Technological and cultural trends are quickly pounced on by marketing pundits and presented to the business community as the latest-and-greatest-thing to incorporate into a marketing strategy. What we tend to miss is that not every trend is appropriate for every market. Here’s a great example: It’s 2007, and Campbell’s marketing consultants are salivating over the metrics on blogging trends. Naturally, they launched an aggressive campaign to get people to blog about their soup. They push hard, throw plenty of money at it, and it doesn’t work. Few are willing to blog about it, most who do feel somewhat ridiculous. It’s not believable or sustainable. Blogging was certainly the largest new trend, but that just doesn’t make it applicable to a can of soup.
There’s a flip side to this coin. Some trends are so massive and pervasive, our clients need to adopt them regardless of personal bias. I hear complaints like: “I hate Facebook,” “I’m just not a Facebook person,” “Facebook is just cat memes and oversharing.” They ask what I think. I’m a marketing guy. Palms up, I confess, “I really don’t think you have a choice.”