Trend Spotting vs. Forecasting

Written by trendbible

15 April 2016

trend spotting vs. forecasting

We forecast future trends and predict consumer behaviour to help retailers and brands build commercially successful and inspiring product ranges across Home & Interiors and Kids Lifestyle. Trend forecasting isn’t unpredictable. There are a number of factors that govern change, influence consumers and shape taste.

Trend forecasting is based on solid research and precise methodologies, combined with years of experience that have helped carefully hone our intuition. Most importantly, forecasting is measurable. For clients new to trend services, forecasting is often mistaken for ‘trend spotting’. Trend spotting is understanding the now – forecasting is predicting ‘what comes next’ to help your business achieve commercial success.

While trend spotting may be useful in helping brands to acknowledge the latest craze and engage with current customers, it is extremely hard to respond to with product. It also doesn’t allow you to understand why these changes are occurring, and how to better prepare next time.

For designers, buyers and marketers alike, trend forecasting should be an essential part of your job (read more about Why Even The Best Design Teams Need Trend Forecasting). Knowing how your customer base will think, feel and shop two years from now, will enable you to produce the right products at the right time.

Things to remember about trend spotting vs. forecasting:

  • Trend spotting allows brands to copy what’s happening now but forecasting considers the broader cultural shifts driving change.
  • Trend spotting requires an immediate response, trend forecasting looks ahead so brands can be well prepared.
  • Investing in trend forecasting, while monitoring the current marketplace will help you discern ‘fads’ from longer lasting trends.
  • Trend forecasting can have influence across the entire business, from strategic brand decisions to product design and marketing.

Be prepared for changes set to impact your market with our range of trend publications and Future Insight Reports. Alternatively, get in touch to find out more about how our bespoke consultancy services can help grow your business:

The content is always relevant to our business, and Trend Bible bring new and intriguing topics to our attention that we would otherwise have overlooked.


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