5 Questions for our Trend Specialist Team
We know you’re always keen to keep up with trends and see what’s in this season, so we’ve teamed up the OtterBox Trend Specialist team to share with us how they work their magic!
– What influences your selection of case colour combinations?
We start our yearly colour palette one year in advance so that we can get all of our colours matched in the correct materials and manufactured on time for the following year.
The process starts by gathering trend data from trend analysis tools, Pantone® and trend blogs. We also attend external workshops to review upcoming colour trends; trend forecasting is really about being observant and recognising repeating patterns. We then work very closely with our Marketing team so that we can create colour palettes that appeal to our consumers for each of our Series.
This year, we worked with a range of outside trend specialists and consultants to use trend data to assign colours to each Series and develop our seasonal colour combinations.
Sometimes trend forecasting is a little out there because it is in the future, so sharing the story of how we got there and why it is relevant is extremely important. We use a lot of visuals to show our story, especially for colours and graphics, by creating mood boards with trending images.
– How do you start planning the colour palette ahead for the next season?
When we develop a yearly palette we create colourways, which is the combination of two or more colours, to represent a Spring/Summer season and a Fall/Winter season. Since we follow fashion trends so closely, we break up the palettes to reflect the trends happening in the fashion industry.
When it comes time for a launch we work with the team for the project to put together what we want to offer for that device. Based on the time of the launch, we pick either Spring/Summer offerings or Fall/Winter; we carry over our best sellers and neutrals from season to season within each year.
– How do you keep in touch with current trends and styles?
To keep up to date on current trends we are constantly looking at trend sites, different bloggers for fashion or art and keeping an eye on events around the world such as fashion weeks and festivals that are known to influence style.
We rely heavily on a trend analysis tool to guide and confirm that we’re relevant and on trend with our consumers. This source provides trend data up to 3 years out but also sends daily updates and confirms trends.
Trends are also specific to regions, so we look at trend data for each of our global geographies to appeal to our consumer’s worldwide. However, colour trends often carry over so we can still utilise some of the same colours.
– What advice would you give someone who is looking to develop a career in the trend specialist or design space?
You need to learn how to have an unbiased opinion, especially when it comes to colour. Colour is such an emotional experience it is difficult not to just pick your favourites. Every decision should be based on fact. Is it relevant in trends? Can you support this choice with facts?
It is also hard to just jump in and know what is happening. It takes a lot of time reading and researching different sources before you have a feel of what is trending. We look at our trend sources daily to keep a pulse of what is new and exciting.
Visuals are your best friend when sharing trend information. Sometimes trend stories are hard to communicate because they are new ideas that most people are unfamiliar with. Mood boards help to connect and share the story to everyone.
The most rewarding part is seeing the trends that you have worked on for so long appearing across other products. It is a confirmation that all your hard work does pay off.
– What’s on the horizon for OtterBox in terms of style and colour palettes?
Our team has just wrapped up the 2016 colour palette. We are extremely excited and proud of the time and effort we put into building this style focused collection. Our 2016 colour palette is designed to speak to our consumer and be an extension of their personality, just like a purse or a pair of shoes.
Do you have a case pattern or colour idea? Tell us what your trend predictions are in the comments section below…