Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FutureTrends Conference - 11-08-06

Didn’t get a chance to blog as much today because my battery went dead. Here are some thoughts that are still fresh:

Everyone’s talked about and how much they were just sold for. Here’s a twist…suppose marketers bought the ability to doctor up YouTube videos in order to do product placement. So a popular video such as the laughing baby video might get a Huggies or Pampers box placed in the background. Is there enough 3D imaging capability to doctor an animated image into these videos? Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a sick idea, but it’s interesting.

Girls are taking pictures of their outfits in dressing rooms, emailing them to their girlfriends, and holding impromptu conference calls to get feedback from their friends. Are they going to give more credence to their girlfriends, the sales associate, or the messaging of the brand? and are spotting cool stuff and telling people about it. It’s like the friend you have who always has something new to tell you about.

A brain researcher discovered the brain is the most ‘lit up’ in your everyday life when you experience an Ah-Ha moment.

When Anthropologie, the womens’ clothing store, eliminated the restriction on the number of garments a customer could take into a dressing room, there was an immediate spike in sales.

In the past, marketers have looked at variables such as age, income, zip code, etc. for segmentation. Now they need to look at more sophisticated qualities:

My passions
My beliefs
What causes me despair
What inspires joy for me
My lineage and traditions
Goals and aspirations
Family & friends
Qualities I value most
Personal development

Faith Popcorn is known as the mother of Trend Scouting.

A few interesting tools from CScout, a Global Trends Research consultancy:

Trend Dashboard – Updates daily, similar to a blog, allowing employees to get involved to talk about a trend. It offers social ranking and crowdsourcing (employees uploading and commenting on ideas).

Trend Tours – This tool is about immersion and experiential innovation. It allows executives to experience a trend in order to “buy in”. They are a form of ethnography. For example, with BMW, they set up meetings for their senior managers to have in places where the trend is happening. This isn’t a tool with software like the Trend Dashboard, but more of a best practice.

Keywords in the Trend-scouting profession:

Driving forces
Trend Mapping
Trend Scouting
Unmet needs
the Future
Human values
Segments / segmentation
Qualitative data (I even heard “hard core qualitative data”)
Maturity (of a trend)
Rate of development (of a trend)
Core competencies
Innovation agenda
Futures thinking, futures work
Scenario Planning / Scenario Forecasting


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