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At the beginning and end of every year, we see lists and more lists featuring trends. From ‘projections’ to ‘roundups’, it’s trendy to talk about trends. But… just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s right for your business.

We’ve put together some tips on how to figure out which 2018 trends will work for you.

1. Make sure it’s a trend and not a fad.

If we’ve learned anything from the ever-changing world of fashion or tech, there are things that seemed great at the time. Now we look at those fads and wonder what we were thinking. Make sure the marketing or Web design trends you’re jumping on aren’t too drastic from what you’re already working with. That will make it much easier to correct should the trend turn into a trite fad down the line.

2. Don’t rush to be first.

When a new product takes off, there are always some kinks to work out. These kinks will either take it back to the drawing board or pave the way for something great. Take live streaming as an example. It started off clunky and glitzy and now large and small businesses alike are using the feature to build engaged communities around their products and services. While you should take advantage of the trends that are tried and true, you don’t need to waste your time while the developers are still working.

3. Know your audience.

One thing that we think gets lost in the excitement when implementing new trends is your audience. If you were to change how your Website functions, would that benefit your customers or alienate them? The number one thing you should consider before jumping on a trend is how your target demographic will respond. If a chatbot is something that would further help nurture their experience with your products or services, go for it. But if they’re going to stick to more traditional ways of communicating with you, it might not be worth the effort at this time.

4. Don’t be afraid to test trends out on a trusted focus group.

In theory, a lot of the new trends in design and social media sound great. And a lot of times they are. However, sometimes they just won’t work for your business or industry. They say you never know until you try but before you dive in, run the changes by some of your loyal customers or clients. Get their feedback about switching to a parallax site or how easy it is to navigate your site on mobile. These ‘super-users’ will help you stay on trend while staying true to your brand and customers’ needs.

5. Be aware and prioritize.

There are trends coming from all different directions. A lot of times, no two lists are alike. With that many trends hitting the sales, marketing, and graphic design industries, no one can truly keep up. However, you don’t have to implement everything in order to be considered up-to-date. It’s important to be familiar with the trends. It’s important to follow the ones that you’re interested in but not ready to pull the trigger on. Tackle the most important changes first and then let the rest fall into place as you see fit.

The digital world is always changing and evolving. What worked ten years ago, five years ago, or even just last year, might not work anymore. It’s important to put together a solid plan when you decide to jump on new trends.

If you have any questions about the latest branding, social media or graphic design trends, feel free to contact us! We’ll help you filter out the noise and provide solutions that not just retain your customers, but ‘wow’ them.