Should brands follow the trend or the anti-trend? Insights from Ikea, McDonald's and Burger King

Joseph Gelman

Companies, and especially those in the FMCG world, have a profound interest in understanding where their consumers are heading. Cool hunters, trend watchers, urban influencers: all of these subjects have become a known and relevant part of the corporate world, with the objective of better understanding how consumers' lives are evolving and how this can translate into innovative products and services.

Typically, a company will put some effort into identifying these consumer trends and use this knowledge as one of the inputs into the innovation process. When confronted with these trends, companies usually embrace them and try to respond to them. In fact, in some cases they are able to become first movers or actually shape consumer behavior (act as trend setters) by owning a certain trend at the appropriate time and with the right propositions.