7 Fads You Won't Forget

But Twitter has shown difficulty retaining users. Web traffic firm Nielsen recently reported that 60 percent of Twitter users don't return the following month.

Some Things Meant to Be Fads

Craig Bamsey, CEO of predictive marketing firm Infinia Foresight, said that while he's seen quick adoption rates translate into quick abandonment rates, he also said the quality of a product and its ability to touch deeply can't be underestimated.

"You don't want to say a lot and then nothing and almost force a fad," he said. "If it's 100 percent flash and no substance, you're going to fade quickly."

But, he said, it depends on your goal. Some things are meant to be a fad, like fashion styles and the children's toys that appear each holiday season. Lance Armstrong's Livestrong awareness-raising bracelet also enjoyed short-lived popularity, but it still left a lasting impression on the American public.

But if a product or personality implies a certain depth and texture, and can change and adapt with a culture, it could demonstrate staying power.

For example, he pointed out, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" topped the charts for nine months and is one of the best-selling albums of all-time. But that didn't stop his career from lasting another two decades.

"Some things lend themselves to a fast start. Others have a long tail," Bamsey said.

Seven Unforgettable Fads

With the help of these trend-spotters, we put together a short list of fads you're likely to remember that got a fast-start. Here they are.

Crocs and Other Plastic Shoes

For a while, the brightly colored plastic shoes were the footwear to be seen in from Los Angeles to New York. But trend spotters suspect the popularity of the plastic shoe has peaked.

On Thursday, Crocs Inc. announced a 32 percent drop in revenue, according to Reuters.

"Our intention in 2009 is to preserve the strength of the Crocs brand while endeavoring to strike a balance between lowering our fixed cost base and responsibly reducing our inventory," said Crocs Chief Executive Officer John Duerden.

Infinia Foresight's Bamsey believes the company is evolving, but he also said it didn't act fast enough.

"They rode the wave too long. Their surfboard hit the beach," he said, adding that the product was "pretty static.." "Do they stand for something? Do they have a certain competency?" he asked.

Piers Fawkes, founder of trends and innovation company PSFK said, "Rapid popularity led to trends outcry but many ripoff versions. Lots of people got rich on the plastic shoe fad even though I think Crocs as a company has not died."

The Livestrong Bracelet

Lance Armstrong's iconic yellow band was intended to raise awareness and funding for cancer research. But the $1 plastic bracelet spawned a whole class of wristbands for a variety of charities and political causes.

Launched in May 2004, the bracelets found their way on to the arms of celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Robin Williams and Sen. John Kerry. But today they're hard to spot.

"The Livestrong bracelet was meant to be a fad," said Bamsey. "It was great marketing but not meant to last very long."

Beanie Babies

The tiny stuffed toys from Ty Inc. really hit their stride in the late 1990s, becoming international trading and collectors' items.

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