How trends are born, identified and affect your business.

Text and floral design by Bill Schaffer, aifd, aaf, pfci and Kristine Kratt, aifd, pfci
Photo by Mary Hiltner; Giftware Co., Inc.

Color of the Year, The Hot List, What’s Next? Trends can be overwhelming.
Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, Gen Zers/Centennials — which trend works for which generation

January is the month of new beginnings, but just because a new year begins does not mean that new trends magically arrive. Trends continuously emerge from countless areas that affect the wants of the American populace. Colors and prints in the worlds of fashion, automotive, paint, home décor and many other worldwide industries are examined to determine which color direction those product manufacturers have researched and are creating products in.

how trends affect the floral industry

Floral industry trend forecasters analyze those same trends and compare them with the latest innovations and products, social media, politics, consumer behaviors, demographics, the environment, the arts, music scenes and more to understand how trends converge and how you can use them to affect your future flower sales.

Flower trends are more of an informed future vision and not a crystal ball prediction. In actuality, most trend forecasting is based on long-term macro trends and seasonal and spontaneously emerging short-lived microtrends.

“The more you understand about the likely future, the more you can shape it to

be as you wish. You might not be able to change the shape of the future itself, but you can adjust your own position to take best advantage of future developments,” states Ray Hammond, one of Europe’s most renowned futurists.

Understanding and researching your market is key to using trends to best relate to an infrequent customer or a new client you are looking to attract, and to show your existing customers that you are in the know. Of course, finding and tracking trends is only the beginning. There is a never-ending cycle of microtrends that appear and disappear, with lifespans that are shorter than ever. These trends could be started by chefs, architects, athletes, social media influencers, musicians and more. However these microtrends are born, they can inspire our floral designs, our store environments and, most important, the stories we tell about ourselves and our company. It is your choice which trends you want to follow and that best meet the demographic needs of  your market.

a current trend, and how flowers fit

An example of a current microtrend is the refresh of a more comfort- and texturally-based personalized style that reflects today’s consumers’ growing need for interactive  products. With the continuing progress of smart technologies and with humans’ increasingly screen-based lives, people have begun to crave highly tactile experiences.

As floral designers, we have the perfect products to offer them. Designs that are organic and not overworked; more open design styles that are natural and comfortable to live with; and unusual and unexpected foliages, berries, branch material and other textural flowers offer the nostalgic, cuttings-from-the-garden feel that many of today’s shoppers are searching for.

Whether you are a business owner, consultant, marketer, buyer or floral designer, understanding what influences and motivates your existing and future customers is vital when creating commercially successful designs, marketing strategies, and in-store and web-based merchandising.

Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, and Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, are the creative directors behind Schaffer Designs, a floral event company. Bill and Kris are diverse contributors in the floral industry, specializing in not only trend translations, education, product development, and showroom and trade show design but also commissioned floral installations as well as being award-winning authors. Email and/or

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