Monthly Archives: December 2009


Why do we keep on talking about predicting trends? We can’t, and we may as well admit it.

Here’s a new way we could talk about them without looking stupid a year down the line, when we inexplicably aren’t living on the moon, or wearing tweed plusfours, or downshifting.

Instead of making predictions that they will happen, why can’t we recognise that they are either allowed to happen, or not. Why can’t we treat them as potential force instead. A force which brands (for example) can either release, or contain.

Take the “trend” towards hiring rather than ownership.

Actually what this is, is three converging potential energies:

– the desire to have more space and be less encumbered

– the realisation that you can have MORE stuff if you rent

– innovation in answering these desires

Tut still the trend may not happen. For every trend is an opposing force.

This one is people’s desire to own their own things. We know the behavioural economics: we value that which is ours higher than that which is not, and we go for immediate rather than delayed ownership (because it could all be taken away tomorrow).

As well as simply recognising those barriers, brands can remove them and thus bring trends into existence.

Or they can bring out products that predict trends, and fail.

Either way seeing trends as dynamic potential energy, rather than future states, has got to be a more helpful way of considering them…