Using Trend Reports Effectively with Trend Forecaster Matt Klein
The “Trend Council” is a series of interviews I’m testing via Death to Stock with the people who are building what’s next in culture and brand. We dig in through short-form, curated interviews to bring you an updated way of thinking and acting as you build your brand.
In today’s edition, I have pulled together notes from my conversation with Matt Klein.
Matt Klein does trend research and forecasting for top brands like…Meta, YouTube, MetLife, and American Airlines, as well as TV producers, VC investors, non-profits and government agencies. He’s currently the Trend Lead at Reddit.
He’s also got a Substack you can see here:
Here is what we cover in our conversation:
Why “Trend Reports” often feel so repetitive
3 Questions to ask yourself to identify trends most brands will overlook
Which trends to jump onto as a brand and when to avoid trend following
Remixing as a way of incorporating trends
Trends help you resonate with culture:
"If you see any trend, you can't copy and paste it, you have to understand what's driving it..."
"I view trends as trailheads... when you're attempting to provide value and resonate with a culture, you need to first understand the culture."
When in doubt just look to the edges:
"What are the weird fringe, bizarre, sexy, strange things that are occurring on an everyday basis, and how do we validate that?"
The Core idea: You want to understand what drivers of trends exist to spot them early:
"If you're just thinking about sustainability and climate change or the climate crisis, you're late to the party. The train has left the station."
3 Questions to ask to identify deeper trend insights than the norm:
1. What is "outside" of the trend?
Example: We know how someone in NYC views climate change... but how would someone living on the equator approach this? What does climate migration look like outside of the US or Europe?
2. What is the "other side" of the trend?
Example: We know people care about sustainability, yet prefer two-day shipping. Why don't we recognize this other side of the sustainability crisis?
3. What is the "dark side" of the trend?
Example: The dark side of the climate crisis could be how therapists are coming together to figure out how to approach patients' anxiety from climate change.
XX I’m David Sherry, I coach early-stage founders, invest in crypto, and write on the overlap of investing, crypto, and the creator economy.
You can join my Telegram chat for more real-time notes on what I’m thinking.