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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Book Review: The Trendmaster's Guide by Robyn Waters

The Trendmaster's Guide
Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next
by Robyn Waters (Former VP of Trend, Design, and Product Development at Target)

Review Rating Scale: "Yawn." "Eh." "Hmmn." "Wow."
Yeah, I knew better, but I got suckered by her "Former VP of Trends at Target" qualifier and figured maybe she got some "secrets". Her cheerleader-style writing is rather shallow and annoying, revealing secrets like "high enthusiasm can win a client presentation". Whoa. Obviously she wants you to hire her to consult, so this book is little more than her sales tool to jazz up clients, with pep-talks and unnecessary mysticism around the idea of trending. Her hook point made at the outset asserts a difference between "coolhunting" and what she calls "trendmastering". One is simply random novelties in a void - cool shit you see on the street corner. Whereas another is plotting these implication points into a bigger picture. Ok. She had me at hello, there. But unfortunately, the rest of the book only offers superficial techniques for how to pay keener attention when shopping for trends at stores, and anecdotal tales of her past presentations and victories in the trenches. Nothing whatsoever about translating economic drivers, social shifts, psychology, demographic shifts...all that hard, boring science stuff seems to not be any part of what she calls trendmastering afterall. Whatever.

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