Trends: Adopt them? Or let them go?

Ultimate Gray and a sunny shade of yellow called Illuminating earned Pantone’s top billing as the 2021 colors of the year. Virtual events have become standard in the age of COVID-19. And move over TikTok—a hot new invite-only platform called Clubhouse is on the rise among influencers and entrepreneurs.

So now your board chair wants you to get working on some yellow invitations to your virtual gala hosted by a celebrity on Clubhouse!

Trends can be tricky… On the one hand you want to be relevant, to seize timely opportunities. On the other, you need to be sure you spend your limited resources wisely—and avoid ending up with a totally rad, neon pink logo or a half-baked presence on yet another social media platform.

So when do you jump on the trend bandwagon, when do you wait, and when do you pass? Here’s how we break it down…

Consider embracing a trend if:

  • It helps you reach your primary audience. If the latest social media platform is already THE place to be for your core people, you’ll probably want to be there, too.
  • You’re working on a project or publication with a short shelf-life. Your boss might be right about those sunny yellow event invitations in the wake of 2020!
  • Your team already has the resources, skills and motivation to jump on the movement. For example, a team already adept at creating video content would be in a good position to add a thought leadership vlog (video blog) to their lineup.

Wait and see if:

  • There’s still room for you to grow in the things you’re doing now. If your current efforts still have untapped audience potential, you’re probably better off building on what you’re already doing than starting from scratch somewhere else or on something else.
  • The trend requires a big investment of time or capital. Rushing to buy 100 video cameras or to outfit your website with costly features can be a gamble before you know whether a trend is here to stay. And people always forget that time is a fixed commodity, too. You can’t do anything well if you’re stretched too thin.

Pass on a trend if:

  • Your primary audience just isn’t there. The idea of capturing new people on a new social media platform can be enticing. But converting uninformed people into fans of your organization requires a far bigger investment than courting the people who are already primed to love you.
  • You’re working on a project or publication that needs to stay relevant for a while. You don’t want your logo screaming 2021. And if you need that brochure to last 3-5 years, photos of employees and clients wearing face coverings will soon look dated (we hope!).
  • The trend has little relationship to where you’ve decided to focus. (You’ve strategically chosen your areas of focus, right?) Depending on what it is, launching a new initiative can require a significant amount of time and energy—distracting you from your goals.

Unless your very brand identity is to be a trendsetter, you always have time to ease your way into the next greatest thing, once it’s proven to be worth your investment.

Need a timeless design that still looks fresh, or help jumping on a trend you know you need to harness? Give us a call at 267-468-7949 or drop us a line at