Stop Trying To Make Every Trend Happen

By: Taryn Dunn

Trends — may they be in the world of social media or fashion — have a major impact, like Anna Wintour has the power to create or destroy someone’s career.

Before we discuss the importance of how a trend can affect a business or a person’s interaction with its audience on social media, what is a trend? A trend is an idea that takes a particular direction. For example, everyone knows fashion and its trends. Everyone wants to participate in them to be “in,” but they probably shouldn’t. Some fashions trends include cat-eye sunglasses, denim on denim, and mom jeans.

Gif Credit: The Smoke Detector

But why are trends so important to businesses? (Just think of the paramount September issue of Vogue!) The answer is simple: to help market yourself or your company. More specifically, engaging with trends can help create a conversation with the company’s target audience. Trends will allow a business to connect on a human level and gain a follower’s trust. Not only will the business gain more insight into their audience, but engaging with trends will also garner more attention. Followers will be able to understand the company’s personality.

Not so fast there — just because you may understand the importance of a trend does not mean you have the tools to execute it! Trends can be fresh and exciting, but they are not for every brand. Yes, social media is used to engage, but the life expectancy of a tweet is only 6 minutes long. You have to create original content that your audience would want to engage with. For a company to use a trend successfully, they have to relate it back to their audience. If your audience is not talking about it, you probably shouldn’t be either.

 

Gif Credit: Packito001 Giphy

Attention, attention! Almost done. The whole point of connecting the fashion world to the trending world is to help any business or person realize that nothing is too far out of reach. With a clear goal and purpose of what a company needs and wants on social media tied into what a follower wants and who they are, a successful trend can happen. Audience and content are the holy grail. I hate to recycle an old cliché, but it’s true — keep your eyes on the prize. If a company remembers who they are and who and what their audiences want, then no trend or hashtag will ever be too death-defining. Even President Trump would benefit from taking some notes on this post.

Just like Fashion, trends will come and go like the Kardashians’ selfies, but followers and business will stay the same. With every fashion season comes something different, but designers like Tom Ford and Gucci stay relevant because they understand not only their company, but their consumers as well.


Twitter: @thetaryndunn

Instagram: @thetaryndunn

 

This Article Has 10 Comments
  1. Audrey Marlatt says:

    I find this and trends in general so interesting. Like how does a trend become a trend? Who decides if that something is cool? For example, out of the realm of clothes and in to something more like music and dance. Why in the world did the whip or the dab become a trend? I love how you touch on trending things are what companies want to try and connect with in order to start conversations and connect on a different level with their consumers. Granted, I also enjoyed your point about sticking to your guns and remaining who you are as a brand or company and not succumbing to some weird trend or something that is supposedly cool for the next couple of days.

  2. I ask myself the same questions as Audrey. Who decides what gets to become a trend? Does someone just try something new and see if others will copy? Trends have always been so interesting to me. I remember senior year in high school my close friend was wearing Birkenstocks and I was so confused as to why she was wearing such ugly shoes. A year later Birkenstocks became a huge trend (and of course I have a pair of my own). You also make a great point about how not all trends are meant for every company or brand. I think this is a very important point because the trend might not fit your brands goals, aesthetic or target audience.

  3. Kenden Blake says:

    Great post! Trends can be a huge issue for brands in social media, especially in today’s landscape with a new trend seemingly going viral every week. Often times, brands can stretch themselves too thin and dilute their image by hopping on every popular trend. Authenticity to the consumer is key as you pointed out. Instead of following trends, the best brands stay true to who they are and what they stand for.

  4. Jordyn Volk says:

    I love the way you related trends for all businesses to the fashion industry. Great analogy! Brands really have to work to find a good balance between keeping up with the culture around them, but staying genuine and authentic to the voice they’ve created. Knowing what your audience is the most powerful tool any brand can use.

  5. Sophia Meyer says:

    I agree that it’s important for companies to pay attention to today’s trends and stay up to date with what’s considered “popular.” I do think it is different for every business though, and it is more important for a business to stay on brand, rather than mold to what they think is trendy at the moment. If the trend is something that is popular with their target consumers and it aligns with their brand’s image and values, then yes I would advise they try and implement that trend into their PR/ marketing strategy. If it isn’t directly related to your brand or your publics, however, I’d shy away from it.

  6. Grieta King says:

    Awesome post and idea Taryn! I really like how you looked at trends and how brands respond to them because that is one of the most important messages a brand can send to its consumers. Like you said, it is important for brands to remain authentic and within line of their own ideals. However, if trends are all over the place, what can a brand do to connect? Should they be trying to make connections, or sit back and wait for the trend to pass? It’s a little bit of both. I agree with your point that if a brand’s consumers aren’t talking about, looking at it, or thinking about it, the best move for the brand would be to stay out of it. If there is interest and conversation surrounding a trend, and that voice is coming from a brand’s consumers, it will hurt that brand to not make a connection with their consumers. If that brand isn’t connecting, another brand will take the opportunity. Trends can be long lived or over within hours, so it is more important that brands weigh the possible outcomes of making a connection or claim.

  7. Keeley O'Dougherty says:

    This is an awesome post. It seems that when companies get too involved in trends, their success is less sustainable and it is easier to find themselves in controversies. I greatly enjoyed reading your commentary on the topic.

  8. Emily Soury says:

    Love this post! It’s so relevant in today’s society. Social media plays such a huge role in people’s lives, and because of this, it’s so important for companies to keep up with whats “in,” aka trends. Although it is easy for a company to fall into the trap of “what the crowd wants”, it’s so important for them to stay true to their mission and vision statements. If a brand loses sight of who they are, I think it makes it even more difficult to determine who their consumers are and what they want!

  9. Ali O'Shaughnessy says:

    Great post! Very well written and engaging. I hate when brands try to adapt to every trend, even when it doesn’t make sense for their target. It’s important to stay on trend, but to do it in a way that makes sense for your image.

  10. Kelly Thackery says:

    Great article! I like your point that just because you understand the importance of the trend doesn’t mean you have the tools to execute it. So true, so many people think they can hop in to any trend and apply it to their business or their social image when it is clearly irrelevant and has nothing to do with their image or message.

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