Can supercomputers predict fashion trends? Based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicts that steampunk, a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year.
Smart retailers are using social analytics to better understand, predict and shape consumer demand for “must-have” products before a particular trend gets saturated in the marketplace,” said Trevor Davis, Consumer Products Expert with IBM’s Global Business Services. “By staying ahead of a trend as it develops, a retailer can more effectively control critical merchandizing, inventory and planning decisions. Technology can provide tremendous foresight to help businesses differentiate what is a fleeting fad, versus what is an enduring trend.”
The IBM Social Sentiment Index uses advanced analytics and natural language processing technologies to analyze large volumes of social media data in order to assess public opinions. The Index can identify and measure positive, negative and neutral sentiments shared in public forums such as Twitter, blogs, message boards and other social media, and provide quick insights into consumer conversations about issues, products and services. Representing a new form of market research, social sentiment analyses offer organizations new insights that can help them better understand and respond to consumer trends.