December 1, 2016

Trendspotting 101

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Four inspiring ways to uncover the next big thing.

It’s no secret that spotting consumer trends can give you a serious competitive edge. Steve Jobs made it look easy. As he said, “we have to figure out what people are going to want before they want it.” But how do you do that?

To better understand how to spot trends, our team attended Trends Conference 2016. Spotting trends is one thing. Finding out how to actually benefit from them is key.

Here are four tips to help you uncover and make the most of the next big thing:

1. Build on existing trends. Look at new brands, services, campaigns, experiences and more— let them lead you in new directions.

2. Study how new ideas are influencing customer expectations. Then, when you spot a cluster of similar innovations, you’ll know you’re onto something fresh.

3. Look beyond your customers and existing market research. Spend time focusing on what successful businesses, especially those outside your industry, are doing. Crunch Fitness, for example, saw that companies focused on healthy living were booming. From their observation, they created a totally new fitness concept focused on relaxation. The new class, called Antigravity Cocooning, involves meditation and relaxation in sling-style hammocks suspended from the ceiling. Initially launched in NYC, the class is now being offered in other cities as well.

4. Start each day asking a simple question that will give you a fresh perspective: what new customer expectations does a particular innovation create? Keep asking that question, and the answers will take you to surprising new places.

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