WHAT? Ideas have also been fed to us initially through TV & radio, brands would make an impact through catchy jingles and humorous advertisements. But social media changed the game. It took us 1000 years to get comfortable with the idea of taking a picture of our lunch and when we did, it spread like wildfire and now there are millions of pictures circulating all platforms of social media with Instagram at the forefront. Then followed ‘selfies’ which goes to show us that this basically is a cultural evolutional journey and a rapid one at that, in this context.

WHY? Some ideas spread and others don’t. This boils down to the uniqueness of the idea because more than 95% of ideas are ignored by the public for numerous reasons ranging from being too bland to being unpractical. Take the instance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which broke the internet in 2014, which was done to promote awareness of the ALS disease and went viral as people nominated their friends to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads within 24 hours and the cycle continued; however, if someone failed or forfeited the challenge they had to make a charitable donation as a penalty. Many others including ‘Salt Bae’ sprinkling salt on meat in a unique fashion saw Chef Nusret become a celebrity overnight, allowing him to then charge exuberant prices for his food in his restaurants.


HOW? These ideas either spread organically or they are strategically meant to do so. For example music videos including ‘Gangnam Style’, ‘Hotline Bling’, ‘Party rock anthem’ and most recently ‘Kiki challenge’ all were intended to become popular dance moves thus increasing brand value of these artists.


For simple understanding, there are 5 types of consumers


Unique New Idea Diffusion Strategies Currently Used by Companies

Earlier, companies would target the majority of the population ie, the Early Majority consumers and Late Majority consumers considered as the ‘mass market’. Often ideas would fail and investments would go down the drain but with the help of social media things are rapidly changing. Kickstarter is one example, this company is a global crowdfunding platform for new creative products/ideas who leverage social media to mainly target the innovators & early adopters in a strategy which involves these early users to organically promote the products through word of mouth recommendations to their close networks.

As discussed earlier, a new idea is like a spark but the spark needs to be a considerable one to catch on and spread like wildfire. A few more companies have managed to do this using unique strategies. Wayfair – Is a popular affordable furniture online retailer. Majority of their customers are on Instagram and initially faced a challenge of customers not being able to access their website through Instagram pictures. In 2017, Instagram shopping was introduced which allowed online retailers to tag specific products within a picture and Wayfair cashed in on this and the idea has really kicked on.

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 6.14.35 pm

Now that we have seen what ideas are, why they spread and how they gain mainstream popularity, is this dress blue & black or white and gold ? 😉




38 thoughts on “#Trending

  1. An interesting article analysing and explaining trends. It’s insane how someone dramatically sprinkling salt ends up owning a restaurant chain that’s now world famous. Is this what trends are? A capitalising mechanism? Because its allowing the emergence of so many businesses & easy money with the amount of attention it generates.


  2. Is this going to be the future of products/services? Consumption only via influence by trends? Are trends going to rule every decision? Is social media a new business?


  3. Reading this I just realised that there still are TV, radio etc. traditional advertising out there, but we literally look over them because life is so much on the phone now from music to transportation and they all have heavy social media involvement. This involvement gives birth to certain kinds of trends that turn into ‘memes’ and are eventually used by companies, again, on their social media. Like a cycle.


  4. Cultural evolutional journey? You got that right! Evolving into face-in-phone hermits. Does any company or independent person even sit with a pen and paper to generate ideas for the sole purpose selling the qualities of a product or service? Or is it just something absolutely random done so names and tricks go viral?


  5. I can’t believe companies are starting up to use social media as their market. How is that ethical or genuine? Its just a game of buy and sell, lacking character.


  6. From a budding entrepreneur, starting a business on social media is only the tip of the ice burg. It saves money by allowing for small, indie brands to emerge as a small group or even one person to be able to create and sell products they are passionate about. But ofcourse, there is always the uncertainty in this time and age of whether their products are in styles that are trending and whether people discover them in the huge market Instagram (for example) has become.


  7. Pets are trending, is that why everyone’s getting one? They’re like investments. Buy one, post a few pictures, give it an interesting name and make bucket-loads of dollars. You don’t even have to be a brand/company/business!


  8. Trends make great memes and I think can attract many people in real-life businesses, i.e., businesses that didn’t grow or erupt onto social media. Are these businesses just slacking or ‘hating’ on these ideas? Because they’re seriously missing out on opportunities of gaining new customers who seem to be of the Laggards category of new idea diffusion strategies.


  9. More people need to start blogs and explain what these social media companies are actually doing and how they just pop out of nowhere selling weird ‘already trending’ products.


  10. Instagram shopping is the best thing that’s happened to social media! Why go to the trouble of searching for a product on websites when one can just wander through a company’s social media and click the item they want right there.


  11. Just reading about what you’ve written, Im thinking about making my own trends because who doesn’t want to make a billion bucks and live the posh life. Just by doing one action, once.


  12. I think most of these things that are trending are stupid and unimportant and only ‘trend’ because unhappy people find happiness in it.


  13. Reading your blog was quite interesting because it gave me a fresh perspective on things that seemed genuine but actually aren’t. I’m just naïve.


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