Should you follow the herd in order to be considered hip, in the know, or clued in above the masses? It rather depends.
Standing apart from the crowd to instill perspective can impact the livelihood of those who rely on hip messaging. Nonetheless, if your boots are on the ground with entities which deserve a balance of solid expertise and vision to move them forward, it is imperative you provide best practice advice which achieves this objective. Listen to your clients, and devise a strategy which addresses legitimate needs whilst preparing them for the future.
I'm a big tech head (read geek). Sometimes for its mere sake, but also because I get the tool and its practical, social, psycho-emotional, and environmental possibilities. As a child, I envisioned many of the things we're seeing in the world today. Yay me...
That being said, society would be rather a bore if we were all the same - each clutching a Kindle or sharing photo slide shows via our iPhones. The variety is what keeps us interesting, adds contextual depth, and makes for excellent history and storytelling. I am charmed when someone pulls out an actual photo, or hand writes and snail mails a thank you card. Valuing this doesn't mean I don't get the changing or new world and all its implications. If anything, it increases my appreciation of the landscape.
From the business perspective, some clients wish to differentiate themselves by retaining an aspect of business not aligned with trends. To which I say, be the inspired thinker who marries seemingly polar ideas into stellar results. This can oftentimes be more challenging than simply evangelising 'the revolution' or latest shiny new object.
A large percentage of my clients are Ivy League graduates with advanced degrees who've competitively acquired their leadership positions...or established niche organisations. Many could do the work I offer, but instead choose to hire professionals so they can remain focused on core objectives. Some are arrogant, but most are quite humble. All are emotionally intelligent, knowledgeable, and open to new ideas.
Because of this demographic, I am mindful of my approach and make a concerted effort to know my audience. None of them would take kindly to cliched advice designed to motivate by fear or allude to their stupidity. Nor, as high achievers (who like to control their destinies) would they accept being told they or their operations would fail if they don't adopt certain ideas or tactics. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather use a crystal ball to craft winning strategies. For clients who might rely more heavily on guidance and input because they can't do my work, I still remember ours is a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
Knowing when to lead, follow, and/or inspire is a critical skill set.