springspotter

n.
A person who spots new trends and ideas and reports them to market research companies.
springspotting pp.
Example Citations:
Professional trend forecasters are junkies of cool: They study market research reports, conduct focus groups and trust real hipsters (not people like you and me) to tell them what's generating the biggest amount of buzz.
One company, Amsterdam-based www.trendwatching.com, has a global network of more than 7,000 "springspotters" who troll their own neighborhoods and report back which trends, products and behaviors are brewing.
— Shawna Vanness, "Cool 2 know the list," Newsday, December 28, 2005
Evers and his Amsterdam-based staff share their discoveries via trendwatching.com, a free online digest of the freshest, most interesting trends that's tracked by in-the-know marketers, retailers, designers and consumers worldwide. Evers' springspotters network, one of several global trend-tracking alliances, has more than doubled in size since last year, when there were just 2,500 volunteers. Today the spotters, ages 17 to 70, send information from more than 70 countries. They do it partly for the small rewards, like key-ring cameras, that they can earn but mostly for the street cred that comes with ID-ing a trend that appears in Evers' bible of cool.
— Jeremy Kaplan, "Messengers of Cool," Time, October 24, 2005
Earliest Citation:
Dutch founder and director Reinier Evers and his team of 15 senior staff and 2000 "springspotters" scan the globe for the hottest consumer fads. Springspotters are ordinary people in 70 countries who voluntarily email ideas to Trendwatching.com (or its sister publication Springwise.com) when they think they've spotted a new trend.
— Nassim Khadem, "The More Mobile, The Better Say Gen Y," The Sun-Herald, May 23, 2004
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