At TrendWatching, we love trends. More than our friends and yes, more than our pets.
But there’s one thing we love more. It’s you. The world’s sharpest community of trend-hungry, change-loving, consumer-obsessed professionals. We love you as much as the day when you first opened our newsletter back in 2002, when Nelly ruled the charts and Nokias buzzed in our pockets.
It’s high time we take our relationship to the next level and make sure you, the reader, aren’t just a reader. We want you to be doer. It’s what your customer deserves. That’s why we are giving you our most powerful ideation tool and a process for generating innovation ideas that we’ve honed by working with everyone from Samsung, to the Dubai government, to the Walt Disney Imagineers.
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Here’s the plan. We will quickly introduce the tool and then share a NEW trend for 2018 and work through that trend together, ending with an innovation idea that is deeply aligned with what customers will want in the near future. Then you’ll be ready to go it alone. At the bottom is a download link for everything you’ll need to get going.
Still here? 78% of our traffic has already navigated away. But you are different. You are curious. You are ready to develop a new skill and blow the Crocs off your peers. Let’s go…
The Consumer Trend Canvas (CTC) is an easy-to-follow framework that will help you unpack and understand any consumer trend, and then apply it to launch successful, consumer-facing innovations of your own. We’ve seen this tool generate everything from hyper-persuasive savings accounts to patent-worthy pet products 🐶. It’s as versatile as you are.
As you devour content (from LinkedIn, conferences, podcasts etc.), occasionally you encounter a trend which gives you that special mix of feelings: excitement, opportunity and a dash of fear. Take that trend, grab your team, and print out this canvas as big as you can. Answer the questions the canvas asks by filling it out with sticky notes.
The canvas is divided into two halves. The left hand side of the canvas encourages you to analyze a trend by exploring its building blocks. You’ll uncover why it’s happening now, who is already harnessing it, and most importantly, consider what it might do to customer expectations. Then you leap over to the right hand side and start considering how you can apply the trend to your business. In doing so, you will generate ideas that will delight your customers.
It sounds simple. It is simple.
So, let’s take a trend – from our 2018 Trend Report – and work through it together.
The global landscape is undulating with political polarization, regional conflicts, environmental catastrophes and corporate scandals. In advanced economies, 58% feel the next generation is going to be worse off (Pew, June 2017). Yeesh! Amid all this, it’s a relief to remember that humanity’s fundamental love of play remains. But expectations around the what, how and where of play are anything but fixed.
In 2018, the world around consumers will become the biggest map, level or landscape they’ve ever gamed on. Fueled by maturing technologies and a creator mindset, participants will look to build, explore, subvert and dive into interactive challenges in physical spaces. Welcome to the GLOBAL SANDBOX: a space for self-expression and for-the-fun-of-it thrills.
To unpack this trend on the canvas we are going to start with the Analyze half. By answering four simple questions about this trend, we’ll come to understand it deeply.
World Brush —
AR app lets users ‘paint’ on the world.
Launched in September 2017, World Brush is an AR experience that allows users to create 3D images with their smartphone or tablet that others can only see pinned at a specific location.
Jeff Koons, Snapchat and Sebastian Errazuriz —
AR public artworks vandalized.
In October 2017, Snapchat partnered with Jeff Koons to display AR representations of his sculptures in real-world locations. Within hours of going on display, one was ‘vandalized’ by artist Sebastian Errazuriz.
Shower cubicle doodles emailed to hotel guests.
In November 2017, Marriott Hotels offered guests shower doors which allowed their drawings on the steamy glass surface to be captured digitally. Touch-sensitive doors recorded ideas and emailed guests copies.
Oobah Butler —
Journalist gives followers control of his destiny.
Oobah Butler used a new polling feature in Instagram Stories to handover his decision-making to his followers. One day in October 2017, he let them decide everything from the clothes he wore to what he ate. By nightfall, participants had sent him on a bus to Brussels.
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This Trend Briefing has many hands on it. A huge thanks to the team that pulled this together with such positivity and enthusiasm, especially: Alida Urban, Francesca Coppola, Harry Metzger, Harvey Gomez, Henry Mason, Jonathan Herbst, Maxwell Luthy, Nikki Ritmeijer, Tash Cohen, Vicki Loomes and Vicky Kim. THANK YOU!