Coolhunting: what it is and how to research online trends

What is the meaning of Coolhunting? If you still don’t know what we’re talking about but you entered this article, it’s for a simple reason:

  • you are looking for an opportunity to get involved and find your place in the world of work. Why not? Maybe making “Luck”;
  • you work in a company and your goal is to improve it by anticipating competitors on the market by proposing a product or service that has not yet been offered.

If you recognize yourself in one of these two hypotheses, you are in the right place. You will understand what Coolhunting is, you will find everything you need about this topic and you will find out how to combine a Course in Digital Marketing.

What does the term Coolhunting mean?

Before analyzing this phenomenon well, let’s begin to understand in very simple words what this term means. Coolhunting is market research born in the 80s in the United States. It means studying and using the right dose of creativity to analyze the Life-Style of the society in the context of reference. And as content, we don’t mean just a few sectors, but we range in the most disparate.

We discover Coolhunting in:

  • fashion,
  • food,
  • trips,
  • art.

We can then not only speak of purely commercial sectors but also social realities both in the real world and in the online one.

Hence, through Coolhunting, we gather information and materials that, once analyzed, enable us to forecast future trends and fashions. These trends are then disseminated through media, cultural consumption, and, to a greater extent, the ever-evolving virtual world, with the valuable contribution of influencers.

Do you know which path to follow? Request a session with one of our Experts who will listen to your needs, your passions and will advise you on the right path!


Because Coolhunting is a way of being

After introducing a general picture, we can now try to analyze this phenomenon specifically. Yes, because Coolhunting is not a “classic” profession, a simple job. It is a movement that brings together different people with the same characteristics. It is a lifestyle, a factor in one’s life that is always present. Coolhunting is a continuous journey of discovery and exploration. It is a 360° study in which you become an integral part of it.

We identify ourselves, we savor certain experiences on our skin. In this world, you can go deep inside, identify yourself, and discover all the facets of what must then be communicated to the reference companies. Furthermore, doing Coolhunting does not only mean discovering new trends and then anticipating them in the market in which one is operating, but rather the ability to intercept trends already present in certain countries is also fundamental, to transporting them, adapting them, and therefore yes anticipate them in places where they have not yet manifested themselves.

The fundamental actions that underlie everything are essentially three:

  • identify styles and new trends present or in their nascent stage;
  • catch weak signals of change ahead of others;
  • choose new rising models in subcultures that are still unknown but have a good appeal to others.

But it is said that Coolhunting is not always a search for purely commercial and work purposes, on the contrary, it can be a simple need to travel and discover the cultures that inhabit the world to better understand what surrounds us.

How Coolhunting opens up to the online world

Thanks to the constantly improving technological process, and the ever-growing competition, we all need to improve our skills. An essential skill in the Coolhunting movement is the art of communication. In this world we must not be afraid to speak up, to get involved, and discover new realities. Indeed, this is the engine that now drives this phenomenon toward constant expansion.

what is coolhunting in market research

The desire to learn, to know, to discover new realities until becoming an integral part of them. And opening outwards is not meant only in the real world through human interactions, but even more so in the ever-expanding digital world. As many have done, it is necessary to face change, understand it, and get to know it until you can adapt and then exploit it to your advantage.

Well, let’s see how Coolhunting has adapted both to the constant change in Marketing and the approach with New Social Media and the advent of the Internet.

Challenge yourself with our digital professions test on Coolhunting—click here to put your knowledge to the test and earn recognition!

digital profession test

Coolhunting in the Marketing

Coolhunting is also a strategic web marketing tool in which companies increasingly need to observe and identify cultural models that are evolving. If we look at it from a professional point of view, the sociological aspect is important in the research that is done. Analyze the trends that evolve and why they do so, then transform them into projects for business development.

This activity of discovery accompanies every entrepreneurial activity. He has done so in the past and will continue to do so in ever greater force in the future.

Why use Social Media

With the advent of social media marketing and its constant development around us, Coolhunting has also had to adapt and keep up with the pace of change.

Overall, the underlying structure has not been drastically revolutionized as in other cases. Because at the base there is always traveling, discovering, and anticipating. The substantial difference is the speed with which new changes must be intercepted. Indeed, if there was the possibility that several years would pass before seeing a radical transformation in a company, today, we can expect that only two seasons will pass, if we are, for example, in the fashion sector. Having said this, therefore, the factor of geographical distance becomes very relevant.

how to become a coolhunter

If before the exploration so to speak “close to home” could bring results, today communication on a large scale without limits of time and space pushes them to move away to get a global picture of what there is interest in investigating. Finally, we also had to adapt to the emergence of those new technologies that can support what needs to be done.

In fact, by focusing on nascent Social Media, we see that the latter can be a good starting point for identifying something new. These platforms can not only be of help but are within everyone’s reach they are fertile ground for those who aspire to do Coolhunting.

As we have already said, instead of searching “blindly”, going from large inhabited centers to the suburbs, all this can be facilitated thanks to these platforms where millions of people constantly publish photos, videos, and important moments in their lives, anticipating hypothetical future scenarios of development.

For Coolhunting, this is the new starting point in research, for a journey that will lead to exploring never-known places such as markets, shops, and streets rather than simple neighborhoods. Discover those places where people consume and live their lives.

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Coolhunting is the basis of fashion

Finally, let’s move on to a small example of how “Fashion” is born, that is, of everything we have just described above. A concrete example to think about.

Speaking of clothing, which is perhaps the most popular theme to take as a starting point. Every morning when we decide what to wear before going to work, from a jacket to a simple pink sweater, we are aware that it is not a sophisticated piece and we take for granted “not to follow the fashion of the moment”. But, if you are reading this article it means that some of your ideas have already occurred to you.

coolhunting fashion

Even if a garment can be very insignificant, it carries with it a complex of images, structures, and names that can be strange or incomprehensible. Well yes, because to get to that item of clothing we wear, like any other, we start from the fabric, from the choice of the button rather than from the color. Behind, there is a long work of hundreds and maybe thousands of people. From its conception to production. From here we can travel backwards to become aware of how Coolhunting works.

What is the process that leads to the creation of Fashion? Nothing is left to chance. The Trend is a non-physical element, just a hypothesis that will be worked on and will take shape at a later time. It arises from the necessities and needs of individuals and, only later, with the right amount of attention and creativity can it take shape.

As you have certainly already understood, at the basis of this whole process some individuals wear accessories rather than a certain item of clothing that can be considered particular. They discover new combinations or wear unusual and flashy colors. Behind all this is an idea, a project, a piece of music, or even simply a personal taste which then translates into the outside world with a particular type of clothing.

Therefore it is not something that arises from companies, but it is a process that starts from the bottom, to be captured, appropriated, and gradually reinterpreted also losing, in most cases, the initial signals that had manifested themselves.

Where does Coolhunting fit?

Everything is found outside the usual conceptual schemes. Through Coolhunting, (based on semiotic, sociological, and anthropological studies) fashion is not created but is simply caught. One must have a very broad perception of the world. Identifying unusual things, even of small value, but which when connected create a perfect design: thus translating the words and signals captured into something tangible.

coolhunting marketing

Subsequently, once the necessary information has been collected, it is decoded and reinterpreted according to various canons. As far as fashion is concerned, for example, we see that we start with high fashion and end up with fast fashion. In these various levels, other factors come into play such as the most popular colors, rather than the fabrics used at the moment together with the study and skills of the various stylists. All these factors and elements are at the basis of Coolhunting research without which there would be no way, or in any case it would become much more difficult.

Interview with an expert Coolhunter

Now that you know the meaning of coolhunting, discover the interview we did with Angela Guidi, an expert in the sector. Being a Trend Researcher means coming from a heterogeneous background.

Here you are. She is all of that. Starting from a solid foundation in:

She made her way to discovering the fashion market through private courses and with the ultimate goal of discovering the world of footwear, becoming today an excellent independent cool hunter.

Do you want to have a solid knowledge base in digital marketing? Ask for a consultation with one of our Experts


otta elisa

Who is the Coolhunter and what does he do?

angela guidiThe coolhunter is the one who, once discovered the sector to which he is closest, identifies the possible trends that will take on importance in the years to come. We are talking about long-term studies. Today, in the presence of the Lockdown, we see that as soon as possible, the task of the Cool Hunter will be to delve into the changes that will take place in the world.

He will have to:

  1. project forward a couple of years;
  2. perceive the future trend of the sector;
  3. forecast future market scenarios and trends.

otta elisa

What features should it have?

angela guidiThe trend researcher can not improvise. His profession must be the result of experience with strong empathy, avoiding simple sterile executions. It is important to get in touch with reality and gain experience in the sector by understanding whether what has been discovered is relevant or not to the research done. If we take the example of the fashion sector, there are many aspects to identify in addition to the color or fabric that will be used more. It is essential to fully experience the concrete reality by understanding the various cultural backgrounds, and the social and economic fabrics that can be manifested.

otta elisa

How to train to become an online trend researcher?

angela guidiThe Coolhunter doesn’t have a specific course of study because there is no specific school.

Despite this, some key points can be defined to take into consideration if you want to embark on this professional path:

  • know the industry in which becoming a top expert is a good start. It is necessary to follow a 360° scholastic path;
  • build a network of social but also professional connections. Linkedin can be a great starting point. Are you passionate about the fashion industry? Like me, try to create a niche of connections that allow you to get to know the production process of the supply chain from A to Z (from the idea of the shoe to who produces it);
  • look for a course of study in digital marketing. Having a general picture of the market that will be proposed in the future is useless if the message is then conveyed in the wrong way to the potential customer.

One thing, in particular, to point out is that coolhunting is a profession where there is always more to learn. It must be a “work done with passion”, precisely because no conclusion is ever reached. Indeed, once the research has been defined, it is always possible to identify new journalistic articles in the sector, rather than scientific research that can overturn our thinking.

otta elisa

What careers can the Coolhunter pursue?

angela guidiThe work of the Trend Researcher can be undertaken as a freelancer but also as an employee. There are companies that in their internal organization have coolhunter professionals in specific fields whose job is to place research done on the market at the right time, without being too ahead or behind the competition. The consumer must already perceive the need to satisfy a need.

Challenge yourself with our Social Media Manager test on Coolhunting—click here to put your skills to the test and earn recognition!

social media manager test

otta elisa

How does the coolhunter relate to the social market?

angela guidiThe value of the coolhunter is becoming very important. Everyone in this period has felt the need to make their business visible online. Consequently, shortly, the whole sales process will have to be reviewed from an Information Technology perspective. The “Fast” that has taken hold in recent years has now stopped, and will soon give greater importance to product quality by abandoning the principle of impulse purchases. It’s a great reflection to make. The future is the slow change of the production chain and for the cool hunters who will be able to understand it in advance, it will be the trump card.


We can therefore say that Coolhunting is a lifestyle, an attitude that must be lived 24 hours a day, not a simple occasional marketing strategy. A Life-Style in which the art of communication is essential to approach the different worlds that need to be discovered without being afraid of making new acquaintances, opening new discussions, or entering unknown places. It’s a world of extroversion. You don’t need the talent but if there is even better and like everything to be cultivated. The person who identifies as the Coolhunter must be very curious, especially about what she does not know, and must have the desire to discover new future scenarios regardless of individual choice or “bias taken”.

As an old saying goes: “Fashions are like the waves of the sea: in continuous and constant movement, but we are the ones who move the sea…”.

Now you have become aware of this world and what you can expect. Are you still uncertain? Standing still will not allow you to reach your goals! What are you waiting for? If you want to know more, ask for more information about our training courses!

Have a question or need assistance with coolhunting? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us—click here to contact our team of experts!



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