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The Birth of a Trend: Using Social Analytics to Predict Trends

BY CSA STAFF

By Dr. Trevor Davis, [email protected]

How can you identify if a trend is worth caring about? That is, if it’s something that’s going to stick around for a while and attract a whole lot of people – all of them potential customers? It’s one of the eternal questions of marketing – and a lot is depending on the answer. Clearly, it’s important to capitalize on a trend while it’s still on the upswing. Nobody wants to be manufacturing pleated trousers after the cognoscenti have started wearing narrow flat-fronts.

Marketers of course have a number of tools at their disposal to sniff out trends – surveys, focus groups, consumer panels, instinct. They go to trade shows. They talk to their friends and neighbors. They keep their eyes open. All these techniques are valid and helpful. But now, innovations in technology are providing CMOs with powerful new capabilities. The advent of social media and sophisticated analytics software enables marketers to identify trends as they develop. The software can be used to spot “weak signals” online – nascent trends that reflect something new with a lot of upside potential. Case in point – Cycle Chic. Around 2006, I started noticing a small number of people online talking about cycling in fashionable clothing – often tweeds. They liked to share photos of themselves on their bikes – which invariably boasted classic or vintage styling. The tiny group of enthusiasts grew quickly; and using a custom algorithm, I was able to chart how the trend blossomed online – and offline – as the years unfolded.

In 2007, the Cycle Chic blog was founded in Copenhagen – an important milestone. The online discussion soon spread from Copenhagen to Berlin, Stockholm, Portland and Los Angeles. Then in 2009, the trend really began to gather steam, with online conversation sprouting up in London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Atlanta, New York, Ghent, Boulder, Seoul, Charleston, Phoenix, Poznan, and Dallas. In the meantime, the brick-and-mortar world was taking notice. Small consumer products companies and retailers started to serve the trend – offering fashions specific to Cycle Chic. In 2009, the first “Tweed run” – events where people dress in vintage or modern tweeds and cycle in groups – was organized, in Savile Row, London.

By 2011, bigger players had gotten involved. Ralph Lauren introduced the Tweed run-influenced Rugby Collection. Target began selling the new Missoni for Target bicycle. This year, Levi’s introduced its Commuter Series jeans, and – in a nod to Cycle Chic – fashion weeks in New York and London merged high fashion and cycling. Today – even though many still may not have heard about it – the Cycle Chic trend is something of global phenomenon. There are more than 100 blogs. There are Cycle Chic events going on all the time. There’s even a song. My study of this trend illustrates an important point: Using algorithms to identify and follow a trend in its infancy opens up a world of possibility for marketers. It enables them to estimate the size – and location – of a potential market. It identifies likely customers. It provides insight into what competitors may be doing – not just established players, but startups as well.

There are 500 million people on Twitter – that’s way bigger than any focus group. The vast number of online participants posting and sharing creates mountains of valuable data from which insight can be extracted. Marketers who understand how to use this data will have a much better chance of catching a powerful trend early on and riding it for maximum profit.

Dr. Trevor Davis is a consumer products expert at IBM Global Business Services. He can be reached at [email protected].


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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 12:08 pm

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The tiny group of enthusiasts grew quickly; and using a custom algorithm, I was able to chart how the trend blossomed online – and offline – as the years unfolded. chat random

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 12:08 pm

The tiny group of enthusiasts grew quickly; and using a custom algorithm, I was able to chart how the trend blossomed online – and offline – as the years unfolded. chat random

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Mar-04-2013 07:05 am

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Jan-03-2013 04:53 am

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B.Low says:
Jan-03-2013 04:53 am

Sant Ritz is also near elite schools such as St. Andrew’s Secondary School and St. Andrew’s Junior College. Cedar Girls’ Secondary School and CedarPrimary School are also around in the area. For vehicle owners, it takes less than 10 minutes to drive to the business hub and vibrant Orchard Road shopping district, via Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Central Expressway (AYE). Potong Pasir New Launch

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Kohl’s posts earnings boost in Q3, updates outlook

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s third quarter sales increased 2.6% to $4.5 billion, and comparable-store sales were up 1.1%, in line with the company’s expectations.

The retailer’s net income for the third quarter rose 14% to 91 cents per diluted share. Net income was $215 million compared with $211 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, a year ago.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “Our sales performance in the third quarter was consistent with our expectations, while our gross margin results were better than expected. Thanks to our dedicated teams, expenses were again well-managed. We have made noticeable investments in holiday inventory – both in depth and content – and the in-store experience. Our stores are festive and fun to shop. We are also very excited about our expanded gift strategy and our ability to offer great products at great values."

Kohl’s ended the quarter with 1,146 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,127 stores at the same time last year. During the year, the company opened 21 new stores, including 1 relocated store, closed 1 store and completed 50 remodels.

Kohl’s now expects earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2012 to range from $4.52 to $4.60 versus its previous guidance of $4.50 to $4.65 per diluted share. For the fourth quarter, the company expects earnings per diluted share to be between $2 and $2.08, total sales growth to be between 7% and 8%, and comparable-store sales growth to be between 3% and 4%.

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FINANCE

Hurricane Sandy reduces retail sales by nearly 20%

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Hurricane Sandy is being held responsible for reducing U.S. retail sales in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region by about $4 billion last week, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

According to the report, the region, which accounts for about 24% of retail sales nationwide, typically generates $18.7 billion in sales for that particular week ended Saturday, the Associated Press reported. But revenue came in at about $15 billion. (The figures exclude auto sales.)

“This was a significant negative event for the region," said Michael McNamara, VP of research and analysis for SpendingPulse, which monitors all types of spending across retail.

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J.Sanders says:
Jan-22-2014 11:42 pm

Looks like Sandy was not the
Looks like Sandy was not the worst what could have happened still. A number of disasters having swept over the country and actually the world recently have brought a lot of damage to real estate property as well. We were lucky, I am sure, as the repairs cost us only a wage day advance on line, which was not much compared to the damages caused by floods in the neighbouring cities.

J.Sanders says:
Jan-22-2014 11:42 pm

Looks like Sandy was not the worst what could have happened still. A number of disasters having swept over the country and actually the world recently have brought a lot of damage to real estate property as well. We were lucky, I am sure, as the repairs cost us only a wage day advance on line, which was not much compared to the damages caused by floods in the neighbouring cities.

J.Morgan says:
Nov-13-2012 02:59 am

Hurricane Sandy is doing the
Hurricane Sandy is doing the good thing. It is nice that i have read your post coz through this i learn something new. Like in my previous article i have read. I read about the beet it that talks about green people which has the great details.

J.Morgan says:
Nov-13-2012 02:59 am

Hurricane Sandy is doing the good thing. It is nice that i have read your post coz through this i learn something new. Like in my previous article i have read. I read about the beet it that talks about green people which has the great details.

P.Adams says:
Nov-08-2012 08:00 am

Hurricanes never bring
Hurricanes never bring anything good - only mess and sadness. And of course it's a negative impact on the economy and households. It takes years to create something and just a few moments of stronghurricane and everything is ruined. It's important people to get financial assistance in such occasions. There should be support for people because it's hard to rebuild everything on your own. It's always about money because step by step it's necessary to get back to normal life. http://bit.ly/N1y0Iq

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