Trend hunting, emerging expectations and innovation: Breaking down key African trends to IBX students at Orange Academy, Lagos!

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The beginning of October saw TrendWatching's Africa team present a workshop at the Orange Academy - one of the most forward-thinking institutions in West Africa. Our Africa Director, Lola Pedro, was accompanied by our Lagos-based Super Spotter, Emeka Obia, for a fast-paced workshop that unpacked some key trends shaping Nigeria and beyond.

What went down? Over to you, Emeka!

“A trend is anything flashy; it’s something that’s fashionable; it’s something unique."

"A trend is something that is different!”

These were some of the answers that popped up when Lola posed the rare question – “What is a trend?”.

The IBX class was packed with students from different industries: fashion, music, advertising, financial services and more, who all appeared to have a emerging understanding of the importance of tracking trends and changes in culture. What they required, however, was the knowhow in clearly identifying and applying these trends.

ORANGE ACADEMY prides itself as Africa’s 1st school of Integrated Brand Experience; a pioneering practical institution in Africa with a focus on shaping local minds that will build global brands.

Trends Class with Lola Pedro

A photo posted by Orange Academy (@orangeacademylagos) on

Trendwatching’s Africa Regional Director, Lola Pedro, visited the Academy to present African consumer trends to the students and it was amazing to see the students’ already using the trend examples to create innovations, and new ideas using TrendWatching famed Consumer Trend Canvas in just one day!

In was an intensive and extremely practical session as Lola revved up the afternoon, first by introducing Trendwatching & TW:IN (TrendWatching's Insight Network) and then diving straight into the concept of trends. She dispelled several misconceptions and explained the bigger picture by enlightening the class about macro, consumer and industry trends.

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This was followed by a breaking-down of TrendWatching’s theory on the Expectation Economy, which is the key message that helps link innovations and consumer trends. She went ahead to make the students understand that following trends, as well as what other businesses are doing, helps to meet and surpass consumers’ rapidly changing expectations. According to Lola, trends emerge from the convergence of 3 elements – innovation, basics needs and drivers of change!

Next, it was time to dive into the trends. Lola highlighted 10 key trends with video examples to easily drive home her ideas.

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The day was rounded off with a Consumer Trend Canvas workshop, a tool designed to help draw insights from any trend and use them to influence and inspire the innovation process. Working through this process immediately helped the students see how trends can really benefit their current and future projects.

First, Lola took the already-pumped-up class through how to use the canvas. With the support of myself (on hand to help facilitate the workshop, of course ;) the class was divided into groups and each group tasked to choose a trend, come up with an innovation that taps into the trend - complete with fitting name - and prepare a one-minute pitch!

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Then, faced with a fictional budget and different Nigerian brands to innovate for, the students let their creativity loose to create new products, services, marketing campaign and experiences…

From a crisis management app to help rebuild brand trust for OLX, to a locally produced fashion line to fund charity, to an experiential classy air travel campaign to transport Nigerians in diaspora for DSTV, the workshop ignited creativity in the students – proving that trends can truly help to identify relevant opportunities, if executed the right way.

The students were all winners - even after presenting their innovations (which were judged by a panel of moderators) as they left with a better understanding of trends and, most importantly, knowing that they now have the opportunity to apply trends in their current roles, that has impact and can reach a limitless potential audience.

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And anyway, don't just take our word for it ;)

Chisom Ohuaka, the CEO of Orange Academy, made this statement after the event:

The class Lola had with our IBX students at Orange Academy was so eye-opening, that it has chartered a new career path for some of the students (inmates, as we call them). Our classes are tailor-made for practical learning rather than theory, and that’s what Lola did - 75% of her class was practical. She was down to earth and easily passed critical knowledge of what she knows to our inmates. We are looking forward to having her take this class more often.

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Through our content and tools, TrendWatching continues to offer professionals in more than 180 countries better predictions for the future and the best inspiration to innovate based on trends. Learn more at trendwatching.com/live

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