Categorizing trends / Mega, Macro, Micro, Fads.
There are three way to classify trends, and those are mega, macro and micro trends. The name already says much about them, but understanding perfectly what each of them mean is fundamental for knowing how to deal with trends. Therefore, the intention of this article is to get you familiar with the main three types of trends.
Megatrends events that occur over a longer period of time and of which we can be sure about, influencing all the aspects of life. These events mostly occur as a reaction to the behavior and activities done by people in the last century but also more recently. Examples of these trends are demographic changes, urbanization, climate change, advance in technology and so on. This kind of tendencies cannot be stopped or influenced easily, but it’s possible – and advised – to respond to them.
As it was mentioned in a previous post, megatrends are the ones dictating the lead, showing us the bigger picture. Identifying them acts as a starting point in trend spotting as most of the other trends came as a response to this category. You can see an extended list of megatrends here.
Macro-trends are the children of megatrends. They are more numerous and all of them related to the “profession” of their parents. As megatrends are covering a very large area, mega-trends tend to focus on certain parts of the bigger picture.
Take as example climate change – it comes in a package with melting glaciers, natural disasters, rising level of the oceans and so on. Or another example would be the megatrend “advances in technology” which comes with Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Smart Homes, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and many more. Analysing macro-trends is done by looking at certain regions and more specific target audiences. These trends are again a starting point for the next category of Micro-trends. A list with some of the current emerging macro-trends can be found here.
“Micro-trends are at the core of all our trend services and remain true to their format. They organise, support and create transparency for the developments and innovations of the 21st century. Those who understand today what could be commonplace tomorrow can take an important step towards the present and thereby pave the way into the future.” – Nils Müller, founder & CEO of TRENDONE
Micro-trends are the “nephews” of megatrends and “children” of Macro-trends. They are the most active, diverse and appearing very fast one after another. The list of micro-trends is the most lengthy and diverse, and that’s because they are the “solutions” that directly address to consumers. These micro-trends can also be segmented into categories such as marketing & media innovations, new technologies, service innovations, innovative business models, international start-ups, and many others.
Example of micro trend was Facebook when it first appeared as a social-media platform. It was quite a niche service used only by a group of students, which later ended up by being a key driver to the entire social-media movement. More micro-trends can be found here.
Last but not least, fads are the opposite of trends because they only keep for a short period of time. As this article says, this doesn’t mean we need to ignore them, especially if we have to do with people that may be following them. Examples of fads are commonly seen in clothing, diets, exercised, hairstyles and more other areas like this. Fads are easily driven by social media channels today. In fact, social media was a fad until later stages of today in which it can even be perceived almost as a megatrend.