How To Spot Emerging Trends Before They Happen
Emerging trends are new developments or patterns that are emerging or becoming more prominent in a particular field or industry. These trends can be in areas such as technology, business, culture, or any other area where new developments are taking place. Emerging trends often have the potential to become more widespread and influential over time.
For example, we saw how Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry by creating a new category with short-term rentals. Another example is Uber, which decimated the car rental industry and lets anyone rent a car right from their smart devices.
With the pace of technological changes faster than at other times in history, it is imperative for companies and businesses to be at the forefront of emerging trends before they take off to stay ahead of the market and the competitors, or else be left behind.
However, spotting emerging trends can be difficult, as they often start off small and can be hard to notice at first. One way to spot emerging trends is to pay attention to what is happening in your industry and to stay up to date with the latest news and developments. For example, reading tech stories from mainstream outlets such as CNet and TheVerge will give you a great overview of what is happening in the tech space while sites like ours TechStartups, TechCrunch, HackerNews, and VentureBeat can introduce you to new startup companies in various verticals.
It is also helpful to follow thought leaders in certain fields and attend conferences and events where you can hear about new ideas and developments. Additionally, networking with other professionals in your industry can be a great way to stay informed about emerging trends. So, how do you go about spotting emerging trends? In the sections below, we show you some of the most effective ways to quickly spot emerging trends and dominate your market.
Monitor industry news and publications
Keep up with the latest news and developments in your industry and related fields. This can help you identify potential trends before they become mainstream. Keeping up-to-date with industry news and publications can also provide insight into emerging trends and shifts in the market. As such, you need to monitor relevant news and industry publications to stay updated on current events and developments.
One of the best research tools for spotting trends on the Internet is Google Trends. The search behemoth has a treasure trove of data that anyone can use to search ongoing trends. With Google Trends, you can explore what the world is searching for in real time across geographies, topics, and much more. You could also explore how Google data can be used to share your own stories. What’s also amazing about Google Trends is that you can compare trends over the years to see what is and what is out and how trends evolve over time.
That’s not all. You could Google Trends in conjunction with other trends you find on social media to see the connections across emerging trends. For example, between October 2021 and February 2022, there was a spike in search for the term “metaverse” after Facebook changed its name to Meta to focus on the metaverse. Since then, interest in the metaverse has dropped in popularity as you can see in the chart below.
To really take advantage of emerging trends, it is important to know about the trend signal before it explodes. This means that Google Trends might probably not be the first place to detect these signals.
Use social media and online forums
Social media and online forums can be valuable sources of information on emerging trends and shifts in the market. By following relevant hashtags and joining relevant online communities, you can stay up-to-date on emerging trends. Social platforms like Twitter and Reddit have a treasure trove of data about conversations from tech leaders like Elon Musk, and others. You could also follow higher institutions like MIT and Stanford, among others.
Attend conferences and trade shows
Another way to monitor emerging trends is to attend industry conferences and events to network with other professionals and learn about new ideas and technologies that may be gaining traction. Attending conferences and trade shows can provide a wealth of information on emerging trends as well as networking opportunities with industry experts and peers to hear about the latest trends.
Follow industry influencers and thought leaders
Follow influencers and thought leaders in the field to gain insight into their perspectives and predictions. Following industry influencers and thought leaders can provide valuable insights into emerging trends and shifts in the market.
Conduct market research and analysis
Another way to spot emerging trends is to conduct market research and surveys to gather feedback from customers and industry stakeholders. Studying consumer behavior and demographics can provide insight into changing consumer needs and preferences, which can indicate emerging trends.
Conducting market research and analysis helps to understand consumer behavior and preferences, which can help you identify potential trends and opportunities. Monitor industry statistics and data to identify trends in sales, market share, and other key metrics that may indicate an emerging trend. You could also use tools and resources such as Google Trends, Exploding Topics, Trend Hunter, and SimilarWeb to track and analyze trends in search traffic and online activity. Trend Hunter currently boasts over 400,000 people using insights from its site to stay ahead.
Keep an eye on competitors
Keep an eye on emerging technologies and innovations in the market. Monitoring the activities and strategies of competitors can provide insight into emerging trends and shifts in the market. You could also analyze data and metrics from your own business to identify shifts in consumer behavior and market demand. You also need to collaborate with other businesses and organizations to share insights and learn about trends in other industries that may impact your own.
Follow industry influencers and thought leaders
Follow industry leaders and experts on social media, blogs, and forums to stay updated on their thoughts and insights on emerging trends. Following industry influencers and thought leaders can provide valuable insights into emerging trends and shifts in the market. Collaborate with other professionals and experts in your field to share insights and ideas on emerging trends and opportunities and be open to new ideas and technologies, and be willing to experiment and test new approaches to stay ahead of the curve.