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How are Trends an Innovators’ Friend?

Trias de Bes and P. Kotler in “Winning at Innovation. The A-to-F Model” present a unique, structured approach to organizing process of innovation in corporates. They distinguish different roles and responsibilities in the act of entrepreneurial discovery, one of which are creators. Creators have important role of identifying and channeling macrotrends, trends, fashions, and novelties into exploitable business opportunities. How these social proofs differ to teach other, and wat are their examples?Trias de Bes and P. Kotler argue that many inventions turned to be failures as they didn’t took current trends into account. Therefore the authors recommend reflection on macrotrends, trends, fashions and novelties deriving from sociological research to exploit business opportunities embedded in them

The basic distinction between macrotrends, trends, fashions, and novelties is how long they are expected to last.

In the example of macrotrends, they last from minimum 5 years up to 10 years, however it is rare that they’d last over 10 due to changes of priorities and life purposes of generations. Examples of macrotrends include usage of smartphones, digitalization of newspapers, or increase of ecologic awareness.

Trends last from minimum 1 year up to 5 years, and can relate to phenomena such as smart gardening, social media, or electronic vehicles.

Fashions are something that last minimum one season, as in case of footwear and outwear up to one year, as in example of other products and services. Fashions relate to movies of the year, book and audio bestsellers, or extremely holey jeans as in Poland in 2016.

Novelties last up to one month, sometimes even less, like a week or two. Novelties often relate to sport, cultural, political and media events. An example of novelty, in the day of writing this post, are UEFA EURO 2016 or World Youth Day being organized in Poland between July 25th-31st 2016, which will result in short time boom of sales of event related gadgets incl. souvenirs, keychains, pictures, T-shirts, or stamps.

If you pay attention, look really closely, and are aesthetically skilled you can turn macrotrends, trends, fashions and novelties into business with platforms such as Threadless, Spreadshirt, or Betabrand.

The most crucial thing in exploiting the trend is to identify them at relatively early stage of growth. So how do you do that? You can build a network of trusted observers of trends indicators, like DDB agency did in form of SignBank service, which enables adding observed phenomena to dedicated database by the agency employees from all over the world. Other sources include social media and blogs, which you can leverage using dedicated tools. One of such tools is Google Trends enabling analysis of frequency of appearance of defined search queries in Google search engine. Another one is Technorati, which enables you to browse through the blogs dedicated to particular topics and narrow down the most relevant ones. Reputation.com is the tool enabling you to follow reputation of defined people, companies and brands, incl. discussion taking place in social media. You might also like Wordle, which enables generating clouds of words from the text you provide. Worlde gives greater prominence to words that appear frequently in the source text of blogs with Atom or RSS feeds. Sentiment 140 will be interesting for those, who’d like to know positive and negative opinions published on Twitter that are related to defined word put in Twitter search engine.

Tools supportive in trends identification incl. also solutions of Appinions or Institute for the Future, which we mentioned in our previous posts.

Dzida!