How to Catch Hot Design Trends in Print on Demand Business?
Waves of demand do not always depend on current events - a brand can become popular in a matter of hours or remain in the shadows for years. This guide will help you determine how competitive your business is regarding print on demand trends and what tools you should use for quality market research.
Keeping up with the latest trends in print on demand is never easy: you've got a business to run, after all. In addition, it is challenging to keep up with the changing popularity of products, except directing all efforts to develop marketing strategies consistent with the POD industry. In this case, the demand for goods is highly dependent on consumers' beliefs, habits, and behavior. Take, for example, the principles of sustainability. After many famous brands have fallen in customers' eyes because of the use of cheap children labor, which indicates slavery in the 21st century, social reference points made a challenge to fashion. The concept of ESG has emerged, which now guides entrepreneurs, employees, and consumers. The path of such a trend is a gradual shift from shock to action toward more respectful treatment of employees. That has the following effect on demand:
- There is a growing public concern about the social problem. Hence, there are some questions about the production of items and the team of workers involved in all stages of product creation.
- Satisfaction with the product affects the brand’s rating.
- The higher the social activity, the greater the recognition.
Finally, the phenomenon of popularity itself allows you to set the tone for everything that happens in the industry.
To dive into a new niche market, make partnerships, or conduct a thorough analysis of an entire market, you need to research. That's what we'll talk about further.
Table of contents
Research research research
There is a gold standard among marketers for recognizing trending search subjects in the POD industry. We are talking about some tools that can provide valuable data and determine the next steps in promoting print on demand graphic designs. Use these sources to help you find out what's trending and create competitive research.
As online content has become the primary source of information for many people, their search queries determine the demand in the marketplace. And different segments of the audience may be guided by local needs for a particular item, regardless of the time frame. Google Trends, in this case, resembles the analytics of horse racing predictions when evaluating the shape of a horse, its past successes and awards, age, presence of injuries, etc. In terms of software, you can track keyword search volume, identify seasonal trends, predict temporal ones, and find topics gaining popularity. However, you can read a detailed analysis of this tool here.
Let's say you decide to start selling print on demand mugs somewhere in California. That is a seasonal commodity in this region.
Study this product in combination with some gaining popularity designs - so you will predict the future demand and get a unique chance to get ahead of the rivals.
Suppose you aim for omnichannel marketing and want to sell your print on demand clothing worldwide. In that case, you should research the major players in the market, learn the best business ideas and the most marketable product categories. That is what the Exploding Topics tool is for.
As you can see in the screenshot, sneakers are the most popular this month. Doing a little resurfacing, we see a particular salesman FEWOCiOUS, who set the dynamics of selling real sneakers paired with virtual ones: he sold some 600 pairs/NFTs in just six minutes! That means you should be up to date with the latest design trends: you may also use this unusual idea to develop your own business, given the novelty of NFT technology and its prospects.
To identify the most recent events and topics in the print on demand industry, you should thoroughly research all aspects of it (if it's clothing, then retail trends, rivals, strategic moves, and consumer insights.) You can find it all on Feedly.
The app aims to find different viewpoints of influencers and new products that have just appeared.
Of course, working through the huge amount of content and identifying saleable products is only half the battle. Given that there are many channels, they should be carefully monitored, and all the risks of implementing specific strategies should be taken into account. There is a highly specialized print on demand platform whose task is to save you time, automate the production, shipping, payment, communication, etc. Tools such as PodZa establish a method of the three-way interaction between the owner, the product, and the consumer.
Nevertheless, it would help to resort to social networks, mass media, and word of mouth to increase the brand's reliability and recognition. Read on for more details.
Do you remember when the whole world was obsessed with Kardashian family TV shows? How did Kim first wear her famous top and leggings costume? It seems then that all women went wild and wanted the same clothes. Isn't it?
Or “Twin Peaks,” which is still a source of style inspiration. Its highly aesthetic way of meeting the mundane with the unusual, sinister, and supernatural made a trend for sharp suits, saddle shoes, and long skirts. This mix of 50s and 90s styles, surrealism, and modernity delighted the audience.
What about the cult series “Peaky Blinders?” You have to agree; everyone wanted for a minute to be one of those guys or girls living in old 20th century Birmingham and doing some illegal things. The series has even had a significant impact on the closets of Brits (and probably around the world). Everyone was impressed by the minor details, from the cufflinks, tie-pins, and textures to the resonant style of several costume eras.
When people see a beautiful thing that impresses them, they desire to get it. Sometimes, their price can be too high; they start looking for alternatives. If your production can not expand the range to use more elegant fabrics or styles, do not rule out the option of quality graphic design for print on demand products. Start a line of stylized T-shirts or hats. Do you think they are doomed to fail? So, go back a few steps and investigate the viability of the trend again. Visit famous sites where they sell such things. Just look at the variety on Etsy!
If you have experience using TikTok, it will undoubtedly be easier for you to orient which product is gaining popularity and has already become a breakthrough. Nevertheless, several standard practices keep one's eyes peeled and determine the next steps in advancement.
- Spend more time on the platform
The best way to understand what's inside is to open it up. So if you don't have a profile yet, you should register first. When viewing content, pay attention to details, from the angle of the shot to a specific sound or visual effect. This will help build a chain of print on demand design suggestions that can result in viable projects.
- Track content outside your feed
You can find viral clips in the Discover tab or access the application under different names. Use search hashtags and topics directly related to your tags, customers, and industry.
- Explore the impact of current events and pop culture
The creators of TikTok quickly react to everything that happens in the world. If at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic people were concerned about protecting themselves from infection and washing their hands on camera, now the main event that turned the world upside down is the war in Ukraine. Many brands do a great job supporting this country by introducing the latest news, stories, and humor.
As we know, war often affects people's perception of colors and styles. For example, in the postwar period, the famous Coco Chanel focused on creating the so-called uniform for women: a tweed pantsuit with a slim silhouette was the perfect combination of freedom and comfort. The same thing is happening now: the Ukraine President's irreplaceable olive-colored T-shirt is becoming a challenge to the entire business world and fashion itself.
- Consider the life cycle of a trend
Every trend has an expiration date, but there are timeless ones. Remember we talked earlier about how Google Trends identifies seasonal and temporal trends? You have to be close to them to understand what’s happening. For example, selling print on demand shoes and their virtual version is probably doomed to success, especially if you run a powerful PR campaign.
Grumpy Cat or Success Kid have become iconic memes of this decade, but their use continues to grow. Perhaps this is because short funny images sometimes share the mood of an entire generation. Unless you want to be "Ok, Boomer"-ed, it's better to dive into the world of memes and learn what they represent. So, here we go!
Once long ago, this old-timer of the Internet surpassed Facebook and became the most popular site for memes. There are several main categories, each of which contains current selections. Pictures can be commented on and voted on.
If you're hungry for more print on demand design ideas, visit this site. This encyclopedia of memes has been around for more than ten years, so imagine how much is here! There is a detailed explanation of memes if you sometimes find it hard to understand humor (like the famous British jokes). A valuable feature of this site is the source map, which helps you avoid future copyright misunderstandings.
The name of this website speaks for itself. Check out the catalogs if you want to print something legendary and rare. As a bonus, you can also contribute to making your favorite picture the meme of the decade.
Quora, Reddit, etc.
Good community managers have well-polished schemes for listening to trending social media topics for their vertical. Q&A platforms should not be neglected either: they also help identify and test viral content through expert opinions. For instance, there are about 250,000 topics on Quora, among which there is a place for POD. To narrow your search, you should go deeper and explore subsidiary issues. You can collect them manually with an Excel spreadsheet or a website scrape. In the "Trending" tab, you can analyze Quora's list of Trending Questions for social media marketing. To make it easier on sites like this, use Buzzsumo, identifying popular content on Q&A websites and YouTube.
You can also get ideas on Reddit: there are many rabbit holes to develop your content roadmap. Reddit's Top 50 Memes Daily scans the most popular meme-based subreddits to find what's popular. Based on views and votes, the platform's algorithms find nascent memes and those at the peak of popularity. We suggest using Frontpagemetrics.com to see which topics are most attractive by the day, week or month.
Designs for trending professions
People are divided into humanitarians and technicians, some like to grow cucumbers in a garden bed, and some prefer to watch the crystals of copper sulfate. All of this affects the choice of profession and, accordingly, self-expression. For example, experts often like to tell more about themselves with a simple picture on a T-shirt. They are the ones who can become a separate segment of your audience and expand the business.
It's simple: you should study what professions are relevant this year. In 2022 it is Information Security Analyst, Nurse Practitioner, Software Developer, etc. Next, you should work on popular topics in the field and then create a new masterpiece, perhaps destined for success. Nevertheless, many aspiring designers make blunders, which affect the brand's popularity. We have already written about avoiding design mistakes, and so far, this is the best advice we can give to newbies.
Breathe new life into your trending items of last seasons
Sooner or later, any brand becomes obsolete and boring to the masses. The list of those who face irrelevance is growing, and there is less space in the market because everything that could be invented is already there. Breathing new life into outdated collections will help newness. So, write down the recipe for the soup.
- First, study the current trends in print on demand and analyze where your brand is. Don't be biased: try to be realistic about your collections' characteristics. Identify barriers and triggers that can overcome them. Conduct a detailed audit of your competitors and understand how they compare favorably.
- Let's start with rebranding, or instead, we can make adjustments to the purpose and mission of the brand. For example, people like environmentally friendly products because of a greater awareness lately. To do this, brands are changing their outlook and becoming more sustainable.
- Take charge of planning a new brand concept. Develop a strategy for its implementation.
- Attract attention with quality content. Constant communication with potential customers through verbal, visual, and even tactile sensations will strengthen the company's position in the market.
There is no doubt that brand revitalization is hard work and takes time and money. So, calculate your strength, have patience, and accumulate resources to engage in an equal fight with your competitors.
Society seems to have spent the last two decades rethinking its relationship with nature, money, and itself. Now we are increasingly focused on the principles of social well-being, environmentalism, and tolerance of particularities. So now is the right time, more than ever, to renovate the concept of values by referring to global trends. This guide discussed where you could get ideas for updates, what tools to use, and how to breathe new life into old things.