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When It’s Good to Catch a Cold…

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

They say that when America sneezes, the UK catches a cold.

Like when the USA’s subprime property market collapsed and caused the 2008 financial crash over here.

Or when the US dot-com bubble burst in March 2000 it led to a rout that pushed scores of British businesses to the wall.

But it’s not just an economic connection, and nor is there always a negative outcome…

Many social, cultural and technological trends are born across the pond… then hit our shores months, or even YEARS later.

For example, I remember when mid-‘90s TV shows like Frasier and Friends depicted Americans hanging out in smart, stylish coffee shops all day, drinking lattes, and thinking it was strange.

At that time, cafés in Britain were not cool, or places to hang out and work, and there was just ‘coffee or tea’ on offer… no speciality blends, gourmet roasts, syrups and frothing machines.

But by the early 2000s, places like Starbucks were changing the way we drank coffee in the UK, and soon our own versions of Starbucks, like Costa Coffee and Caffè Nero, were cropping up on every high street.

Same went for fast-food culture…

Chains such as McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King were established in the States long before they became commonplace in Britain.

Social media too…

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more recently, TikTok, all originated in the United States before they became global phenomena.

Similarly, the shift towards streaming services for entertainment, led by Netflix and Amazon Prime, began in the US and would quickly change how people consume television and movies in the UK.

There are so many examples…

I could talk about the way HipHop started in the Bronx in the late 70s, but didn’t really become mainstream in UK culture until the late 90s.

Or how yoga, Pilates, high-intensity interval training and wearable fitness technology, became huge wellness trends in the US before becoming popular in the UK.

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Or how the Black Lives Matter movement started as a response to a racial incident in the USA but spread across the pond to spark discussions about race, inequality, and policing in Britain.

These are just the big, well-known case studies….

But there are countless smaller trends that start across the Atlantic, gain traction, then eventually get picked up over here.

It goes for specific products too, like the fidget spinner, the Peloton fitness bike, the eScooter and the ‘Beyond Meat’ vegan range.

So keeping a close eye on what’s hot in the USA could be very lucrative for you.

It’s like having a crystal ball, being able to see what’s about to become a hot subject or a trend before they happen.

But how would you go about spotting these trends?

Well, here are some ways to do it.

How to Create Your Transatlantic Crystal Ball

Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) can be goldmines for emerging trends.

To do that, you need to get an account, then search for and follow hashtags related to areas you’re interested in (e.g., #TechTrends, #FashionTrends).

They have a “For You” page based on your interests and interactions. Spend time on it to spot trending videos and emerging patterns.

Following US-based influencers in various niches can also give you early insight into emerging trends.

It’s worth visiting reddit.com and exploring subreddits related to trend spotting, such as /r/Trends, /r/Futurology, and niche-specific subreddits.

Look for posts with high engagement but low overall visibility. These can be early indicators of emerging ideas before they hit the mainstream. Reddit’s upvote system can help identify what’s gaining traction.

Also seek out American LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups focused on specific industries or interests.

Where possible, subscribe to a few good US-based YouTube channels and podcasts that focus on niche interests, industries, or general lifestyle trends.

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I also recommend taking a weekly browse through The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal – they do have paywalls but they could be goldmines for you.

You should also go to Amazon.com – the US version of Amazon – and look at bestselling products that are new and generating lots of reviews.

While you’re there, I recommend you look at non-fiction books that are recently published, particularly in the areas of self-help, business, marketing, diet and wellness.

Because whether or not you want to publish an eBook yourself, these titles will indicate the hottest topics, lifestyle ideas, business innovations and behavioural trends that could soon arrive in Britain.

Examples from recent years include ‘mindfulness’, ‘digital detox’ and ‘side hustles’, which did the rounds in the USA before people over here even knew what these terms meant.

You could use these to form the basis of information products like courses, memberships sites, newsletters, planners and guides,

Once you’ve scoured Amazon.com for the latest non-fiction releases, look at nonfiction bestseller lists from major US publishers and retailers. Also explore upcoming releases to see what topics are on the horizon.

Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo feature innovative projects that reflect emerging trends.

You can also use Google Trends (trends.google.com) to explore trending topics in the USA. Search for specific terms or browse categories to see what’s currently gaining interest.

  1. Adjust the region to the United States and explore the ‘Recently Trending’ section.

Finally, if you want to spot specific products….

Two Great Trend Spotting Sites to Try

There’s a fascinating site called producthunt.com.

It’s a community-driven platform where new products, apps, tech creations, hardware, and other consumer-oriented technologies are showcased every day like this:

The products are organised into categories like:

  • Games: new video games, mobile games, and gaming-related products or services.
  • Podcasts: Products related to podcasts, podcast creation tools, or podcast services.
  • Books: New book releases, especially those related to technology, entrepreneurship, or self-improvement,.
  • Newsletter: new email newsletters, subscription-based newsletters, or newsletter tools and services.
  • Marketing: Products and services related to marketing, advertising, social media marketing
  • Productivity: productivity apps, task management tools, and note-taking apps.
  • Design Tools: Products designed for designers, such as graphic design software, UI/UX tools, or design resources,
  • Artificial Intelligence: Products and services that utilize artificial intelligence, machine learning, or related technologies are listed in this category.
  • Blockchain: Blockchain-based products, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other blockchain-related services
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The site is popular with product enthusiasts, tech innovators, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in the latest digital tools, services, and technology trends.

Users can upvote products they like, participate in discussions, ask questions directly to product makers, and provide feedback.

They also offer ‘Product Hunt Radio’ which features interviews with entrepreneurs, product developers, and industry leaders.

So this could be a great source of earlybird info!

You should also check out Trend Hunter (trendhunter.com). This one of the world’s largest trend sites and an excellent resource for spotting the new products, concepts, and innovations.

Although Trend Hunter is global, look for trends tagged or described as being popular or emerging in the United States.

Trend Hunter offers custom reports and research into specific niches, industries, or regions, including tailored analysis of trends gaining traction in the USA.

You should also pay attention to the Trend Hunter score, which is an indicator of the popularity and potential of each trend.

So I know there’s a lot to take in there, but if you can take a bit of time to do this research into emerging US trends you could find yourself with a brilliant business or product idea at the end of it.

Imagine getting into a UK trend at the ground floor!

Try it and let me know what you find…

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