Trend forecasting: An art or a science?
Predicting the future of the gems and jewellery industry sounds more like witchcraft than a technological outcome. However, there have been courses and degrees like “PhD” in forecasting. So, forecasting is a field of study that can be mastered!
Trend forecasting used to be an art – where experts analysed situations and circumstances to speculate future trends. Forecasting was conventionally based on “intuition.” People capture the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era and translate it into products, services, or campaigns that consumers will react positively to in the near future.
The advent and development of technology as well as data science in this field has changed the way speculations are made. Brands are seeking hard-evidence and statistical data from trend forecasting agencies. The rise of big data has led to shifting the subject from intuition to data science.
Role of data science in trend forecasting
Data analysis and AI plays a significant role in trend forecasting. Large amounts of data is collected from various sources like social media, brands, and other platforms to study the future trends. Quantitative as well as qualitative data sets are combined with global intelligence to get the desired outcome. Through diligent research and methodology, experts make sense out of millions of unstructured data pieces and turn them into meaningful and actionable insights.
The team of researchers and data scientists constantly expand and enhance data content to add even more value to reporting, introducing sophisticated models and algorithms to drive scalable accuracy. Trend forecasting agencies offer accurate product predictions using forecasting algorithms.
Data and analysis in the gems and jewellery industry has helped jewellers predict sales on the basis of existing customer data. For example, if you want to improve conversions in the purchasing funnel, understanding why customers at the store are dropping off is going to be a critical insight. Jewellers can analyse comments and reviews in their feedback forms and understand what stops them from achieving their goal and optimise strategies accordingly.
Embark on a hands-on journey into the captivating domain of Jewelry Design with our Graduate Manual Course at JK.
Forecasting a distinct style with a macro trend
A global circumstance can lead to the creation of a niche trend. For instance, the fashion industry is burgeoning with Athleisure clothing as more and more women have turned towards healthy living and embraced the lifestyle involving delayed marriage and childbirth. There are certain trendsetters that brands and businesses must keep an eye on. Don’t just limit yourself to the Kardashians – media and entertainment, politics, healthcare, gadgets and technology too are responsible for setting macro trends.
Trends also hop from one category to another. For instance, Vegan food paved the way for vegan cosmetics and vegan clothing! Similarly, rose-gold jewellery and accessories led to the boom of rose-gold iPhones.
The obsession with the evil eye on a global scale served as an inspiration to jewellery designers who created pieces using the trend. Macro trends could also be financial in nature – for example – due to the recent war situation between Russia and Ukraine, the US imposed a ban on Russian Diamonds. As an after effect of this ban, the prices of rough diamonds coming from Russia have drastically reduced.
Is it important to study foreign and international market trends?
Brands that are intending to expand in reach and grow in business must take into account cultural and geographical differences. It is crucial to understand international market trends and make amends in the personal business.
The gems and jewellery industry is a globalised industry that is capable of transforming the way traditional brands and small businesses approach business – from planning to marketing. For a big brand like Tanishq — customers’ desires are addressed with market segmentation and product differentiation. Their sales strategies are dependent on which trends are predicted to be most desirable for the particular geography.
Trend forecasting can be a major advantage for all brands, not only for global giants like Zara, because some approaches go so far as to analyse different geographies when analysing trends.
TrendVision, a jewellery forecasting independent research centre offers great material for research. The Jewellery Trendbook serves as a definitive guide to trends in the jewellery market. Divided by thematic areas, The Jewellery Trendbook describes the evolution of consumption in the luxury market and takes a careful look at the emerging phenomena that condition the evolution of society, reflecting on purchasing behaviour.
Paula De Luca
JK Diamonds Institute invited Paola De Luca, an Italian luxury trends forecaster, best known for developing a Trend Book predicting global jewellery design trends, and began her career as a jewellery designer. De Luca is the founder of The Futurist Ltd, a research and creative intelligence company that carries out projects for clients in the global luxury sector.
In her webinar with students of JK, Paola states that even in times of crisis, people’s desire to look good and feel good pertains. And therefore, people will buy gold. The difference will occur in terms of how precious their purchase might be, but they will still make a purchase.
Paula De Luca’s webinar on Trend Forecasting can help you gain insights straight from the expert!
Research forms the foundation of Forecasting:
Understanding future trends requires a detailed analysis of the past and present events. A team of expert researchers study events to generate statistical data. Indian markets are gradually influenced by international markets, at least a substantial market of the gems and jewellery industry. Thus, researching global trends helps determine the market’s potential.
For instance, lab grown diamonds are currently flourishing in the US and Hong Kong which eventually is slowly finding acceptance in India.
Here are 6 tips to forecast trends in today’s market:
Understanding your customers
Your customers are key sources of information for your brand. It is crucial to understand your customers inside-out. Often, marketers are concerned with the demographics of their audience. However, it is important to focus on the psychographics too! Customer psychographics help you find out what the audience listens to, social media apps that they use frequently, the kind of influencers they follow, the videos that entice them, etc. Understanding how your consumer thinks will give you great insight into what they will prefer to possess now and in the future.
Basically, find out what influences your audiences and keep a keen eye on it!
Utilise latest technology
Technology has revolutionised almost every field of study. Data science is playing a major role in forecasting future trends. Gradually, individuals with the knowledge of data science will be preferred in the business of trend forecasting. We encourage our students of JK Diamonds Institute to be educated for a futuristic industry. Our courses offer insights into the future of business to prepare minds for a dynamic, professional world of gems and jewellery.
Cannot emphasise enough on the importance of staying up-to-date with trends and events. Staying aware of events happening around you not only helps in understanding current events but also in predicting the future course of events.
How can you stay up-to-date?
Read up- on the internet, skim through news portals, study reports, flip through magazines.
Social media- majority of the world’s population is available on social media sites. All events and trends are posted on these platforms. As a brand, you must make sure that you create a significant presence on social media.
JK Diamonds Institute in collaboration with Learnathon has an online portal that gives information and updates about the gems and jewellery industry.
Analyse the current economic scenario
Economics helps in determining the demand of the future. The outcome of the study can open new doors of opportunities for businesses. The current economic situation of any place is affected by several factors. When studied together, marketers can get a wider perspective of business.
Hear the collective voice
Consumers are connected and driven by what everyone else likes and prefers, especially the influencers they follow. Social media posts that get maximum likes and shares, viral videos, etc. tend to get all the attention. Hop on to the bandwagon of trends and find the collective trends online.
You can do this by following hashtags on Instagram or visit Google trends. From here you will be able to speak the language of the audience, and sell them the products they want now—and in the future.
Customers are becoming more and more impulsive as time passes. The speed to market has changed drastically. Today’s audience will not wait to get what they want. They need it immediately. Brands must get on their toes and strive to gratify needs immediately. Therefore, businesses need to be more reactive and hook on to trends at the right time.
P.S: Forecasting the future ≠ Changing the future
Trend forecasting helps you hop on to the future demands and prepare for it in advance.