The Difference Between Trends vs. Fads

By: Alan Reighard, Partner/Brand Planning

I am finally trendy! Or at least part of something that is trending. This is a big deal for me because I don’t like taking selfies, I have not used Uber or Lyft. I (hopefully) will never use Tinder.

But I am now trending. If you haven’t been online in the past week, you may have missed the news: “Dad Bods” are hot! And I have not been hot since my girlfriend Karen’s father let me take her and his yellow Corvette for a ride in high school.
According to an article by Clemson University student MacKenzie Pearson, “The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.” This story went viral and is responsible for my current trendiness.

I will let others discuss the larger societal men vs. women body issues related to this trend.

The fact is trends are everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Trends happen over time and fads happen overnight. Spotting trends and developing insights into why they are happening is valuable to marketers. What are the reasons behind increased usage of mobile devices, unbundling of services, SaaS, renting vs. buying? For our consumer-driven economy it appears that experiences are more valuable than ownership to many of us. (I’ll bet on a generational trend for this one.) What does this trend mean to your marketing and messages? Understanding what is most valuable to your customers, and why, is what matters.
Understanding what is behind trends is important. Being trendy is in danger of becoming a fad. Bad news for me and my “Dad Bod.”

Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I’ll always have the golf shirt with turned-up collar to fall back on.