5 Top TrendWatching Alternatives & Competitors (2023)
If you’re a business owner or marketer who needs to know what’s on consumers’ minds, tools like TrendWatching can help.
The TrendWatching platform includes trend monitoring tools and trend reports that explore what consumers want out of brands and products.
The platform’s primary offering—a tool that the company calls Amplify—provides data on “mega trends” that shape consumer sentiment.
TrendWatching gives these mega trends unique names, such as the “Youniverse”, that don’t directly translate to other platforms. However, each mega trend focuses on one of the following themes:
- Human needs
- Human wants
- Environmental change
Users can also browse more than 230 subtopics that relate to each broader mega trend. You can filter these subtopics by industry, location, and region.
TrendWatching curates its data by using a mix of AI tools, human data analysts, and a network of more than 900 volunteer trend spotters from around the world.
Interested users can sign up for one of TrendWatching’s free reports or contact the company for more information about its pricing plans.
While anyone can sign up for TrendWatching, the company says its trend tracking tool and reports are ideal for:
- Corporate professionals
- Nonprofit leaders
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- B2B and B2C businesses
It’s important to note that all of TrendWatching’s data is focused on consumer behaviors and motivations. This means that despite its stated broad user base, Amplify will be most useful to anyone who needs to:
- Develop B2C products and business ideas
- Create consumer personas
- Formulate a consumer-focused marketing plan
If you want to track spikes in online conversation around specific companies, market to a B2B user base, or come up with enterprise-grade product ideas, then you’ll likely be better served by one of the TrendWatching competitors in this guide.
1. Exploding Topics: Track Trends Across All Industries and Audiences
Exploding Topics can be used to track emerging trends in 30+ industries. Our users rely on our trend spotting tool for countless projects, including:
- Building marketing campaigns
- Working on product development
- Identifying opportunities for market expansion
Whether you’re serving a B2B, B2C, DTC, or even G2C audience, you can use Exploding Topics to see what people are talking about online. This includes information from:
- Search engines
- News outlets
- Social media posts
Our data goes back 15 years, so you can see exactly how trends have fluctuated in popularity over time—and develop more accurate forecasts as to what might become the next hot trending topic in markets that include:
How Does Exploding Topics Work?
We use a blend of AI and expert human analysis when identifying trends. This combination allows us to update our trend database every single day, notify our Pro users the minute a trend starts taking off, and publish reports on the topics you need to know about.
Here’s how it works:
- First, our AI tool scans online chatter to see what’s trending—and what’s changing.
- Our team of experienced data analysts combs through what the AI tool finds and looks for trends that are growing—meaning that they’re about to explode in popularity.
- We publish this data in the Exploding Topics database for our users to search and view.
- Finally, we put together comprehensive reports and insightful blog posts that dig deeper into the hottest and most high-potential trends you need to know about right now.
Just take a look at this graph tracking conversations around DTC skincare brand Good Molecules. We first identified interest in the brand in 2019, right when it launched—and as expected, it's grown massively in popularity over the past few years.
Having early access to a trend like this can help our users in multiple ways:
- Brands can launch new products that compete with competitors' popular offerings
- Influencers can better remain ahead of the curve when identifying potential partnerships
- Startup founders can get insights as to what will be top of mind for consumers in the near future.
How Much Does Exploding Topics Cost?
You can start using Exploding Topics for free—just type a term you’re interested in into our database search bar, or browse an entire category of trends to spot new opportunities.
For serious trend spotting capabilities, though, you’ll want to try out an Exploding Topics Pro subscription. For as little as $39 per month, our members get:
- Access to new trend data up to a year before anyone else
- A project tracking dashboard
- Keyword-based trend search
- Up-to-date lists of trending startups and products
- Instant trend alerts
- A reports library
- Meta trends analysis
- CSV file export
- API access
All of these Pro features make it easier than ever to conduct trend-focused consumer, product, and market research all in one place.
At a Glance: Exploding Topics vs. TrendWatching
|Free plan?||Yes||No (limited free reports)|
|Paid plan starting price||$39 per month||Custom quotes only|
|Useful for discovering||Marketing opportunities, product ideas, consumer behaviors, business development opportunities||Marketing opportunities, product ideas, consumer behaviors|
|Special features||Instant trend alerts, advanced trend data||Volunteer trend spotting network|
2. Google Trends: See Global Google Search Trends In New Ways
Google Trends is a service that visualizes the popularity of top Google searches around the world. While Google built the tool with journalists and businesses in mind, anyone can access it and explore different data sets. It can be particularly useful for:
- Marketing agencies
- Digital marketing consultants
- Content creators
- Business owners
- Product developers
Because Google Trends draws upon the entirety of Google’s search data, you aren’t limited to specific industries when using the tool. However, to make using Trends a little easier, Google offers users the ability to filter results by 25 different search categories.
How Does Google Trends Work?
You can type in any query or keyword of interest and see:
- Its popularity across Google Search, Google News, and YouTube
- Information about how people’s interest has fluctuated over time
- Differences in popularity by region and language
- How its popularity compares to up to four other related terms
And, if you aren’t sure where to start, you can browse topics that Google has identified as the top search trends for the day.
Rather than showing you search volume numbers (like what you’ll see when using Semrush or another SEO analytics tool), Google Trends uses maps, charts, and other forms of data visualization to illustrate popular searches.
How Much Does Google Trends Cost?
If you're searching for a free TrendWatching alternative, then Google Trends may be one of the best options for you. There’s no cost to use the Google Trends platform.
The tradeoff, though, is that you don’t get the same level of additional functionality that other TrendWatching competitors provide.
You’ll need to save relevant data points in a file of your own choosing (such as by taking screenshots or creating a spreadsheet). And while you can sign up for a daily trends newsletter, you won’t get alerts for trends that are specific to your project or industry.
If you need project management features and alerts built into your trend spotting tool—or the ability to listen to online conversations across other platforms—you’ll want to check out another trend discovery platform.
At a Glance: Google Trends vs. TrendWatching
|Free plan?||Yes||No (limited free reports)|
|Paid plan starting price||No paid plans||Custom quotes only|
|Useful for discovering||Marketing opportunities||Marketing opportunities, product ideas, consumer behaviors|
|Special features||Popular trends organized by day, breakdown by location and language||Volunteer trend spotting network|
3. WGSN: Track B2C Fashion and Beauty Trends
WGSN is a consumer trend forecasting service similar to TrendWatching. When using this tool, you can explore data and trends in four industry sectors:
- Food and beverage
- Consumer lifestyle goods
The resulting reports take a look at how individual consumers’ lifestyles impact their purchasing decisions now and in the future. As a result, B2C retail and e-commerce brands may find it helpful to use WGSN for trend tracking.
If that sounds like your company, you can potentially use WGSN for:
- Developing a marketing strategy
- Creating buyer personas
- Mapping customer journeys
- Coming up with new product design ideas
- Establishing the best timing for a new launch
If you need to access data about other industries, though, or are more interested in B2B marketing and business opportunities, you’ll probably be better served by a different TrendWatching competitor.
How Does WGSN Work?
WGSN’s main tool, called TrendCurve+, uses a proprietary trend forecasting algorithm. Its data is pulled from several sources:
- Images from the catwalk at major fashion shows over the past 20 years
- A repository of over 100,000 monthly Instagram posts made by fashion, beauty, interior, and food and drink influencers
- More than 10,000 brands’ product descriptions and prices as advertised across 200+ e-commerce retailers
- Five years of search history from e-commerce websites and search engines
- Monthly and daily surveys that ask 17,600 consumers questions about fashion retailers and brands
A team of data experts review this data to glean insights that help WGSN publish reports and charts for its users to view.
Users can also get access to WGSN’s Barometer service, which is used for tracking changes in your brand’s performance.
How Much Does WGSN Cost?
WGSN does not reveal its pricing publicly. You’ll need to contact the company for a custom quote, which can include access to the TrendCurve+ and Barometer tools as well as bespoke consultant services and training.
At a Glance: WGSN vs. TrendWatching
|Free plan?||No||No (limited free reports)|
|Paid plan starting price||Custom quotes only||Custom quotes only|
|Useful for discovering||B2C retail or e-commerce product and marketing opportunities||Marketing opportunities, product ideas, consumer behaviors|
|Special features||Optional consulting and training services||Volunteer trend spotting network|
4. Trend Hunter: Access Consumer Trends and Custom Reporting
Trend Hunter is a consultancy that takes a customized approach to trend discovery. Users can get access to:
- One-on-one support
- Custom trend reports
- Over 431,000 articles and 5,000 pages of reporting on top trends
- 10,000 trackable trend topics
- A library of training videos
The Trend Hunter database covers trending topics in more than 80 categories, but most of its data points are focused around consumer interest and behaviors. This means that it can be another smart choice for B2C brands, but anyone focused on B2B products may want to look at a different TrendWatching or Trend Hunter alternative.
How Does Trend Hunter Work?
Like TrendWatching, Trend Hunter uses a network of 314,000 volunteers that contribute information and data points about rising trends. This information gets funneled into the Trend Hunter database.
From there, Trend Hunter uses AI tools and human advisors to filter through data points and identify rising trends that are of interest to both the Trend Hunter audience at large and specific users.
How Much Does Trend Hunter Cost?
Anyone can browse Trend Hunter’s public-facing reports on current top trends. These are available through the Trend Hunter homepage without an account.
To access the full Trend Hunter database and reports library, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan starting at $199 per month (billed annually). This plan is suitable for anyone who is interested in combing through trend data on their own.
If you’d like to take advantage of Trend Hunter’s customized support and reporting services, you’ll need to set up a call with the company to get a customized quote.
At a Glance: Trend Hunter vs. TrendWatching
|Free plan?||No (limited free reports)||No (limited free reports)|
|Paid plan starting price||$199 per month||Custom quotes only|
|Useful for discovering||B2C purchasing behaviors, market trends||Marketing opportunities, product ideas, consumer behaviors|
|Special features||Trend spotting network, optional 1:1 consulting and custom reports||Volunteer trend spotting network|
5. Trends.co: Build Community Around Industry Trends
Trends.co is a HubSpot-owned platform that blends trend discovery with community.
Rather than getting access to trends after they’ve been proposed by a group of volunteer trend spotters (as with TrendWatch and Trend Hunter), you can chat with other people interested in trend spotting.
The platform and its community are geared toward business owners interested in using trend discovery to develop ideas for new startups and product launches. Trends.co doesn’t reveal its full list of covered industries up front, but its case studies and examples are geared toward B2C, DTC, and SaaS brands or founders.
How Does Trends.co Work?
Trends.co uses data gathered by its team of analysts, journalists, data scientists, and entrepreneurs. The company obtains a lot of its information manually through research and interviews.
When the Trends.co team finds new insights, they add it to their member-only database. The team also hosts community events and training sessions for its members.
If you have a B2C or DTC focus and are primarily interested in building community with other leaders and founders, then you might enjoy Trends.co. However, if you’re mostly looking for trend data and written analysis, you might not get the most out of a Trends.co subscription. In that case, you’ll want to try another TrendWatching or Trends.co alternative.
How Much Does Trends.co Cost?
Trends.co doesn’t reveal its pricing up front, though press releases from its 2019 launch cite the starting price at $299 per year.
If you’d like to try Trends.co, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial for $1 and get more information about the community and its membership price.
At a Glance: Trends.co vs. TrendWatching
|Free plan?||No||No (limited free reports)|
|Paid plan starting price||Member-only pricing||Custom quotes only|
|Useful for discovering||Product development ideas, business ideas||Marketing opportunities, product ideas, consumer behaviors|
|Special features||Community and conversation with other users||Volunteer trend spotting network|
Be The First to Know About Top Consumer Trends
To maintain the strongest competitive edge in your industry, you’ll need to go further than simply tracking trends—you need to be able to find new trending topics faster than anyone else.
Daily database updates and instant trend reports make Exploding Topics Pro a great choice for brands that need to uncover top trends as soon as possible. With access to trend data and forecasts up to a year before anyone else, your brand can be ahead of the curve and ready to present consumers with exactly the products and services they want—at just the right moment.
Take your trend spotting to the next level with an Exploding Topics Pro subscription—it’s just $1 for your first 14 days.