Yes, it’s that time of year again: a time for fruitcake, impassable traffic outside shopping malls, and the frantic search for the perfect gift. It’s also the time of year for that ubiquitous agency output — the trend piece.
I’ve generally found that these ponderous tomes have a shelf life roughly equivalent to the fruitcake mentioned above. After that, they become great paperweights or door-stoppers. Which is a shame, because a lot of time, sweat equity, and research go into developing them.
We often remark that 22squared is a different kind of agency — nimble, independent, collaborative — so it’s only fitting that we think about trends a little differently. We’re driven by a radical idea: that we should hold ourselves accountable for our lofty trend predictions.
Rather than creating a massive trend review and sending it out into the ether, never to be discussed again (until next’s years assignment rolls around), we wanted to revisit predictions we made at the outset of the year and see how close we came to gauging the future.
This is not to pat ourselves on the back if we were dead-on, or shame ourselves if we were dead-wrong, but rather to make sure we’re always building upon our learnings. At the end of the day, we believe trends are organic things: not a static fact at a certain moment in time, but living, evolving, shifting patterns that shape and guide the world we live in. It’s by charting the course of these predictions over time that we can begin to see (and harness) the impact they make on our clients’ businesses, and thus know what to look for in the coming year.
This piece has been a true collaboration, both within the Brand Planning department and across disciplines here at 22squared. We hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed pulling it together. We also sincerely hope that, as the new year rolls around, you won’t be using this as a door-stopper, but rather referencing it throughout the year to see how we stack up for next year’s trends time capsule.
Happy holidays, and happy reading -
Jen Grant, SVP, Director of Brand Planning, 22squared