The concept of trend in its original meaning has been used as a description for a turn or twist and was first used by economists and statisticians to describe an orientation in a curve; so that a rising curve from a data set was equal to a positive trend.

This is a small excerpt (page 45) from the book ‘Trendsociology v. 2.0’, published by pej gruppen. Buy the book here.

Since the mid-20th century however, the concept of a trend has increasingly been used in many different industries in the description of a change of direction, i.e. something pointing in a direction. It was not until the 1960s that the term gained a foothold in the field of lifestyle products, primarily fashion because it was tantamount to “being fashionable” and “up-to-date”.

Based on this, it is already clear that trends are also about a desire to “belong” and be part of a larger group of people, where you fit in and do not stand out unnecessarily (and are unfashionable). Despite increasing individualisation and the desire to be unique, the existence of trends is actual proof to the contrary. The sociological approach thus becomes even more interesting.

“To be commonly considered a trend, rather than a fad or a blip, a pattern in the data must pass basic tests of significance, it must be a change that affects a wide range of people and that has, or will eventually have, broad social, economic or political implications.” Adam Gordon, Futurist

Should anyone be interested in getting their hands on the entire book, (it’s 400 pages), it is possible to buy here.

The book consists of three parts:

  1. Theory and practical description of what a trend is, how it is spread and what effect it may have.
  2. Interview with 17 of the world’s top trend researchers
  3. Practical process description (5 phased process) with concrete methods and tools for working with trends.