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 trend spotting.
I have heard Robyn speak before, but this time she covered 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 opportunity. Robyn has shown that she has the ability to take a trend 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 that 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 trend spotters are an elite group of uber-hip individuals. She exudes enthusiasm 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. Put 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, they are waiting to be noticed.” [from page 2, A is for Antennae, Trendmaster’s Guide to the Universe]
If you have an opportunity to see Robyn in person, I recommend making time to do so, and if not, grab a copy of the book. It’s a quick read – 45 minutes tops – but it is gives you 26 ideas to get your trend spotting juices flowing.
This book does not offer in-depth information on how to take what you observe and translate it into revenue-generating products or services for your business, but is a pocket guide that will get you to think about where to look for the bits of information that can spark your next big idea.
Even if you don’t have the need or desire to spot trends, Robyn’s tips can sharpen your awareness of the world around you, and in a time when our senses are constantly bombarded, simply noticing what’s right in front of you can often be challenging.