We see all sorts of trends in advertising and marketing: music trends, illustration trends, color trends, cute dog trends and so on. We have even seen how explosive (and quick mind you) digital trends have been with video and social-media marketing. How we market is an ever-evolving thing. We roll with those incoming waves of new thoughts, ideas, technology, memes and buzzwords.
Things have exploded in our industry right along with light-speed changes in technology. Remember when everyone would say, “What is the world wide web?” or more recently, “What is responsive design?” We fervently consume what is new, then quickly adapt and excel. That’s what we have to do as marketers.
But what about slower moving trends — those that are less famous or recognized? They ooze so slowly into our lives and affect our buying decisions in massive ways. We don’t even know how they got here, but once we are aware of them, they have already affected the mass market tremendously. One example of this is pattern trends.
I shared with a peer in the business how I was considering covering a pocket door in my kitchen with very large, bold black and white chevron wallpaper. “Oh no,” she told me, “chevron is out!” “How can chevron be out?” I demanded, “it’s everywhere!” And that was her point. The wallpaper I was considering was from Target after all. I see chevron in the dollar bin covering some sort of cheap, plastic useless item … it’s on fabric, phone cases, coffee mugs, notebook binders. It has moved from an exclusive high-end pattern to an everyday buy-it-at-Walmart pattern. Her point, as a fellow designer who rightly believes we should be on top of the latest trends, is that if everyone is doing it, it’s already passé.
We give our voice and opinion to those things that seem hot in advertising — those moments that everyone is talking about. “What about that Super Bowl commercial?” What about it? It’s beer again, hopefully it really was a revolutionary idea, but we easily forget and dismiss the smaller details that can shape our creative and bring more power to existing or new strategies and ideas. I am not suggesting we must wrap up the next creative presentation with chevron stripes, but we don’t want to miss out on the power of the lesser known trends that affect our decisions, and therefore affect the power of our work.
As for my pocket door, I decided that for something seen so little, a hard to find, up-and-coming (and expensive) wallpaper isn’t the best use for that space. Maybe I’ll paint it plaid…