Three tips to get the most out of trend reports
Overwhelmed by trend reports and no idea where to start? Here are three simple tricks to help you navigate what’s next for your brand.
04 January 2024
3 min read
Mid-December Ben Malbon, VP Marketing at Google shared an overview of trend reports compiled by a team of independent consultants. Among the 150+ reports listed is our very own 2024 What Matters report, where we highlight four dimensions of positive change and eight different ways brands can help drive this transformation. As it starts raining trend reports in this time of the year, the question arises: what does this mean for my brand? Trend reports are filled with inspiration, but how do you navigate through such a report? In this blog we share three simple yet effective tips to get the most out of a trend report.
1. Strategic scanning through keywords
Are you ready to dive into the pile of trend reports? Hold your horses and take a step back. What are you exactly looking for? Before even opening a trend report, make a list of keywords and topics that hold utmost relevance to you, thinking about your team and organisational goals for the year and what matters most. Utilise these keywords with the ‘find’ function to scan through the report. This will help you to immediately identify the topics and trends you care most about. To broaden your thinking and add extra context, you could even reach out to the authors of the report and ask for their point of view (POV) of how these trends are interconnected and relate to your specific industry. This empowers you to start a conversation by sharing trend information your co-workers should hear about.
2. Self-evaluation via a score card
Our second tip is to assess how your organisation currently aligns with the trends from the report and where there are gaps. This will help you to determine your POV formulate recommendations and even create a score card. Going a step beyond education by sharing your POV fosters an environment of healthy debate. Set up a collaborative session with others to hear other point of views and strategize on where you all feel you should act. To ensure the trends and action points remain forefront in stakeholders’ minds, develop high-level use cases illustrating how teams can seamlessly integrate these trends into their day to day based upon internal timelines and existing processes.
3. Go beyond the surface in 3 steps
While the first tip focuses on self-exploration and education, the second one on determining a POV, this third tip guides you in engaging other stakeholders with a three-step approach.
Step 1: Individual reflection
Assign dedicated time for everyone to read a report as homework. This uninterrupted time is vital to let everyone form an opinion on the content, free from external influences or peer pressure.
Step 2: Group discussion
Organise a discussion where different stakeholders can share their initial reactions to the content of a report. The goal is to have a dynamic conversation, not simply replicating what a report says. Introduce discussion prompts, perhaps using a question jar with inquiries like “what implications does this trend hold for your role?” or “how does it impact our brand?” to encourage varied perspectives.
Step 3: Prioritise for the now
Organise a prioritisation exercise, ranking the trends based on what matters most to the organisation. The outcome can be a top three, with one concrete commitment or next step per trend.
Step 4: Future-proofing
In this final step, shift the focus to 4-5 years ahead in time to start future-proofing your organisations’ initiatives. Develop four thought starters for each trend to stimulate creating thinking and contemplation on the trends, considering the readiness of your organisation. Then begin brainstorming hypotheses for various future scenarios. For instance, consider scenarios where everything remains unchanged in your competitive field or where a disruptive solution is introduced that transforms the landscape. What does this mean for your organisation and what should you do? Do this for each trend and establish corresponding action points.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the many trend reports landing in your mailbox. With our three tips you’ll be ready to navigate what’s next for your brand.
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