We recently had a chance to pick Shelby Lee Walsh's brain. Shelby is President at TrendHunter and eats trends for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Here's what she told us:
In today's world, you can't just slap up a billboard or post an ad to YouTube and hope it resonates with consumers. "Immersive Branding" is something that Trend Hunter is now seeing as a necessity of all brands that want to stay relevant. Brand is now about captivating consumers through interactive experiences, creating a totally immersive branded experience.
Trend Hunter has seen Cadbury create a fictional land called "Joyville" in the middle of the mall (costing nearly $10 million) and we've also seen IKEA host dozens of peoples for in-store sleepovers.
Both Cadbury and IKEA understand that an immersive experience isn't about the people attending, it's about the attendees sharing their experience via social media and amplifying their brand message.
One of the most influential and impactful trends we've seen is "Instant Entrepreneurship."
This is the notion that making a business to serve a growing niche is becoming easier and easier as a bunch of products and services are being launched to help connected like-minded people with a single click (not to mention that it's easeier to fund these ventures with online platforms such as Kickstarter and RocketHub).
The digital age has revolutionized the accessibility of starting your own business and competiting with big brands.
Manufactured Addiction is a trend that Trend Hunter predicted would intensify for 2013.
We'd already been seeing signs that this was a trend growing in popularity in 2012. Daily deal sites, mobile apps for phones and real-time reward systems all became intensified in 2013, but Trend Hunter had the foresight (after all, it is what we hunt for every day) to utilize this trend a couple of years before it proliferated. We created several ways to gamify the work that people do here.
One of these included a giant projected dashboard on the front wall of our office that displayed the hottest articles that second, the site's traffic for the day and a green, yellow or red box displaying next to each writer's name.
The number of boxes indicated how many trends they hunted that day and the color indicated if their hunting time was fast, average or slow. This small change and experiment in the world of gamification resulted in a 150% increase in productivity from our writers.
Now their goals and progress was more visual, tactile and fun!
Shelby will be joining us at Foresight & Trends to share more on BEING A TREND HUNTER ' The Secrets to Spotting Clusters of Overlooked Opportunity.