“The world had the vocal cords of the mouth of sailors an all-time high search interest for sea shanties in 2021 throughout the history of Google Trends. The social media users worldwide harmonized to folksy maritime songs like in 1825 (1).”
Understanding Sea Shanty Trend
Sea shanties are among the historic subgenre of folk music sung by sailing ship crew members to help them coordinate their efforts and keep them motivated and focused (2).
The trend was started by Nathan Evans, a twenty-six-year-old Scottish singer (3), on TikTok by posting a video of him singing “The Wellerman.” People loved the song’s unique sound, and his video gained millions of views. And as people started to repost his video and add their harmonies, it created a stream of new renditions which took over the internet.
Overall, “The Wellerman” brought forth a new appreciation wave for the folk genre, which allowed people to talk about the historical contexts behind these songs.
Amid the isolating moment in history, sea shanties have become a fun distraction for people, allowing them to unite with others over a shared interest. It offered a community feeling that we could all use right now (4).
I don’t know why they call it a sea SHANTy when every time I hear one I think “yes I SHALL sing along.”
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) January 13, 2021
There are many ways for businesses to use this trend to offer pleasure, connection, and entertainment to their audience during this sustained social isolation period.
Make Repetitive Tasks Move Quickly
Sea shanties are rhythms that help workers perform tasks like pulling in sails in unison. Businesses can also play similar music to help their employees develop a rhythm while working, especially when performing repetitive tasks (5).
Help People Learn Shanties
If the sea shanty trend is scoring well with any business, it is musician and curator. While sea shanties are easy to learn, they have several verses about lakes, animals, places, and other cultural references. Musicians can help people learn songwriting, tune or even use it to voice their opinions. For instance, communities can also sing a political song or celebrate a cause they believe in with melodies of shanties (6).
The emergence of shanties also indicates how nostalgia is still alive among netizens. Businesses can implement cultural references and leverage them to build an emotional connection with their customers. Another thing we have seen marketers doing over some past years is blending “the old with the new.”
The marketers can push memorable images of the past with a customer-engaging social message to handle the cataclysmic changes in communications and technologies (7).
Apart from marketing, another example includes Lofter, founded by Carol Chow in 2012 from Hong Kong, blending old and new to make modern buildings (8). Chow had acquired over 77 million USD earlier this year to acquire a Concept Studio. People can purchase antique items like old mobile phones, sewing machines, typewriters, signboards, and old chairs at the studio.
While Chow aimed to donate all the proceeds from the sale to charities, we can see similar business opportunities with Equestrian paintings, video game consoles, quilts, Art Deco clocks, vinyl records, and even potteries.
You can also consider building paid communities and newsletters or offering products focusing on the adaptive reuse of our past and cultural heritage. One of the best examples is Paperboat, which offers traditional Indian beverages like Aam Panna, Jaljeera, and Kala Khattas, allowing customers to relive their childhood (9). Another example includes the entire fashion industry that has taken inspiration from the 18th century’s pompous dresses, skirts, corsets, and ball gowns, reinforcing a historical aura (10).
“Affirmations were searched more than ever before this year, from money and success to good health and love.”
Businesses can leverage this trend in their marketing strategies and long-term visions (11).
Affirmation is effective when it has powerful meaning and intention that helps you and your team strengthen your businesses’ core values and milestones you pursue.
One marketing strategy that benefits from communicating affirmation are strengthening your connection with your customers via storytelling (Suggested Reading: Make Your Startup Standout With a Creative Business Story).
Storytelling will help your audience resonate with the value your brand promotes, and affirmation plays a key role in effective storytelling. It will show what you believe in when you put it into action.
Businesses can stick to their affirmation when they:
- Know their values
- Reflect on why their business matters to the community
- Reflect how they market their products and services
Help People Start a Business
“In 2021, people sought new opportunities with entrepreneurship since they searched for “how to start a business” more than “how to get a job.”
This trend has several opportunities, especially for business mentors and professional experts (Suggested Reading: Peer Mentoring: A Proactive Measure Needed for Startup Success).
Business mentors can offer people looking to start a business to expand their networks, connect with industry experts, offer constructive criticism and mutual support (12).
Business mentors can make themself available and accessible via joining different professional platforms like LinkedIn, starting their podcasts, YouTube channels, paid online courses, and newsletters (Suggested Reading: The Booming $500 Billion Business of Low-Cost Online Courses).
According to Google Trend Year in Search (13), search interest for plumbers went an all-time high in the US this year, and we got curious about its interest worldwide, and there is a huge surge in people looking for plumbers.
So if you are exploring career opportunities in plumbing, it is a perfect time for it.
Plumbers are needed everywhere, be it entire households, schools, hospitals, offices, and entire cities, to keep the water up and running that people can depend on. Where there are people, there are pipes, and plumbing is in demand!
You will have an option to repair home sewer systems, manage city-wide water systems, design new plumbing systems for buildings and new construction sites, expand water systems, and even develop new plumbing technologies (13).
For instance, according to Hardware Retailing, 47% of retailers who sell plumbing products reported that customers actively seek green products. Now, most plumbing companies have started promoting energy-efficient plumbing installations like tankless water heaters, water-saving showerheads and faucets, and low-flow toilets.
Businesses that offer technologies that would transform the way plumbers do drain cleaning, lateral cutters, small drain rehabilitation, and renovate sewer pipelines can win big – Picote, an industry leader in this industry, for instance. (14). Other tools that are winning big in the market include specially designed, waterproof video cameras that allow plumbers to visually inspect pipes in cement and underground sewer lines (15).
If you don’t want to get involved with pipework directly, you can also go ahead and create a community of plumbers sharing new trends and cutting-edge technologies in the plumbing industry. There is also an option to create an app that connects plumbers to prospects, offer insurance and other financial services, and help them go digital and leverage social media platforms to attract new customers.
We can see it merging with the DIY trend; with so many people looking for plumbers, they may want to do some basic repairs and installations themselves. It offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to run tutorials, plumbing equipment rentals, and other easy-to-use plumbing products that will allow people to finish some of the plumbing tasks themselves easily, ProPress, for instance (16).
People Wants to Conserve!
It seems like we all (at least most of us!) want to help our planet with the search interest for “how to conserve,” “sustainability,” “impact of climate change” went an all-time high worldwide this year (17).
And for business, it translates to one thing, brands going green and focusing on sustainability will win big in the upcoming years (Suggested Reading: Soaring Eco-Friendly Trend is Paving Infinite Ways for Entrepreneurs to Capitalize).
“This year, Daft Punk became the top trending breakup across the globe when the electronic do hang up their helmets for good after 28 years of making music (18).”
Daft Punk was an electronic music duo from French made in 1993 by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, “the men behind the helmets (19).”
They are among the most influential dance musicians in history and gained commercial success and acclaim since their beginning by combing elements of house music with pop, indie rock, funk, disco, and techno.
While there are no particular entrepreneurship opportunities with the news since the trend is because of their unexpected breakup earlier this year, what intrigued us the most was their complex and counterintuitive communication strategies. The pair approached a way where they remained hidden behind their alter-egos yet continued to conquer the electronic music world.
In a way, Daft Punk became an example of an “anti-celebrity celebrity (20).” The pair maintained a media “reluctance narrative” while getting involved with global advertising campaigns (21). In the end, it became a mutually beneficial agreement, allowing Daft Punk to keep an anti-stardom position at the same time, allowing publications to repeatedly assure audiences that they rarely give interviews and claim that they had an exclusive (22).
And even though the audience was suspicious of their media saturation, they still found the notion of Daft Punk’s interaction being indifferent, rare, and intimate attractive.
Perhaps, Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, was right when he stated that “one can derive profits from disinterestedness.” Indeed, the marketing of Daft Punk succeeded because of their highlighted rejection of the most unromantic and obvious commerce mechanism (Suggested Reading: Offbeat But Effective Marketing Strategies to Stand Out).
Their “Epilogue” video also made a fitting end, highlighting anonymity yet familiarity, and remoteness yet reattachment, everything delivered by a self-destructing robot with no press release.