As the fashion industry evolves, so does the way we look at trends. Trend forecasters used to discover trends by traveling to fashion capitals around the world and gathering insights. But as technology has given consumers 24/7 access to the industry, the way we predict and find trends has changed.
Luckily, Wendy Bendoni, Trend Scientist and Professor of Fashion Marketing at Woodbury University, joined us at the MAGIC Seminar Series to share her tips for spotting trends in today’s market. See how you can incorporate her insights into your business strategy and future proof your brand below.
- FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CONSUMER IS GETTING INSPIRED. As Wendy says, “Americans check their phones about 80 times a day and the average consumer checks their phone about every 12 minutes.” In today’s market, phones are where people are finding information—and inspiration. That means the internet is a great place to find trends, and sell them.
- LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN ABOUT YOUR CONSUMERS' PSYCHOGRAPHICS. Now that you know your audience is likely interacting online, it’s time to get specific. Marketers are often concerned with knowing their demographic but it’s so important to go deeper and understand your psychographic. Find out what your audience is listening to, the social media apps they frequent, the influencers they follow, and the videos they’re sharing. Understanding how your consumer thinks will give you great insight into what they want to wear now and in the future.
- BE REACTIVE. The speed to market has changed. People used to watch runway shows and wait months to get a design. Today’s audience wants it now, especially the millennial consumer. As Wendy says, “They may see a piece that they want, and I assure you none of them are saying ‘I can’t wait for 6 months to get that.’”
- FOCUS ON THE CONVERSION. “The consumer has an 8-second attention span. To measure that against anything, a goldfish has a 9-second attention span. So, it’s a hard thing to get someone’s attention. And with the oversharing it’s really, really easy to get lost in the shuffle,” says Wendy. So how do you cut through the noise and drive sales? With engaging, high-quality content.
- UNDERSTAND VISUAL CONSUMPTION. Today’s audience is visual and that means your visuals must connect with them. The consumer used to like real, unedited photos, but that trend has changed. Now it’s all about filtered, awe-inspiring images. It’s imperative to understand the kind of visuals your audience likes so you can create relevant videos, photos, and content to captivate them and increase sales.
- UTILIZE THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY. Nowadays, there are endless opportunities to use tech to spot trends or maximize exposure for your brand. Visual recognition apps are tripling, giving brands and retailers an exciting new way for shoppers to find their product. Polyvore has a free resource called Polydata where they pinpoint what’s trending on their site and why, based on their algorithm. No matter the modality, stay up to date on what’s happening in tech and how it can benefit you and your audience.
- HEAR THE COLLECTIVE VOICE. The hyper-connected consumer is very much driven by what everyone else is doing. It’s why social media posts that have a lot of likes, tend to get more likes: people are simply doing what other people are doing. “Without even knowing it, your consumer is being programmed: what they’re going to like, what they’re going to buy through this collective voice,” says Wendy. The good news is, you can find this collective voice online. Follow your relevant hashtags on Instagram and learn what your target demographic is liking, sharing and saying. From here you’ll be able to speak their language, and sell them the products they want now—and in the future.