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Who starts trends and how do they work?

Who starts trends and how do they work?

19th December 2017

Trends are, and always have been a core way we interact with each other. We exist within a constant cultural cycle of innovation. Trends are spread by nothing more than people copying and adapting the latest ‘thing’. By breaking them down into the following 5 stages from innovation to slow demise, we can start to understand how trends are born and developed.

The Innovators

The start of any trend can be found with the Innovators. These individuals make up about 2.5 per cent of the population. Often outsiders to the mainstream culture they are responsible for their own strange mutations. These can become new trends if taken on by the Early Adopters. However there is a fine line between success and failure. If their ideas are to unconventional then they may not make it any further.

The Early Adopters

Following the beginning of the idea, it is at this point that it becomes a trend. The Early Adopters are the people who you would think of as a trendsetter. Always ahead of the game they are the ones who take the innovators ideas and make them a widespread reality. Well connected with all contemporary culture, they have a solid social media network to spread the new movement.

The Early Majority

This is the point where mass- media starts to take effect. The Early Majority represents a large part of society at 34 per cent. When the trend has reached this point this is when you will notice the movement taking to the streets around you. However by the time this happens the Early Majority will have moved on to the next big thing.

The Late Majority

After the Early Majority comes the Late Majority. Again a large sum of the population, however this group is much more self conscious. They tend to need a lot of reassurance before taking on the new trend. A little more conservative, the movement becomes slightly more watered down by the time it reaches this group. At this point nearly everyone is onboard with the trend and you’ll hear talk of ‘must-have’ items.

The Laggards

Bottom of the cycle we can find the Laggards. Unfortunately they do not take on a glamorous role in the life cycle of a social movement. This is the group where trends go to die. Where the Late Majority are conscious about taking on something new, the Laggards are resistant to try anything away from what they know. They are the last stop on the cycle. At this point its normally a sign of something new starting back with the Innovators.

Read our last blog post Rebranding – Successes and Failures

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