As 2013 approaches, trend gurus are creating next year’s “what to watch” lists. From social media to social butterflies.  From green technology to pop psychology. From health & wellness to wealth & fairness. Every category you can think of has its “What’s In, What’s Out” list.

These trends are scrutinized on macro and micro levels alike. Everyone from CEO’s and Marketing Directors of the world’s largest brands to young women scanning People Style Watch, looking for the next season’s “must have” lip shade are moved by trends. They all keep their eyes and ears open because they want to be and must be “on-trend”.

Believe it or not, ice hockey has a close tie with marketing trends for 2013…or any year for that matter. Not in reference to goals scored and hockey pucks, of course…rather about marketing goals and how to evolve a brand’s message to reach those goals.

In addition to his record-making and record-breaking career, Hockey Hall of Fame center, Wayne Gretzky voiced these words. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

If you think about it, this quote makes all the sense in the world…the marketing/communications world in particular—a good marketer follows the trends, a great marketer creates them.

When it comes to a brand’s continued success, the puck stops here. It’s simply not good enough to jump on the bandwagon. We have to create our own—we have to be the trend-setters.  When we do this, we keep a brand beyond relevant…we keep it “ever relevant.”