Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on December 19, 2016

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Non-Obvious Trends for 2017 with Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava On Brand

“I don’t look far enough ahead to call myself a futurist.” Instead, Rohit Bhargava focuses on being a “non-obvious” trend curator, to the benefit of brands big and small. Each year since 2011, he has curated the digital trends businesses need to be aware of in his Non Obvious book series. The 2017 edition just came out and I couldn’t wait to ask Rohit about it on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava is a “non-obvious” trend curator, founder of the Influential Marketing Group, and an expert in helping brands and leaders be more influential. He is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of five books on topics as wide ranging as the future of business, building a brand with personality, and why leaders never eat cauliflower. Rohit has advised hundreds of global brands and also teaches marketing at Georgetown University. A two-time TEDx speaker, Rohit has keynoted events in 31 countries and is regularly featured as a marketing expert by media such as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and NPR.

Episode Highlights

Why Rohit does “the dumbest thing you could do as an author” … Because he keeps revising the same book. “I rewrite 35% of the book each year!” Since 2011, Rohit has curated 15 trends we need to be aware of. This along with his treatise on the future makes up his Non-Obvious book series which tracks trends in the areas of Culture and Consumer Behavior, Marketing and Social Media, Media and Education, Technology and Design, and Economics and Entrepreneurship.

Why your brand needs to embrace “lovable imperfection.” Rohit told us about how today’s irrational customers often require brands with lovable imperfection. “These are those brand who aren’t afraid to be flawed.” Like Jackie Chan having fun with his audience during the outtakes of his movies.

What trends haven’t changed since Rohit began Non-Obvious? “The universal human principles. What we like, what we don’t like, and why. How technology is impacting our lives” is what’s changing. The human factors are the constant.

What’s an ‘anti-trend’? “ Once something is identified as a trend, there’s always something that comes forward and succeeds by doing the opposite.” It’s important to note that this contrarian success doesn’t negate the impact of the initial trend.

What’s one trend that businesses aren’t thinking enough about? “The role that technology is playing in our lives — even in ways we don’t know.”

What brand has made Rohit smile recently? “Innocent Drinks — out of the UK. They make smoothies and are very British with their humor. Like their bottles that say, ‘Stop Looking at My Bottom.’” (Below.) We’re smiling just looking at it!

To learn more, go to rohitbhargava.com.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Speaking of trends … recently former On Brand podcast guest Bryan Kramer released a list of 70 social media and content marketing trends from experts including several other former guests of the show. Check it out now!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!



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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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