenager and targeted their brand towards them. They thought about how teenagers were driving around in their cars socially, and thought they could develop an idea where they could eat in their cars without having to leave. This was the birth of the first ever ‘Drive-thru’ and suddenly the McDonalds chain
We split into groups to try and recognise current trends within the arts, TV, film etc.
As a whole we noticed that a lot of trends right now are associated with the past e.g. re-creations of past films, vintage fashion, less futuristic designs and designs by hand.
We feel maybe this is because the future is uncertain and we feel safe looking back and re-using ideas from the past.
Recognising a trend
Anyone can recognise a trend. You can do this by looking at:
· Statistics and hard data
· Looking out for change in the media
The key change areas to look at are:
Once we have spotted a possible trend, we can measure how likely it is to grow from the following factors:
· Assistance Attributes
o Is it simple? Is it cheap?
· Need Attributes
o Does it provide status? Wealth? Peace of mind?
· Passive Drivers
o Is it a constant? Will it be a fad? Environmental factors.
Here are a few trends that William outlined that could be, or are currently coming about:
o Braining Up – Knowledge will be more important
o More to Life – There will be more focus on the non-materialistic
o Re-lux-ation – Comfort will be a great priority
o Super Consumer – Consumers will become savvier and better at seeking out and judging value.
Using the likes of these trends, in groups we suggested new ideas that could take place in the arts from these trends.
o Comfort in Art Galleries, libraries, cinemas: massage chairs, sofas etc.
o The future of the theatre – More active and engaging the audience, with fancy dress themes and real life theatre performance. Looking at pop-up theatre and the future of cinema.
Written By Abbey Duckett.