Trends have now become a prime tool for innovation through exploiting chaos. Here are two extremely powerful tools that anyone can use to make business sense from trends – Trend-bulletins and trenDNA cards. Both these tools are based on the trend-watching activity.
Trendwatch is a systematic activity by trained spotter to scan the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. It lets you inside the mind of the consumer and even his intangible needs get known. Several global organisations are actively engaged in this. Trendwatching.com is one of the major players in this field.
 
These organisations issue bulletins on global trends , region specific bulletins and monthly bulletins for most domains.
 
In addition, they also publish an almost unbelievably simply  and effective tool for applying this knowledge for anybody to create innovative, future ready products and services. This tool is the consumer trend canvas, which has the following dedicated documents/formats for each trend covered.
 

  • Analyze – What  needs  and desires of the consumer drive this trend?
  • What are the shifts (the long-term, macro changes that are playing out across years or even decades, that will shape both the direction and flavor of a specific trend) and triggers (the more immediate changes that drive the emergence of a consumer trend)/
  • What are the datapoints (quantitative figures and details)?
  • What are the emerging consumer expectations and expectation gaps?
  • Inspiration – How are other businesses applying this trend?
  • Innovation potential- How and where can you apply this trend to all aspects of you business – in your Vision, Business model, Product/service/experience. Campaign?
  • Who – Which new customer group can you apply this trend to? What will you need to change?

See a detailed example of consumer trendcanvas  here.
 
You can use these directly or through us. Since we are premium members for trendwatching.com, we can set up a full system for you by integrating their tools with our expertise.
 
In addition to these domain and region specific monthly/yearly bulletins, there is one other trendwatch activity which can be of immense use to all of us. These are trenDNA cards from Darrel Mann, one of world’s best known TRIZ and systematic innovation specialist, and Yekta Ozozer. These are one time deck of trendcards.
 
 
trenDNA card deckTrenDNA cards are based on 12 year intensive research on the bigger picture trends that make sense of the hundreds and hundreds of observable market trends that periodically appear and disappear. The major insight of this research is that innovation success is determined not so much by trends themselves as by the interaction between trends. Some trends reinforce others while some contradict others.  When a surprisingly small number of rules combine in a hierarchically nested fashion, a high level of complexity emerges. This complexity,mainly the contradictions, have to be resolved using the TRIZ tool of Contradiction Resolution and/or the TOC ( Theory Of Constraints ) tool of EC ( Evaporating Clouds). This activity produces the underlying DNA for any innovation and hence the name trenDNA.
 
Let us take just one example of resolving trend contradictions of  to find the white space. There is a trend of health consciousness and one of convenience. To a curd making company, these two trends can recommend a product in form of a health giving curd, to be consumed early morning. But the problem arises when all relevant trends for that segment are taken into account, at the same time. One of these trends is that bacteria is viewed as ‘harmful’. Unless you somehow resolve this contradiction that while bacteria is perceived mostly as harmful, you still should consume our curd, its appeal of ‘healthgiving’ and even ‘convenience’ will not be able to sell. Danone resolved this conflict successfully through ads that established the term ‘good bacteria‘  and then went on to talk of its appeal of being health-giving and convenient to consume. The product, Actimel, has been very successful.
 
TrenDNA cards can be used in a structured innovation exercise through its trend-mapper format.
 
These two types of trendcards have made innovation anybody’s game. If required, we can help.
 

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