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Staying Ahead of the Curve: How to Incorporate Trends into Your Innovation Strategy

Michaela Batchelor-Manning
Staying informed about current trends is great, but it's far from enough. If you want to ride the waves of change instead of being drenched by them, this article is for you.
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Trends make the world go round. And not only in social media or fashion but also in business. By identifying and taking advantage of emerging (consumer) trends, you can position your company at the forefront of your industry and gain a competitive advantage. This blog post will explore some tips to help you do just that.

Usually, at the beginning of the year, people get curious about the trends that will define the next 12 months. But real innovators should be thinking about the future all year long. Or better yet, be ahead of it! So how do you do that? The good news is that anyone willing to spend time observing, reading and exploring can become a trendwatcher. Staying on top of the developments relevant to your service, customers, and industry is crucial to your company’s success and the key to becoming a future-proof organisation. It starts by knowing the different trends and how to spot, analyze and use them effectively.

Why do you need to care about trends?

We get it; it takes work to keep up with current trends and consumer expectations while remaining organized and focused on your current business. But with a few habits added to your daily routine and little planning, you can be on your way to a better understanding your business environment and identify new opportunities by hopping on a trend-based train. This way, you’ll be riding the waves of change rather than being drenched by them.

How to work with trends

Staying informed about current and emerging trends is great, but it’s far from enough. Make sure your research routine comes with action instead of just passive awareness. All trends are not alike! Application is the key. Ask yourself if the trend you’ve spotted has the potential to do something substantial such as launching a new product or service, finding a better voice toward your customer, or even changing your entire business model. This way, you’ll know where you’re going with the flood of information you consume. Here are our tips for incorporating a trend routine into your strategy:

1. Create a dedicated time blocker for trend research

All beginnings are hard, so just start small. Block some time each week for research and ideation. Focus on coming up with a few small but concrete actions and how to address them. Soon you’ll get into a routine, and it will all come naturally to you. Time is your most significant investment in trend exploration, and it will depend on your discipline.

2. Get involved and discuss!

Join industry meetups and conferences, watch tutorials and seek training. Participate in online communities and smart-up in forums discussing topics you want to learn about. Chat with colleagues, partners and clients about trends in their businesses. Conversations spark new ideas – always think of what you can give before planning what you can get out of it.

3. Read a lot and be curious! 

Read all you can about your industry, market, and the world. Regularly keep up with trend reports, platforms, influential bloggers, and business thought leaders. Many professionals have forgotten how to observe the world around them, but it’s something that’s within us. Always ask yourself “why” and “how is it helpful” whenever you notice something new instead of immediately dismissing it. Do in-depth research and evaluate the available data before taking a big decision, like “Is it worth investing in the Metaverse as a marketing channel?” (we already did this for you).

4. Look cross-industry.

Get out of the bubble! So many life-changing innovations and elevated customer experiences are happening in all industries, and you might miss them if you only look at yours. For example, consumer trends don’t only influence products on the market but also the inside of organizations and employee initiatives like intrapreneurship programs. Make it a challenge and try to adapt a trend from another business field into something for your company. Tailor it to your needs and see how it behaves. You might be surprised.

5. Talk to your customers.

Dive deeper into what your customers think and want. Seek active communication with them and try to turn it into an asset. Whatever you come across while spotting and tracking trends, please remember that not everything applies and appeals to everyone. Experimentation is great, but your customers are yours for a reason, and they must be your top priority.

6. Keep an eye on your digits. 

Use tools and business reports measuring current benchmarks to spot trends quickly. Tracking trends over time will help you predict potential problems – and opportunities.

7. Benefit from a quality resource.

There are countless resources that you can use to identify trending topics. Inspiration is everywhere. A must-do is subscribing to a trend-watching platform of your choice – we recommend Amplify. Eye-pleasing monthly reports, fantastic success stories, stats, news, and highlights you did not know you needed. 

Conclusion

Trendspotting is about peeking into the future and understanding why certain things capture our attention. Innovation is about applying and utilizing what you spot in the trend universe. Any professional can create exciting and valuable ideas that turn into great projects by knowing the trends, consumer needs, and expectations that underlie them. 

Come trendspotting with us! Want to be future-ready but don’t know where to start? Get in touch, and we’ll show you how working with trends can be a game-changer for your company. 

Join the ride and get ahead of the curve in 2023!

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