My Mantra

Inspiring better marketing to help
your world changing ideas succeed.

Retail & eCommerce 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.

* indicates required

A Few More Questions For You …


All Reports:

How To Be Kinder To Retail Workers This Holiday Season

pretendingtocarebook

I could tell you that it’s a misconception that marketers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to sell more stuff to more people every holiday season. Of course, I’d be lying. Every holiday season, brands scramble to find new ways for people to excitedly part with their money is in full swing – with mall Santas…Read More >>

3 Ways Dumb Phones Might Save Nokia

nokia-515

Last month Nokia quietly missed the opportunity of the decade. It wasn’t easy to spot. Amidst all the news about the mega-implications of the Microsoft-Nokia merger this week, some critics are adding up the failures of two doomed brands while others see it as proof of Android’s projected growth. Just about every article looks at the deal through the lens…Read More >>

What 7 Masters Of Persuasion Can Teach You About Behavioral Marketing

behaviorcon-logo

This past weekend one of the first ever conferences on consumer psychology and behavior focusing on marketing, sales and business strategy quietly took place in Stamford, Connecticut.  Before the September craziness of business events and corporate summits … Behaviorcon was intentionally different.  Created by best selling author Ramit Sethi and marketing and branding advisor Michael Fishman – the event brought together a…Read More >>

How Do Big Brands Answer 16 Essential Social Media Questions?

IMG-Corporate-Social-Media-Summit

In just a few weeks, it will be time once again for one of my favourite marketing events of the year. No, it’s not the party-filled serendipity fest of SXSW, or the Las Vegas geek-pride gathering at CES. The event I’m talking about is all business … and that’s why it’s one of my top events all year. On June…Read More >>

How Dyson’s Winning Strategy Depends On Who They DON’T Hire

IMB_DysonWithVaccuum

The “Ballbarrow” was never really a product destined for greatness. Replacing a wheel in a traditional wheelbarrow with a ball hardly qualifies as a groundbreaking technological innovation. But it does solve a problem. Great inventions usually do. And when James Dyson first created and produced his Ballbarrow, it was a hit with gardeners seeking an alternative that wouldn’t leave wheel…Read More >>

10 Smart Ways TurboTax Helps Users Suffer Less

IMG_TurboTax_9_AskThemToShare

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 >>

Why Simplicity Saved Apple, But Couldn’t Save JCPenney

IMG_JCPenney3

Simplicity always wins. If there is one lesson the modern business world teaches us, it is that complexity kills and simplicity wins. Apple, Flip Camera, Twitter, Uber, Walmart — all are examples of companies that owe their success at least in part to their ability to simplify a service or product to an extreme level.  I have written often about…Read More >>

7 Ways Millionaire Self Help Gurus Make More Money Than Social Media Experts

IMG_CoachingSpeakerAssociation

Last week no one cared what my Twitter name was – and I was thrilled about that.  At dozens of social media centric events, the Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Pinterest question has become the de facto proof of purchase. People write their Twitter names on their nametags. They try desperately to distill their own social credibility into a…Read More >>

The Script Of Improv – What Is (And Isn’t) Real Time Marketing

IMB_CCLTrainingCenter

A theater show happens in real time. It’s live on stage and the actors are actually saying the lines as you watch them. And if it’s well done, it can seem spontaneous and real and unscripted. But of course, it is scripted. They are memorizing lines and performing them. Improv, on the other hand is completely UNscripted. It is based…Read More >>