Understanding trends can be a crucial competitive parameter. If you can see and understand the trends that are on their way, and you can respond to them, then you can adapt your products, services, design and communication and ensure a higher probability of success.

This is a small excerpt (page 19) from the book ‘Trendsociology v. 2.0’, published by pej gruppen. Buy the book here.

It is particularly the lifestyle industry that needs to stay ahead of trends to ensure that they hit a bulls-eye in a consumer-driven world where the speed of change is very high. Trend sociology as a discipline and trend sociologists as researchers contribute to the understanding of trends as a concept, but also how trends emerge, develop, spread and eventually fade, as well as the impact they have in each stage of this process.


Necessity, opportunity and threat

The speed at which change is happening today, combined with the great power that consumers have, means that you must not overlook trends. It may mean the growth or decline of a company that either strikes or does not strike with the right product at the right time.

Trends are both opportunities and threats. They provide a new and exciting space for innovation, but can also result in serious problems – especially if you choose to turn a blind eye to them.


Examples of overlooking trends are the following:

 “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out”.
Decca Recording Company, which rejected the Beatles in 1962.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
Harry Warner, the founder of Warner Bros., on the next step after the silent film in 1927.

“The potential world market for copying machines is 5,000, at most”.
IBM, which rejected an agreement about cooperation with Xerox in 1959.

“I think there is a world market for about five computers”.
Thomas Watson, Chairman of the Board at IBM, 1943.

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.