Trend – A major behavior change process that is supported by emerging mentalities and interpretations that can generate insights. It is born in a less visible form than the fad or the fashion, but it has a more profound impact and a longer duration. Through mentality trends, we can understand human behavior and explain societal changes. The study of mentality and consumer behavior trends provides a forecast and a vision of how society is acting and evolving, including major social concerns, activities, attitudes and behaviors! Since it has a more denser cultural code, it surpasses fashion at the end of the specter of patterns. A mentality trends can have several magnitudes (paradigms, macro, and micro) and at a micro level it develops its own system and processes.
Fashion – It is consciously incorporated in the daily routine. Fashions don’t reveal a profound change in the consumer mentalities, but it produces changes in the consumer behavior. Its impact and lenght are smaller than those of the trend. “A fashion is studied through the structures and mentalities that are translated into a creative process that gives birth to the object of fashion (as an example we have the Converse AllStar or the Pandora bracelets). We observe a fashion when an object becomes a massified artifact within a certain groups or the majority, thus completing all the parts of the fashion system: structure, process, object” (Gomes, 2015).
Fad – it comes with a strong impact, but it dissipates quite quickly. Individuals incorporate them on a subconsciouce level without thinking about it. As an example we had the Crocs or, more recently, the gangnam style.
Trends can be divided into three main categories:
Paradigms – They are the major expression of the Zeitgeist, the umbrella that articulates the spirit of the time.
Macro – These are the ones that affect a larger number of sectors, markets and demographics. They reflect major attitude and mentality changes in several groups and areas. Here we have major socio-cultural patterns, showing themselves, usually, on a global scale, even if in different forms or with more impact in certain regions. (There is also the concept of Mega-trends, developed by John Naisbitt, which relates to major changes in social, technological , economical and political conditions. These mega-trends, in an equivalence board, would stand between the Paradigms and the Macro-Trends, but they should mostly be seen as drivers).
Micro – These affect a particular number of sectors and individuals. They typically have regional or national nature, but they can also reflect the changes in a specific sector or behavior. Micro trends can relate to specific types of patterns like style & taste, consumer behavior, technology, economics, arts and literature, political-institutional, among others.