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Leaving Behind the Sea of Sameness for Real Trend Forecasting


It’s time to talk about the D-word. 


Angel Bellon, Senior Director of Insights and Cultural Intelligence at Paramount, joins Little Bird Marketing’s CEO, Priscilla McKinney, and divulges a deluge of facts, hacks, and insights around disruption and trend forecasting. It’s a drenching downpour of mindset-shifting expertise that will change YOUR game.

The truth is that business cannot go on as usual. The ever-changing digital landscape and especially *cough cough* Gen Z are disrupting the role of marketing altogether. It’s the role of generations to disrupt, but we’re now living in constant disruption with generational disruption on top of a fast pace of technological disruption and it’s a lot to make sense of at once. It’s even harder for brands to move forward in a meaningful way. 

To operationalize disruption, we first need to get clear on the definition. While innovation and disruption are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Innovation is something new. Disruption is a shift in the industry or with an audience, by redefining how a category typically is perceived. 

On the flip side, “a trend is a shift in consumer behavior and values,” says Angel. They discuss why trend forecasting much start with not only understanding your consumer but also being willing to look at your “anti-consumer.” You must ask difficult questions like: 

  • Who is not buying my brand?
  • Who does not value our category? 
  • Who are we repelling with our marketing messages or strategies? 

To tackle this holistic endeavor, Angel created a trend toolkit workshop at Paramount, and he generously reveals a significant portion of its content, providing us with valuable perspectives and strategies. 

You’ll feel like you drunk from a firehouse after this episode, but you’ll at least realize you’re not alone. 

Angel Bellon is a Senior Director of Insights and Cultural Intelligence at Paramount. A hybrid strategist and cultural anthropologist with over 15 years of experience, Angel fuses consumer insight with cultural foresight to forecast consumer behavior. At Paramount, Angel oversees thought leadership studies to push organizational thinking both internally and externally with Paramount’s advertising partners as well as inject culture-forward inspiration into the branded content creative process. Previously, Angel founded the Cultural Anthropology department at VaynerMedia, which included designing the agency’s insights methodology and overseeing the department’s output across all agency accounts and agency deliverables such as digital and social campaigns, audio/voice and brand strategy. Angel has presented at Advertising Week, Social Media Week, WPP Stream and the United Nations. Angel holds a Master’s in Media Studies from The New School and is a frequent guest lecturer at The University of Southern California (USC).

Shoutout to this episode’s sponsor: The Insights Association 2023 Conference

We're looking forward to being in glorious Hilton Head, South Carolina, April 24th through the 26th for the Insights Association Annual Conference. Known for providing exclusive research and objective brand-presented content. The agenda for this year's IA Annual has been expanded to deeply examine four important disciplines: qualitative research, experience management, data analytics and quantitative, and behavioral research. Within each, we'll explore immerging trends, quality advancements, DEI progress and tangible business impact. More information on the agenda, which includes presenters from TD Bank, Mondelez, Masonite, Delta Faucet Company, Fidelity Investments, AARP and many other leading brands can be found at insightsassociation.org Use promo code ACBird to get 15% off your registration. We hope to see you there.

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