Top 9 Trend Radar Tools & Software
There are plenty of different trend radar tools out there. But you’ve probably noticed that each one provides wildly different types of trends.
To help you find the trend radar software that will show you the highest quality trend suggestions, we'll review nine popular solutions and discuss key differentiators that impact trend suggestion quality, like recency, data sources, and ideal use cases.
1. Exploding Topics
There are plenty of trend identification solutions that show you current trends. However, if you only discover a trend after it's popular, you'll always be a few steps behind your competitors, and it might be too late to innovate.
So how can you discover trends before they become popular?
We couldn't find a good solution to this problem, so we built Exploding Topics. It's a trend discovery tool that lets you easily find a list of emerging trends in seconds.
The flagship feature is the Trends Database, a collection of thousands of under-the-radar trends you can sort by category (finance, design, travel, pets, marketing, AI, etc.) to quickly find relevant trending topics.
Each topic is also a product, brand, or industry keyword – so you can be sure each suggested trend is relevant to your business.
Data quality was a key challenge we encountered with other trend tools before building Exploding Topics. We wanted trend suggestions based on objective data – not just an analyst's gut feeling.
So each trend in the Exploding Topics database is backed by reliable data. Here's how it works:
There are a few benefits to this approach:
- By using AI to surface topics quickly gaining traction, we're unlikely to miss the next batch of emerging trends.
- Historical Google Search volume is an objective growth projection measurement based on an unbiased, global data set.
- A human analyst ensures that each topic is relevant to business use cases.
We also have a database of Trending Products and Trending Startups.
Trending Products makes it easy to quickly find new trending products in your niche with detailed information like revenue, reviews, retail price, and other critical product information.
Trending Startups is a database of the most popular growing startups and provides an overview of the company's funding history, headcount, and other details.
Who Is It For?
Exploding Topics provides under-the-radar trends for B2B and consumer markets and is ideal for investors, founders, and business owners/executives wanting to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.
A key differentiator between Exploding Topics and other trend radar software is its data quality. While trends in other platforms are chosen based on an analyst's opinion, each trend in the Exploding Topics database passes our rigorous three-step qualification process that involves platform scanning, machine learning, and human verification.
- It's a trend discovery platform – while plenty of solutions allow you to analyze trends or find current trending topics, Exploding Topics provides under-the-radar trend suggestions.
- All of the trend suggestions are unbiased and data-driven. They are sourced by AI, qualified based on historical Google Search volume trend data, and then approved by human analysts.
- You can accurately forecast a trend's growth potential based on its historical search volume trajectory.
- Reviewers claim it has a simple user experience with a simple user interface. Unlike many enterprise solutions, it doesn't require any onboarding.
- To make it an affordable trend discovery platform, we don’t offer access to analysts.
- It doesn’t offer generic market data, like TAM, CAGR, or other general metrics.
Exploding Topics offers a free plan that provides access to thousands of trends in the Trends Database. Paid plans start at $39 per month, and Pro members can access premium trend suggestions and other more advanced features like Trends Search, Trending Startups, and Trending Products suggestions.
TrendWatching is a trend intelligence platform that uses a combination of AI and in-house analysts to uncover the latest trends.
It offers a database of searchable trends tagged by topic and provides data from over 80 countries to track local and global trends.
It offers plenty of different features, though its most popular ones include:
- Daily feed: This is a list of curated insights from their analysts on the latest current events.
- Trend framework: This tool uses 15 megatrends and over 230 subtrends to give trend suggestions relevant to your industry.
- Innovations database: They offer over 28,000 examples of product innovations from over 80 different countries to guide your product development process.
- Trend reports: They publish over 300 different topic specific trend reports each year, in addition to the large consumer trend report.
In addition to the SaaS product, they offer seminars and speaking engagements for enterprise clients.
Most of TrendWatching's data is geared primarily toward consumer businesses. So it might not be the best solution if you're looking exclusively for B2B trend data.
Who Is It For?
TrendWatching is a great product for B2C marketers, product developers, and executives that need trend data to guide business decisions.
TrendWatching uses a combination of AI and a global network of trendspotters and analysts to discover trends.
- Provides a variety of trend data from trend reports to bite-sized daily updates.
- Offers real-life examples of successful trend-driven innovations.
- Access to expert-led seminars and live events.
- Data is geared primarily toward consumer businesses, making it a poor fit for B2B companies.
- The platform might be overwhelming for beginners in trend analysis. It also might provide more data than necessary.
TrendWatching operates on a subscription-based model, though they don’t provide any specific pricing information.
3. Google Trends
Google Trends is free trend analysis software provided by Google. You can search any keyword, and it automatically provides an overview of that keyword's historical search volume in Google or YouTube.
This makes it easy to estimate global interest in any topic over an extended period of time. Google Trends also provides other related search terms and allows users to sort by category and region filters.
The biggest downside is that you must know a trend exists to type it in and view its Google search volume graph. So it doesn't provide emerging trend suggestions.
This makes it more of a trend analysis tool than a trend discovery tool, but it's still highly useful if your goal is to uncover emerging trends.
Who Is It For?
Google Trends is excellent for marketers and content creators searching for trending topics to use in marketing campaigns. It’s also great for business owners and executives researching new market opportunities.
Google Trends leverages Google's global search volume data, providing reliable and real-time insights into trending topics worldwide.
- A free and easy-to-use tool that quickly gives you a snapshot of a trend's general growth trajectory.
- Provides real-time search data from a large, reliable data set – Google's global search volume.
- Allows for refined search with category and region filters to slice and dice data and compare trends across different geographies.
- Trends are limited to what users are searching for on Google.
- It doesn’t actually help you discover trends – you have to know a trend exists to research it.
Google Trends is completely free to use.
4. Axios Pro
Axios Pro is primarily a news source that provides curated insights in digestible articles.
So while it doesn't necessarily provide trend forecasting or a database of specific under-the-radar trends, it is a great resource to stay up-to-date with the latest news.
The Daily Briefings are curated insights of the latest current events from their team of expert journalists and analysts.
You can also create customized alerts to stay up-to-date on the most important topics for you and your business.
Unfortunately, it only provides information on current events, so you won't be able to find under-the-radar trends.
Who Is It For?
Axios Pro is designed for more established business leaders, journalists, market researchers, and other professionals impacted by the latest political trends.
Axios Pro sources its data from a team of journalists and analysts who curate the most important news and trends. The news is updated daily.
- Provides daily briefings on current events and trends in short, easy-to-read articles.
- Offers expert analysis to understand the implications of trends.
- Allows users to create customized alerts to stay informed about specific trends.
- Focuses mainly on news-based trends, which may not suit all users.
- Pricing might be a concern for individual users or small businesses.
Axios has a free news website and a paid subscription that gives users access to premium insights and even networking opportunities. The annual subscription starts at $599 and they also have corporate news offerings.
5. Pulsar Platform
Pulsar Platform uses artificial intelligence to track audience conversations across social media platforms. It helps users better understand current trends that their audience cares about and even identify customer sentiment.
Unlike many other social listening platforms, it also allows you to execute detailed audience segmentation. For example, you can track only audiences in a certain geographic location or those discussing a specific topic.
It can also analyze trends within videos and images.
Given that it's an audience research tool, Pulsar Platform is primarily designed to identify current trends – so it isn't the best for uncovering under-the-radar trends.
Who Is It For?
Pulsar platform is ideal for social media, content, brand, and general marketing managers that want to improve their marketing messaging, track customer sentiment, and discover current trending topics.
Pulsar Platform sources its data from a variety of social media networks and digital platforms, providing a comprehensive view of digital trends and audience behavior.
- Monitor entire audience segments rather than just specific keywords or brand words.
- Provides advanced audience segmentation tools to compare different audience interests.
- Features unique image and video analysis tools to analyze more than just text on social media.
- The complexity of the platform requires more onboarding than the average social listening tool.
- It focuses primarily on surfacing audience discussion trends on social media. This means you’ll have more qualitative data rather than quantitative data. In addition, the algorithm is designed to surface the most popular current trends rather than future trends.
Pulsar Platform doesn’t offer any public pricing information as it’s primarily an enterprise offering.
6. Grand View Research
Grand View Research is a market research and consulting company known for its syndicated and customized research reports across various industries.
For example, you can find data like market size, compounding annual growth rate, and leading megatrends within an industry.
So if you just want a broad overview of a particular market, Grand View Research is an option.
Many of these basic market overview reports are free, though they also offer a paid competitor analysis feature that allows you to track trends related to your competition.
They also offer custom research services where you can work with their team of analysts to conduct primary research.
Who Is It For?
Grand View Research is designed for market researchers and business executives who need broad market data on a particular industry.
Grand View Research gathers data from industry reports, company publications, regulatory databases, government publications, and other third-party sources. Their team of analysts sorts through this data to curate insights. They also execute primary research.
- Provides (mostly free) in-depth market research reports with general market size and trend metrics.
- You can work with them to conduct proprietary research that your competitors can’t access.
- Conduct detailed competitor analysis for strategic decision-making.
- Some may find the wealth of information overwhelming.
- The customized research offering is cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses.
Grand View Research operates on a pay-per-report basis, with the cost of each report varying based on its content and complexity. Their research services are all based on custom pricing.
BuzzSumo is great for finding heavily-shared and trending content on a given topic.
For example, you can type in a keyword like "pickleball," and it will give you a list of the trending content that mentions pickleball. The algorithm factors recency and total engagement across social media platforms when determining "trending content" rankings.
BuzzSumo is helpful if you want to news jack or join a popular conversation regarding a hot topic, but it's not ideal for predicting long-term trends.
It also has a competitor analysis feature that allows you to analyze your competitor's top-performing content.
Who Is It For?
BuzzSumo is ideal for content creators, marketers, and business owners looking for trending topics for content creation.
BuzzSumo gathers its data from various social media platforms and online content. It qualifies topics as “trends” based on engagement metrics such as likes and comments. The algorithm also uses recency as a primary factor when ranking trends.
- It’s excellent for discovering the latest trending topics in the news.
- Quickly identify influencers driving popular discussions and trends.
- Provides competitor analysis for content and social media strategy.
- Primarily focused on trending topics in the news. Many of these short-lived trends aren't ideal for making long-term investment decisions.
- It's one of the more expensive tools for content marketers and SEOs, with the lowest plan starting at $119 per month.
BuzzSumo offers a limited free version, and the paid version starts at $119 per month.
8. CB Insights
CB Insights is a technology market intelligence platform that provides funding, hiring, and other growth data on tech startups. This makes it a great platform for venture capitalists, startup founders, and even executives to identify market trends by analyzing growth trends of the top players in a given market.
You can also use it to keep competitors’ movements on your radar and track specific metrics like partnerships, messaging changes, and recent PR announcements.
CB Insights also provides broader trend data like market sizing and forecasting reports and custom market maps that allow you to visualize and analyze specific ecosystems. This is a useful tool for understanding market dynamics.
Who Is It For?
CB Insights caters to investors (primarily VCs), business executives, and market researchers that need detailed insights into technology markets. It's also great for anyone that needs detailed competitor data.
CB Insights uses data from various sources, including regulatory filings, news articles, company websites, and more. They combine this with machine learning algorithms to predict technology trends and identify investment opportunities. They also have connections with many industry leaders and collect proprietary data through interviews with these individuals.
- It offers a wealth of granular data on tech companies and plenty of competitive insights.
- Much of the data is unique and unavailable on other platforms. They also have high-quality standards for their data, and reviewers claim that it's fairly accurate.
- The Custom Market Maps is a unique feature that provides detailed insights into market dynamics.
- It's an enterprise platform and may not be affordable for smaller startups.
- It doesn't offer specific trend suggestions (other than the limited trend reports).
- It focuses primarily on the technology sector, and the data may not be applicable to other types of businesses.
CB Insights doesn't list its pricing, but it's an enterprise offering, and plans start at several thousand dollars per month.
9. Trends by HubSpot
Trends by HubSpot is primarily an email newsletter focused on business ideas and trends. They also publish trend reports created by their in-house analysts detailing the latest business trends and market opportunities.
In addition to the trend reports, they also interview entrepreneurs and publish case studies of their business growth stories. These can be inspirational for up-and-coming entrepreneurs starting a new business venture or looking for new ideas.
Who Is It For?
Trends by HubSpot is ideal for entrepreneurs and investors who want to stay up-to-date with emerging technologies and business trends. It's excellent if you're looking for new business ideas.
Trends by HubSpot relies on a mix of proprietary research, expert interviews, and input from the community.
- Provides in-depth trend reports across various industries.
- Offers expert interviews for unique market insights.
- They only publish a couple of trend reports per month. They also do not update old trend reports, so it's not great for finding a wealth of current trend data.
- Trend ideas are crowdsourced from the community, so quality varies.
- There isn't a single database of trend suggestions, so it can be difficult to discover new opportunities and trends.
There's no charge to subscribe to the Trends by HubSpot newsletter or to read their reports.
The perfect trend radar software for your needs depends largely on your use case. For example, if you need a solution to discover the latest trending news, Axios or BuzzSumo might be the best options.
However, if you're an investor, entrepreneur, or business executive that needs to stay on top of new, emerging trends with sustainable growth potential, Exploding Topics is a great choice.