The internet is full of great resources, and when you’re trying to find hot new trends, that’s the first place you should look. Even if you’ve got a great idea for a new product, it’s worth looking at searches for the product (eg natural swimming pool) or for the issues that it deals with (water shortage, ecoliving, sustainability).
One great source of ideas is Pinterest Predicts, a yearly grab-bag of on-trend ideas based on what’s been ‘pinned’ this year (https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb/pinterest-predicts/). What grabbed me in the latest one?
• “Afternoon tea is the new happy hour” – that gives me lots of ideas for teapots, cups and bowls, but also for paper goods (cakeboxes, invitations), books, tasting sets of teabags, special afternoon-tea tablecloths…
• “Ancestral eats” – according to Pinterest people are going back to their roots, rediscovering the dishes grandmother made. Traditional kitchenware like tagine dishes, tiffin boxes, clay pots, or pestle and mortar, is doing well; will that tie into ethnic themed decorating styles too, I wonder?
• “Altbashes” – adoption parties, pet adoption parties, divorce parties with a break-up cake, happy resignation day, and so on. This is a market that’s probably under-served by stationery brands, for a start.
• “emotional escape rooms” – music rooms, massage rooms, libraries, coffee corner, meditation space, sanctuaries. There are some great interiors ideas here, but also some good ideas for ambient music selections, massage or aromatherapy oils, yoga mats, and so on.
Then you can check what’s happening in real time with Pinterest trends (https://trends.pinterest.com/).
Buzzsumo (https://buzzsumo.com/) is a great ideas generator, when you’re feeling less creative than usual. For instance, enter ‘cat toys’ and you’ll get loads of stories about cats stealing toys from other cats, babies, or neighbors. I don’t know about products, but if I had a pet products business I would have my next adverts ready – “Give your cat a toy… and stop her stealing yours!”
You can also use Buzzsumo to find key influencers – though you’ll need the paying version to do this.
Trendhunter (trendhunter.com) is another great resource showing the top 20 trends in different marketplaces. For instance, right now, some of the next big things it’s talking about are customizable prefab home sheds, full compostable packaging bags, and …talking robotic pianos. (To be honest, I’m not going to take that third idea any further.)
You can search by areas, such as fashion, tech, design, eco, luxury, and – my favorite – ‘bizarre’. (Like talking robotic pianos.)
On TikTok, you can follow #trendalert and get trends for the niche you want, such as Tech TikTok or Fashion TikTok. But trends on TikTok can be very short term – here today and gone by next week – so don’t rely on them alone to identify potential new products. (On the other hand, if you’re quick, you can grab trends, make your own video, and ride the trend to reach new viewers who are potential buyers for your product.)
Don’t forget to find the major magazine titles in your particular segment. If you’re in home and garden products you really need to read Interior Design – it’s for professionals so it’s always trying to catch new trends, products and suppliers first – or even Architectural Digest. Elle Decoration, Vogue Living and House Beautiful are consumer-led, so they’re less leading-edge but will show you what they consider the trends for the next year.
And of course there’s the grandfather of all trend sites, Google Trend. It shows what people are searching for – for instance, ‘meditation’ has been rising steadily as a search topic since 2014, with a huge spike in 2020 as Covid hit, though it looks as if it’s stabilized for the moment. Take a look at co-living, though – there’s a trend that looks as if it has more to come.
Enjoy looking for new trends. And by the way, if you’re in a product that might be a bit of a fad, also check out Google Trends to see if it’s falling out of the search requests. (Try looking up “fidget spinner” on Google Trends and you’ll see what I mean!)