Recently I was asked to supply another term to substitute for “Trendy” when describing a new product that is in fact the latest trend, but that the marketer did not wish to be seen as just another fad. As I went to work in my usual way (loading the dishwasher, building a kick-ass helicopter out of legos for the kids, feeding the cats) I thought about what it means for something to be “Trendy” and of course my mind wandered.
It took me back to high school when certain members of our class declared anything mainstream to be decidedly uncool. With their hair dyed purple and wearing all black, they stood out among the sea of Gap sweater sets and made a statement: just because advertising tells you something is awesome, does not mean it is awesome. And they were right. Sometimes.
The thing about trends is that they can only become trends if the consumer truly likes the product. And what’s so wrong with liking something, even it is mainstream? I’m pretty sure, unless they have self-esteem issues, that most people choose clothing, music, paint colors, food, and everything else based on what they LIKE. I know that personally, if something speaks to me when I first lay eyes on it, it’s usually mine. I don’t care if I’ve never heard of it before or if it’s the same skirt every other girl will be wearing this summer–if I like it, I like it.
But I understand a marketer’s desire to not seem like a fad that’s about to burn out. He has a great product; one that I am confident will speak to consumers. Therefore, my answer to the client: “Trendy”=desirable, preferred, fresh, leading the market, what the people want, now.