Trend Spotting 101: Going back to basics at Sup de Pub and INSEEC

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TrendWatching's wider educational programs see some of our analysts head to leading schools, colleges and universities around the country to debate and discuss our trend-driven methodology with students with a keen interest in innovation. Victoria Foster, head of TrendWatching's Insight Network, headed to France to show the students a new way of trend-thinking (and how to turn it into trend-action!).

At the heart of TrendWatching’s trend-driven methodology sits a counter-intuitive truth; watching businesses first, and the innovations they’re creating, can unlock deep truths into the future of consumerism.

For students, this is an exciting proposition and one that is often in opposition with much of what they learn within their classes and degree programs - where they often find trend that are predetermined through meticulous scientific research. In contrast, we look at trends as something everyone can spot, record, explore and apply for themselves.

So, when approached by Gilles Nakhle, Course Director at Sup de Pub and INSEEC Business School for Innovative Marketing and Social Media Marketing, to introduce this concept to students within both programs in a fun, interactive and applicable way, we knew the session needed to go right back to the beginning — trendspotting 101 ;) — looking at where, why and how to spot game-changing, insight-revealing innovations.

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We packaged the program into a three-hour Innovation Lab, covering our Trend-Driven Innovation methodology and why spotting innovations helps us spot trends. Next, we selected six trends most relevant to the students’ area of study, along with fresh, inspiring innovations that best demonstrated the trend in the real world.

The class was then split into small groups and given the task of finding brand new innovations that fitted into the six trends, with bonus points awarded if they were local French examples. Coming back to present their findings to their peers, we then discussed how each innovation could signal a new direction within the larger trend and what these new insights could reveal to them (see an example of one below).

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Within under a day of working together, the students left empowered and, most importantly, with a new mindset. A new way of looking at the world, and a new way of spotting, understanding and applying trends for their future benefit and, ultimately, the benefit of all.

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Victoria Foster is the Head of TrendWatching’s Insight Network, as well as working with numerous universities from across the globe to provide materials for students, guest lectures and facilitate longer project. Think a similar course could work for you? Get in touch at victoria@trendwatching.com.  

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