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In order to build sustainable innovation, it is crucial to not only be aware of different trends but analyze them in detail and evaluate their potential impact on your market.
A trend can be initiated by ideas, ideologies or actions and changes over time. It is thereby key to remember that no matter if you are looking at trends in marketing, in technology or in terms of certain products, it is people who drive trends! Part of a trend is therefore to understand what many people want and like and how they picture the future.
Trends are a crucial source and at the same time a reliable indicator of change. If you monitor trends closely, they will give you warnings about what is happening in a market and might give you indication of how you need to adapt your business to stay competitive.
Go out and talk to customers, talk to industry experts and combine this with desk research to know about all relevant trends. You can also follow pages like Trendhunter to be inspired about current trends. Additionally you might want to regularly look through consumer magazines, browse through discussion forums and listen to podcasts from Harvard Business Review or similar institutions.
For each individual trend, fill in the template that you can download below.
Describe the trend in detail, including the way in which it could affect your industry. Use examples and illustrations to enable other people to quickly understand the trend analysis.
Evaluate each trend according to two aspects: What is the possible impact on your market (use research and not just your gut feeling) and how easy is it to implement related technology (how likely it is that this trend will quickly be used for new products or services).
Now that you have a good overview of this single trend, you should to the same thing will all trends that you think are relevant for your business. Afterwards, use the trend mapping template to bring together all trends in a single visualization to understand their connection and their impact better.
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