There are trends around us all the time.
I’d argue that Black Friday is a trend (it’s not a national holiday – really). Higher sales online are becoming a trend at this time of year, and so are in-store Black Friday purchases in other countries such as the U.K. (which saw crazy fighting over big screen televisions in supermarkets).
What are the trends in kids holiday gifts in 2014? Beats by Dr Dre, iPhones, Razor, LEGO and GoPro cameras are doing well (and I have no bias in representing, wanting or gifting any of these – just letting you know the facts as best we have visibility).
The real question we ask ourselves, as marketers, is how can we get our products trending?
You can go and do the research (or read this, as we already did), but while you may think that it is largely luck for a product to start trending, it’s anything but; it is in fact a science. There are 6 factors that link almost all highly contagious products and services and just look around you – at this time of year it is ever more evident.
1 – The Feel Good Factor – Consumers are more likely to adopt a product if it makes them feel special or ahead of the curve. For example, giving someone something that brings wellness to others (for example a charitable donation in some way) scores high on the feel good factor index. Alternatively, if you can give someone the latest hot tech product that you know they haven’t heard about you’re going to feel good about it.
2 – Front of Mind - Products that have an excuse to constantly remind us of their existence catch on and become part of our everyday lives. Successful products create reasons and reminders to return on a regular basis. Think of Twitter (or pretty much any successful social media for that fact). You tweet someone, you then get a bunch of alerts when others re-tweet you or respond in some way – each of which reminds you how great you are and that Twitter is there for you.
3 – Get Emotional – People tend to evangelize a product if it affected them emotionally, whether it solved a stressful problem or brightened a bad day. For example, if a movie makes you laugh, you’ll likely share it with a friend who needs a lift.
4 – Design – Giving a product a distinctive feature, such as a standout logo or color, helps consumers notice when others are using it. For example, you immediately recognize iPods because Apple made the headphones white when other companies all used black.
5 – Being Efficient - A truly useful product that helps the user become more effective is more likely to be recommended. For example, Evernote is very good at helping users remember and organize information, so it's often recommended.
6 – Stories - If people are going to share your product, they need to be able to tell its story. That can be as simple as a clear statement about what the product does, or as complicated as a really interesting original story. For example, people who buy TOMS shoes love telling others how one pair is donated for every pair you buy.
Yet again, using a story is possibly one of the most powerful communication methods there is. Of course, this is where PR is more effective and efficient than all the other trend-marketing factors above. Storytelling is seriously one of the most economical marketing tactics that can trend a product/service and it can be applied to almost all.
Now go. Start your own trend in 2015