• Document: Trendspotting. The Basics. Alf Rehn and Magnus Lindkvist
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Trendspotting —The Basics Alf Rehn and Magnus Lindkvist Trendspotting—The Basics All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2013 Alf Rehn and Magnus Lindkvist This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Booktango books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting: Booktango 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 www.booktango.com 877-445-8822 ISBN: 978-1-4689-2731-3 (ebook) Contents CHAPTER I So You Want To Be A Trendspotter? CHAPTER II Trends, What Trends? CHAPTER III Starting Trendspotting CHAPTER IV The Nine Commandments Of The Trendspotter CHAPTER V The Tools Of The Trade CHAPTER VI Set-Up CHAPTER VII Scanning CHAPTER VIII Scenarios CHAPTER IX Scrutinize CHAPTER X Making Sense Of It All A foreword of sorts All books have odd stories attached to them and how they came to be, and this book is no different. You see, this book was originally not a book at all, but a manual of sorts, part of an iOS app called Trender that we created (it’s free, and you can check it out at http:// www.trenderapp.com). However, after we’d released the app we had people contacting us complaining that they didn’t use iOS but still wanted to read the book. So we decided to put this out as a separate product, and while it doesn’t have the extra functionality of the app it’s still (we hope) a practical introduction to trendspotting, the weird specialty we’ve found ourselves practicing with clients big and small, in countries all over the globe. We hope you’ll like it. The authors CHAPTER I SO YOU WANT TO BE A TRENDSPOTTER? It’s OK; your secret’s safe with us. We know you’d never say it out loud, because you think that the term ‘trendspotter’ (or, even worse, ‘cool hunter’) sounds cheesy. But you’d quite like to do something with trends, wouldn’t you? Be honest. You’d like to be a little better at finding out about them before your friends do, because it’s really embarrassing to be the last one to pick up on the new ‘new thing’. You’d like to have a leg up on the competition, and move just a bit faster into exciting new areas. Or, you just like the feeling of ‘getting it’ and then seeing ‘it’ becoming popular. But, describe it how you will, what you want to be is a trendspotter. And that’s natural—we all want to be in the know, to understand the world around us, to not get lost. Sure, the word trendspotter might sound a little flaky—and some of the people calling themselves trendspotters are certainly flaky—but that doesn’t take away from the fact that wanting to spot trends as they emerge is both natural and fun. Yes, fun. Trendspotting is fun. Looking around the world and trying to understand it is a great intellectual adventure, and working with the myriad impulses that society, culture and science throws at us can be exhilarating. Sure, it can be a chore as well, but trendspotting should be an adventure and a celebration of all the wonderful weirdness that the world is capable of. In fact, trendspotting is the perfect excuse for whiling away hours playing computer games, gawping at people and hanging around in dodgy bars. It’s research! “Mom, I’m not wasting my life; I’m doing research into modern consumer behavior! Put the TV on, I have to watch ‘Jersey Shore’. For research.” What we aim to do in this little book is to teach you some of the basics you’ll need to embark on such an adventure. In other words, we’ll try to teach you how to start trendspotting. We won’t teach you everything, because that would be impossible. Trends are shifting things, and anyone who claims they know all about trends is either deluded or lying. But we’ll do what we can— introduce some of the themes, some of the methodologies. Then you have to go out into the world and do it. As with so many things in life, you learn through experience rather than theory, and you can only become a trendspotter by doing it. We’ve written this text as a quick read so that you can ‘get out there’ as soon as possible, and we’ve even designed an app for it so that you can start working now, this minute, if you feel like it. It’s OK, we’ll wait if you’d rather do that. No? We’ll continue, then. This text won’t teach you everything. Nor will it tell you what the current hippest trends are, because by the time you read what was hip as we wrote, it would be well on its way to becoming dull and boring. There are excellent blogs, websites and Twitter-feeds for keeping up with breaking trends, and we’ll come back to some of these later. But trying to capture breaking trends here would render this text immediately obsolete. So we’ll focus on how to spot the new, rather than listing the old. We c

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