The value of trends research
My research and insight specialism is, you guessed it... trends research. Here you can find out more about trends research and what I can offer your organisation.
What is trends research?
The trends research I conduct is first and foremost about contextualising. It is about placing your organisation within the context of the wider world, in order to understand changing attitudes and behaviours.
Making sense of this bigger picture avoids the tunnel vision that exists within most organisations. My research highlights innovations, as well as emerging attitudes and behaviours that present opportunities for the future.
I conduct trends research using a multitude of methodologies such as mining publicly available data, reviewing big business, government and challenger brand initiatives, and conducting online surveys and one-to-one interviews with consumers and experts.
Through asking questions such as the ones below I achieve a thorough understanding of societal, demographic and sector trends that ultimately help organisations to better understand the needs, desires, attitudes and behaviours of audiences.
· What are people’s issues and needs?
· How are people’s expectations changing and what do people want/expect (from organisations, spaces, life etc)?
· What are the trends affecting specific groups/tribes of people?
· What are the trends affecting businesses and consumers in specific sectors?
· How are brands innovating?
· What are ‘leading edge’ brands doing?
· What are competitors/ other brands doing?
· What are the trends in other markets?
· What is the likely direction of travel?
To summarise, trends research enables your organisation to get a read on what is happening, how you fit into it, and where you want to go next.
“The world is a very chaotic place. We all want to find a way to carve some sense through the madness. I think that trend forecasting offers one really key way and really easy way to say, “here’s what’s happening".” Devon Powers, Consumer Culture Expert
What can trends research be used for?
Here are just some of the applications of trends research and areas where my work has been used:
1. Understanding sectors and markets - in their own right and also in the context of what is happening in other sectors and what can be learnt from them.
2. Understanding consumers - including customer groups, demographics and life stages. Identifying where consumers are, what they need and want, and what their attitudes are.
3. Devising effective future strategies - through seeing your organisations problems, challenges and opportunities within the context of wider customer expectations and needs, and within the context of competitor product and service innovations.
4. Ensuring business relevance, agility and sustainability - it is important to keep a look out for the need for change, in order not to be left behind by trends and/or competitors.
5. Informing PR, Comms, Marketing, Creative and Product Development - bringing fresh thinking, new insights, and new ideas and inspiration.
6. For social and environmental good - understanding the latest innovations and consumer mindsets.
7. To help win business - particularly useful for agencies who want to demonstrate expertise in a particular area. How will trends research from Laura Lyon Trends be delivered?
I produce bespoke trend reports and white papers that further understanding of consumers and sectors.
Projects are based on an initial research question (which I work with my client to formulate), such as:
· What are the trends affecting millennials and digital media than can be used to inspire a
new digital media platform targeted at young people?
· What are the trends in the area of wellness and refreshments that can be used to aid
development of a new tea with wellness benefits?
· What trends can be used to inspire a new hotel concept?
· What are the trends affecting uptake and attitudes towards the take up of electric cars,
and how can any barriers be removed?
Each research project is tailored to my client’s specific business objectives, questions and scope. This ensures all trends research is relevant, insightful and includes actionable recommendations.
Please get in touch if you have any questions, would like more information or would like to discuss anything. You can also subscribe to my mailing list below or read more about my services here.