Trend Scoping

Vitamins, AHAs, antibacterials, sunscreens, moisturizers, and gloss—they all grew out of consumer trends, and their various combinations grew out of the convergence of those trends. The earlier you can detect emerging trends and see their budding convergences, the greater your advantage.

One of the more common practices among market researchers is to focus on directly related trends, looking only at the perceived target market, the currently defined industry, and the most obvious pertinent issues. For example, a hair-coloring marketer would likely concentrate its trend research on women 35-65 years old, in a lower to midrange economic bracket, who have a fashion preference for "no gray," as well as technological developments in hair care and color science, and competitive home hair color marketers. We have found tremendous benefit in tracking a much wider variety of trends that can influence new product development, such as the following:

• Societal trends, beyond perceived target

• Demographic trends, beyond perceived target

• Lifestyle trends, beyond perceived target

• Fashion and design trends, beyond perceived target

• Related industry trends

• Parallel industry trends

• General trends outside the target industry

• Technology trends inside and outside the target industry

• Economic trends, beyond perceived target

• Political and regulatory trends

New ideas often come from the intersection of seemingly unrelated universes. By systematically conducting broader TrendScopes and considering a wider variety of potential convergences, marketers are more likely to discover new multifunctional opportunities ahead of their competition.

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