As we get faster and faster at producing ideas, services and products, people expect more and more. Retailers have to get the latest products faster and the world has more choice than ever before. But as fast as we move and as self-involved we get through the freedom of choice, one thing has never changed, in the whole history of the world.
A royal wedding. Well I say royal wedding, but really what I mean is a major event that affects a country, continent or the world.
Think back to your history books at school or even films you might have seen with a Royal Wedding. Maybe an ancient wedding or fantasy? Have you ever noticed that in every picture and film there is always a crowd of people gathering to watch?
When Prince William and Kate Middleton got married and then had a baby, both events not just filled news channels of the UK, but right across the world. The most interesting thing though was the products, events and excitement that this event created. Think about it. William’s grandmother is still Queen and it will be some time before he is even King and yet, people were mesmerised by the whole day. The anticipation of the route, finding out about Kate’s background and of course the Dress. Now as an aside, to those who were interested in the event itself and to all the news channels who kept saying she was a ‘’commoner’’, actually you’re wrong. She didn’t come from a council estate in Brixton, so let’s just get over the whole ‘’commoner’’ thing shall we. But that is beside the point. The point is that even me, a person not bothered by my monarchy, still know a lot about the day. I didn’t watch it on TV or go down there like millions of other people across the world. No I was in a bar in Hong Kong trying to avoid it. But even in that sports bar, their projector screen was showing it. I couldn’t escape and as much as I wanted to, avoid it, I can still remember where I was at the time. But isn’t that the event of the year?
For you, the point is that these events have never changed in the minds of the human race. We love a large scale event. In ancient Rome, people lined the streets to watch an Emperor marry. We cheer and wave flags as we did then. We now shout at the TV and buy food to sit with family and friends as we buy our themed packaged food, flag printed napkins and paper plates. We throw ourselves into the event just for a day. Now where is the trend? Well who do you think made money from the Royal Wedding? Have a guess…… that’s right, the people who made Union Jack flags, paper plates and napkins.
Everybody had a flag, everyone was waving them and not just in the UK, across the world. There was a guy walking down Lockhart Road in Hong Kong selling them. In the UK, supermarket foods were being made into sets and packaged with Union Jack packaging to make them a feature. Retailers were developing basic T-shirts with various British themed prints. Mobile phone covers suddenly had flag designs.
So if you are a pure trend developer, the adaption of the trends won’t really concern you, but if you are looking at trends to develop your products, then you have to think about your product or service. What events can you plan for? What will be the next big event you have to consider? Make no mistake; these are trends like any other. A flash in the pan yes of course, but they still exist and you have to plan for them, or you will miss out, where others will be profiting.
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