TW:IN Top Spots: 3 of the best recent innovations seen from around the world


Image sources, in order of appearance: Lape Soetan,, Vinome, #NoMore

TrendWatching's Insight Network -- referred to as tw:in by those in the know ;) -- is a crucial pillar of everything we do here at TrendWatching. From our 3000+ strong network of trend-savvy professionals based everywhere from Boston to Bangkok, we receive hundreds of innovation submissions each month that highlight how certain trends are playing out in different locales. 

Each week, we publish our favorite example from the latest batch (no easy task, let me assure you!) as our Top Spot, shared on our site as well as our dedicated Facebook page. Here's a round up of three of the best from October & November - enjoy :)


Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria-based Spotter Osarumen Osamuyi submitted, a recently-launched app that allows users to buy products and services via chat. The online marketplace was developed to make the goods sold at Balogun Market in Lagos more accessible by allowing customers to avoid travel and high temperatures in the city. Users can browse products and complete sales through the app, along side interacting with sellers and haggling for products through BuyChat, the in-app chat function called. Shoppers can also book flights and hotels, order food, and connect with local brands.

Osarumen also shared his insight into this innovations: I don’t think the e-commerce platforms that have been built in Africa are interesting. They are mostly Amazon clones with oversized marketing budgets. Why? Because Amazon’s purchase flow is designed to model supermarkets. Walk through aisles (categories), add things to a basket (cart), and pay for them before exiting (checkout).

This is not how commerce in Africa works, and that’s why these e-commerce platforms aren’t seeing a lot of uptake. Africans typically shop by going to informal, unstructured markets, and haggling over the price of each item before picking it up, paying for it, and moving along. If you bring that behaviour online, it looks like people haggling and exchanging product photos over Facebook, Nairaland, and WhatsApp (it’s already happening).


Location: California, USA

Submitted by Maria Elena Aramendia, Vinome is a great example of a brand using DNA to make something hyperpersonal for their customers.

Launched in the US during October 2016, the monthly subscription service delivers wine based on people’s DNA. The company analyzes submitted saliva samples and then selects wine to suit ten genetic variants in customers’ DNA, based on their unique taste profile. After they’ve tried their wine, customers can rate and review the bottle, with results helping inform future shipments. Vinome has partnered with Helix: a company which works with app developers to find new ways to use genetic data, with bottles of wine costing around USD 65.


Location: Lincoln, UK

Submitted by Edith Perez, #NoMore is a campaign that signifies how multiple brands can successfully unite behind a common cause to bring some safety and security anyone at-risk on a night out.

A UK campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence & abuse (SVA) run by Lincolnshire County Council in September 2016, saw posters in bars advising people feeling at risk to ‘go to the bar and ask for Angela’. #NoMore is supported by SVA support services and a number of council departments including the police, and education. The campaign will run again in February 2017, to coincide with National Sexual Violence and Abuse Awareness Week.


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