Latest Trend Hunter Report Explores Changing Landscape of Social & Online Influence

June 16, 2022 |’s latest free report for Toy Association members looks at ways brands are tapping into the power of social media, the changing face of influencers, and more.

“As platforms ranging from YouTube to TikTok continue to offer brands new ways to connect with their core consumers and engage new audiences, this report provides our members with ideas for how to utilize these channels to showcase their brands and build authentic connections,” said Anne McConnell, senior director of market research & data strategy at The Toy Association.

Some of the key trends and examples highlighted in this report include:

  • Kid DIY – Toy brands are drawing inspiration from social platforms, and DIY toys and kits specifically are mimicking the trends seen online. 'the dough project' taps into the appeal of eco-friendly products by crafting an all-natural, kid-friendly modeling dough. Lush Cosmetics offered DIY bath bomb kits for kids and parents to do together at home during COVID-19 lockdowns.

  • Expertise Influence – Constantly being inundated with ads and sponsored content has made Millennial and Gen Z consumers more wary of the ways in which they are being marketed to. This is leading to the growth of brands employing people who are well-known for being experts in their field. A Solgaard x StarTalk collaboration united the sustainable lifestyle brand with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for a limited-edition space-themed range of travel gear.

  • Brand Activist – Replacing influencers with activists is a way brands can use resources to shine a light on an issue relevant to them and their customers and humanize their brand. American Girl's Conversations for Change series was created to give voice to female trailblazers and their stories in support of greater empathy, equality, and respect.

  • ASMR Art – Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) content has become extremely popular on social media, and now businesses are adapting it into the art & entertainment scene. Xtingles launched its NFT marketplace that utilizes blockchain technology to store and exchange ASMR art focused on relaxation and mindfulness.

This report is the latest in a series from Trend Hunter offering in-depth perspectives and trends in various areas related to the toy industry and youth markets to help spark unique ideas. For additional relevant trends, toy companies can click on the report’s consumer insights examples, scroll down, and click the images for further information. has accumulated nearly 3 billion views from more than 100 million visitors. The data research company helps clients “Dive Deeper,” “Work Smarter,” and “Save Effort” in order to increase the overall success of their companies and brands.