Production of Trends

fourLINK Blog

The Production of Trends

9th January 2018

Back in the not-too-distant past known as 2016, a local trend hit the mainstream: the Danish term "Hygge", which  perfectly embodies the emotion that associates us with Scandinavia. The term “hygge” doesn’t literally translate to other languages, but generally means cosiness, warmth and kindness, a feeling which is emotionally linked to the cosy enjoyment of just enjoying a moment in a pleasant place, with calm things, trusted people and nature. Maybe with some candles and a bottle of wine thrown in for good measure. The popularity of Hygge is shown in the Sunday Times bestsellers book "The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living", by Meik Wiking, which is still hugely popular in the UK today.

Denmark’s neighbour, Sweden, also has its term for hygge (mysigt) but also another interesting term which does not directly translate: "Lagom". The term embraces the Swedish way of life, a country which promotes 'not too little, not too much, nothing extra, just enought’. It is connected with rational spending, honesty and balance. Unlike Hygge, the concept that is connected with feelings, Lagom represents self-discipline and moderation (enough, sufficient, adequate, just right), inspiring us to take over the control of our lives.

The "Trend" industry is functioning in a known way; the audience is understood and so are the needs. Trendsetters who read ‘Vouge’ magazine will see full instructions for a modern lifestyle and how it’s super cool to relax, while showing it to your followers on any of the given social networks. Even how it is explained in Vogue in one of the interviews with a native Swede is part of the trend concept: ‘A Swedish friend explains the concept with one clever, everyday example: milk. In Sweden, 1.5 percent fat "mellanmjölk" is beloved - it’s not a super-lean skim, but also not a fatty whole’. Or consider the ever-popular Scandinavian design - practical and functional but never overly adorned.’ (Source: Vouge, January 2017). Proof that Lagom has a strong influence on the British culture is seen in a magazine called Lagom, where you can find everything you need to know how to put your life in order and live happily.

Fast forward back to New Year 2018, and we have more new trends. This time it’s Scottish, from the old Gaelic word – Còsagach. It’s a new lifestyle trend, although with a similar meaning to Hygge. The term itself represents the sense of being sheltered, warm and cosy. You can imagine a cold Scottish winter with the rain and snowfall, battered by wild winds, gloomy days… but you are inside wearing wooly socks and relaxing by a crackling fireplace while having a hot cup of tea or perhaps a whisky.

Ok, so what are these trends all about?! It is easy to see how social networks easily promote these places in various ways. Could be a nice, 'clean design', that promotes 'green' and recycling, or posts of the world influencers having a warm, cheerful evening in a pub somewhere in the North of Scotland having the best time in their lives.

The Scottish Tourstic Board recognised this opportunity and decided to use it for the promotion of the country, where the 'picture' of the emotions/experience you can have by coming to Scotland will give you unforgetable memories. Visit Scotland defines Còsagach as ‘snug, sheltered or cosy. Some Gaelic speakers point out that the term has questionable meaning, as it translats as ‘full of holes or crevices’.  But that is almost irrelevant for a new trend to take hold as the meaning becomes mainstream.

An explanation comes from a senior manager from Visit Scotland: ‘In researching our Trends 2018 paper, we weren’t looking for a direct translation of ‘cosy’, but a word that encompassed the essence of that feeling which would connect with consumers while recognising the Gaelic language, which is an integral part of Scotland’s culture.’ (Source: Guardian, December 2017).

Scottish Tourism is indeed challenging today’s marketplace. Along with the history, culture and rich heritage, Scotland’s landscape is the country’s essential tourist asset, so it is crucial to build up a trend that will evoke inspiration and desire for UK visitors and all international travellers.

   Source: Visit Scotland - Come Coorie In

Building a brand story through product branding services is a well-thought out process; this niche is a specific business model which targets consumer needs, bearing in mind the current trends. And how to beat the competition? ‘Who needs Hygge when you can have Còsagach?’ is one of the Visit Scotland’s mottos, all about promoting a modern way of living, ‘inviting you’ to slow down and think about your well-being, and the best way you can do it is by visiting the country.

‘Bundle up in the warmest of winter woollies by wrapping yourself in the finest Scottish textiles from the likes of Harris Tweed, Fair Isle and Johnstons of Elgin’ or ‘There is nothing quite like a bracing winter walk to blow away those cobwebs, but there is also nothing better than getting back to the warmth after a day in the cold. Scotland is home to some unforgettable outdoor adventures. Bag a Munro in the Angus Glens before returning to the Glen Clova Hotel to the warmth of a roaring fire, or hit the slopes before tucking into a warming bowl of homemade soup at the Glencoe Mountain café as you gaze out at the natural beauty of Buachaille Etive Mor.’

The trend is just amazing, and who knows what the New Year will bring. We have our hashtag for our product branding services, do you?!