How I write trends pieces


rainroomIt’s that time of year again, time to prepare the Imagination Experiential Trends for the coming year. This year I thought I would share how we decide what the trends are that we need to share and how we carve out a distinctive space in a crowded market.

I have four rules for creating valuable trend pieces.

 

  1. First – and I hate to tell you this – but you need to collect examples of thinking and developments throughout the year. I start in January. (I got the idea from Rohit Bhargava, who is expert at mining immediate futures. He actually has a set of habits for trend curators and recommends this note-taking process.) We keep an internal document, but if you are interested in the kind of things we collect you can follow us all year at Brilliant Experiences on Flipboard.
  2. Second, collect and curate the delightful, new, unique AND make a note of common things that seem to come up time and again. You need to make connections between the two to really work out where trends are coming from.
  3. Third, carve out your own particular space, make it relevant to your agency or yuor agency’s business vision. We focus on trends in the experiential space, because we are an experiential agency. Trends are two-a-penny at this time of year, so if you want to provide value to clients and cut through all the chatter you have to find a point of difference.
  4. Fourth, tie your immediate future trends into longer term mega-trends. Mega-trends are longer term movements in attitudes, identities and it’s helpful for clients and the wider world to understand the context of the trends you identify. That way they get an idea of how long a trend might last or if it fits into their own planning and visioning. It also adds to the understanding that your trend really is a trend and not a fad.

Trend predictions are an inexact science but just thinking about futures means you provide extra value to clients and the rest of your agency, by making sure you move just ahead of where customers are, instead of playing catch up. Plus it generates great creative and it’s incredibly inspiring.