Choose Royalcore content that’s been viewed 180 million times on TikTok. Choose the number one hit at the top of the charts. Choose Gartner’s hypecycle; for a high-level view of important emerging trends and specific technologies. (The Digital Humans are scheduled to land in under 10 years’ time folks). Choose to spend time discovering why trends are so impactful for your business from our compadre and all-round trendspotting expert, Laura Lyon.
Laura’s latest research on the future of work reveals a trend of unhappiness in the UK workplace; employee stress and anxiety are hindering focus, productivity and attendance, costing organisations dearly. But it isn’t just doom and gloom, Laura’s research also reveals opportunities to reverse this tide. These include: looking after employee health, wellbeing and personal development, ensuring staff have a good work/ life balance and ensuring they feel the work they do is meaningful, for a company who is sustainable and contributes towards society. Erm choose life? Makes total sense to us.
So, when you’re next planning for 2022 (and what an interesting year that will be), here’s a few pertinent questions you should be asking.
Why should you conduct trends research and what should you be asking?
Do you want to understand how to be relevant, how to meet the needs of your customers, and how to attract new customers?
Getting to grips with market and consumer trends will give you the know how you need to do just that. Trends research is about placing your organisation within the context of the wider world, and it is about keeping abreast of innovations and understanding changing attitudes, behaviours and landscapes.
Conducting trends research is about accessing the lay of the land and finding opportunities to move forward in innovative and effective ways to safeguard an organisations relevance and ability to meet peoples’ needs.
The types of questions you should look to answer to increase your breadth of knowledge and understanding of the people you are looking to serve are:
o What are the macrotrends affecting people’s issues, needs, desires, attitudes and behaviours?
o How are people’s expectations changing and what do people want/expect (from organisations, spaces, life, products, services etc)?
o What are the trends affecting your customers?
o What are the trends affecting specific groups or tribes of people who would like to serve?
Understanding how consumer trends are playing out in these areas will help you to better understand peoples’ frame of mind and decision-making processes, and the opportunities that exist to make their lives easier.
And when it comes to your sector specifically, these are the types of things you need to be thinking about asking:
o What are the macrotrends affecting businesses and consumers in your sector?
o How are brands innovating?
o What are ‘leading edge’ brands doing?
o What are competitors/ other brands doing?
o What are the trends in other markets?
o What is the likely direction of travel?
Remember, there aren’t many projects that wouldn’t benefit from trends research! Knowing the facts and having a holistic view of the world around us can only be a positive thing.
Of course, before embarking on a research project it pays to spend some time considering your research questions and objectives. Being clear about what your organisations objectives are will keep you focussed and enable you to best decide what you need to be asking and how best to do this.
Once you have done your research you can feel sure you are maximising your potential to be successful. You will be able to devise strategies that effectively ensure the relevance, agility and sustainability of your organisation. And the insights you glean can inform your PR, Comms, Marketing, Creative and Product Development.
An effective research project will see you go from lost, over-whelmed, and/or stuck in a rut to confident and clear about which direction you should be focussing your efforts on for a bright future. You will feel inspired to embrace change and you will be positive and optimistic about driving your organisation forward.