4 Tools to Help You Spot Trends and Future Opportunities
August 5th 2020
Business owners who stay on top of trends have the chance to pounce on new opportunities that emerge, rather than missing out and having to play catch-up. This is true whether we’re talking about toy retailers trying to guess what the hottest new plaything will be this holiday season, publicists trying to gauge whether the newest social media platform will actually catch on, or simply staying current regarding pending legislation that could upend your company.
Being aware of what people are talking and thinking about can give you a significant advantage that helps inform important business decisions.
While many trendspotting platforms charge a fee for access, there are a few free sites that are worth browsing. Although they may not have the analytics the pricey ones do, they can still tip you off to trending topics, products, and services.
For help in spotting up-and-coming products, consumer preferences, and ideas, you’ll probably want to start with Trend Hunter. This website relies on individual trendspotters, futurists, and artificial intelligence to identify what people around the world are talking about, interested in, exploring, and buying from innovative companies.
Trend Hunter breaks down what’s trending by month and by categories, such as fashion, design, ads, and the bizarre, to name a few.
You can quickly scan ranked lists of insights, ideas, topics, culture, places, events, people, products, and brands for a glimpse into what’s caught the interest of people around the globe.
Exploding Topics provides weekly email reports, on Tuesday, regarding terms and phrases that have exponentially increased in search frequency. That is, keywords that have suddenly caught on.
In a typical week, you’ll see everything from product names to website URLs, technology breakthroughs, and trending topics. For example, recent phrases that consumers were suddenly searching for en masse included everesting, dermaplaning, daily harvest, wave, and air purifying plants.
Savvy entrepreneurs use these reports to stay ahead of trends, to stock retail stores with products everyone is looking for, to develop new product and service offerings in response to increasing demand, to explore new technology integration, as well as to know when to reduce inventory when product demand falls off.
Unlike Exploding Topics, What’s Trending is more a pop culture report regarding what’s happening on social media. For that reason, it can help entrepreneurs spot topics that are sparking interest.
For example, a recent What’s Trending home page featured reports of a baseball player who tested positive for COVID-19, celebrity news, TikTok trends gone awry, and other similar band and celebrity sightings.
You can skim videos that have gone viral, as well as social media posts catching attention. Because of its celebrity focus, What’s Trending could be a good starting point for a news lead that ties into a blog post you want to write, or maybe the inspiration for a news item you want to highlight on your website.
Entrepreneurs and business owners on the lookout for a hot new product will want to pay attention to Product Hunt, which features new products in development and allows users to ask the developers questions.
Products are listed vertically on the home page and you can choose to view them in rank order of popularity or newness. You can also take a look at Upcoming Products and companies that are hiring.
No matter how you approach it, being able to predict what everyone will soon be talking about or buying does have advantages. Armed with new information about what’s going viral, or what new technology is making possible, you can make smart decisions about how to run your company. That might mean adjusting the products you currently have in development, considering adding new job functions to your org chart, or gathering new ideas for future blog posts.
However you tap into the information available at these trend-focused services, you’re bound to end up better informed.