My Mantra

Helping brands and leaders be more influential
by embracing their humanity and personality.

Financial Services Archive

Why Most Trends Don’t Matter (And 15 New 2014 Trends That Do!)

If you believe the typical trend declarations for 2014 – this is going to be the year of big data, wearable devices, and ubiquitous tablets. These are the facts we have heard over the past two months presented as big insights for the coming year. There are only a few problems with these so called trends, and others like them:

  • Problem 1: NO OBJECTIVITY – If you sell hammers, declaring 2014 the “year of hammers” isn’t just self serving, it’s probably plain wrong. Great trends should take an unbiased look across industries to describe an idea that really matters.
  • Problem 2: NO CREATIVITY – Trends need to do more than repeat common knowledge. For example, saying that “more people will buy tablets in 2014” is obvious—and useless. Instead, great trends should describe the world in fresh ways you haven’t heard before.
  • Problem 3: NO PROOF – Sharing a trend with-out specific examples is like declaring your- self a musician by simply buying a guitar. Great trends are only important when there are real life examples and stories that illustrate how it is actually happening in the world.
  • Problem 4: NO APPLICATION – Even when a trend seems to make sense, the place that many trend articles stop is at trend “spotting.” In contrast, great trends should be paired with real advice on how to them to impact your business.

For the past four years, I have spent a bulk of every year gathering information to curate into an annual trend report that aims to solve each of these problems by taking an unbiased creative and proven look at the trends that will matter in each year … and pair them with some real advice and action guides for how to actually use them. The first three editions of this report have been viewed and shared online more than half a million times.

Today I’m officially publishing the 4th Edition of this report – The 2014 Non-Obvious Trend Report. Embedded below is a 139 page sneak peek of the full report with many of the insights, stories and descriptions of 15 trends that will matter in the coming year. The report shares my approach to “trend curation” versus trend spotting – and brings together nearly a year’s worth of research into a single book.

I hope you enjoy this preview of the full report – and it inspires you to download the full report which is available as an ebook for just $4.99 on Amazon right now. As a companion to the report, I have also launched a trend site that compiles all the previous editions of the report and details about several other “15 Trend” books that are now available. After reading them, if you are interested in joining my reviewer list to get early access to my 2015 Trend Report later this year, as well as several other bonus pieces of content – you can sign up for that below as well.

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The HSBC Story: How To Squander Great Advertising And Lose A Customer For Life

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10 Smart Ways TurboTax Helps Users Suffer Less

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TurboTax is like the financial equivalent of anesthesia before a surgery … you know you are about to do something painful, but at least you can suffer a bit less.  Yesterday was tax day in America, and for millions of users of the most popular tax software – it was a little easier to get this necessary chore out of the…Read More >>

The Alignment Gap, Concierge Marketing And The Future Of Agencies

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Summary: The story of why I decided to start the world’s first true “Concierge Marketing” service for large and mid-size brands. It all started because I knew the one thing I didn’t want to do. About three months ago I left my role at one of the biggest marketing agencies in the world and the only thing I knew for…Read More >>

Best and Worst of Super Bowl Marketing Strategy: 2013 Edition

Best and Worst of Super Bowl Marketing Strategy: 2013 Edition

Every year there seems to be another Admeter/Adbowl/Adrank type of contest that lets anyone register and vote for their favourite ads. Sure it’s nice when everyone has an opinion, but as any designer will tell you – opinions are like butts … everyone has one, but usually they stink. If you’re reading this, though, you probably care more about marketing…Read More >>

An Ingenious New Nonprofit Proves That Maybe You CAN Buy Forgiveness

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It’s the holiday season and we’re in that delightfully slow week between Christmas Day and New Years where many of us have a chance to step out of the craziness of daily life, forget about work and just take a lazy little break. For many people in the world, however, this week won’t offer much relief because they have something…Read More >>

2013 Trend – Human Banking

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What’s the Trend? Finally changing years of growing distrust, banks finally uncover their human side through simplifying their offerings and changing the tone of how they communicate. After years of negativity, brands in the financial sector are finally beginning to rebuild trust and even inspire loyal customers by taking a more simple and direct human tone in communications, and removing…Read More >>