How to Predict Trends Before They Happen

by G.B. Oliver

★ THIS BLOG POST  MADE THE NY TIMES – THIS WEEK IN SMALL BUSINESS

In December, Pantone chose Emerald Green to be its color of the year. Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that the movie, Oz, the Great and Powerful was coming out in spring, in which Emerald Green plays a large part in the story? Just how much does pop culture influence trends in fashion and other types of product categories, such as Home, Wedding, Kids and Lifestyle. (Please also see my post, Product Trends for 2013).

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When the Great Gatsby movie was scheduled to come out last fall (it has been delayed to this spring), the 1920s vintage trend starting showing up in early 2012. That was also helped along by the movie The Artist, another 1920s period film, which won the Academy award for best film in 2012 and television shows like Downtown Abbey.

If you were wondering why baroque styles came back into fashion two years ago and has stayed, you just had to look at the movies Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Anna Karenina (2012), Mirror Mirror (2012), Lincoln (2012) Jane Eyre (2011) and Alice in Wonderland (2010) to see the influence.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is obviously focused on Smaug the dragon and the new, very popular trailer for Game of Thrones also features a dragon. So does this mean that dragons will be one of the creatures of choice in 2013/2014?

What about human-type monsters? Remember how popular vampires have been the last few years? Well that looks to be overtaken by zombies, thanks to movies like ParaNorman, the upcoming movie, World War Z and the popular TV show, The Walking Dead.

Books are an influence as well. Studs and spikes are showing up in both fashion, jewelry and home decor, citing a definite 50 Shades of Grey influence.

So if you want to get in on a trend before it starts, keep an eye on the things in pop culture that influence us – movies, books, television, music, world events, technology, and see what commonality you can find.

FINAL WORD: While trends don’t have a long shelf life, they do help to get you publicity (because editors only want to write about what everyone is talking about) and publicity gets people into your shop to check out what else you offer.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

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