The Trouble with Trends

Contributed by Cindy Sellers

Who doesn't love a good trends presentation — pretty pictures, big ideas — but then what? How do I use that information to benefit my business?  

For me, those big ideas and glossy trend presentations often fade away until someone asks me if I have anything to support the upcoming three-year strategic plan. The requested task is always to support the plans when it should be to build those plans. We are missing an opportunity here!

The way I see it, there are basically three problems with the way we think about and use ‘Trends.’

•    Timing

•    Relevance

•    Prioritization


It’s early in the year and everywhere you look people are showcasing trends; unfortunately, plans for 2017 have already been made. What if there was a way to have trends be top of mind when the planning process first gets under way, so it’s the trends that guide these plans instead of being an after-thought used to fill out the presentation?  


My solution is to start with a simple tweak to my calendar.

Action Step: Find out when the planning process actually begins at your company. When do people really start to think about putting together these plans? Put that date on your calendar for next year, give yourself a month in advance warning and make it a repeating event. 

Now start collecting! With the next planning cycle you’ll be ready to jump in with valuable data that will inform and guide plan development.

But what about this year? 

You can still support those plans and fill in that deck with some quick facts from the Trends Collection Starter Kit that we pulled together from some of our trends projects. We’ve listed some of the ones we found most useful. Be sure to bookmark these sites and check in every few months for updated thoughts.

Action Step: Connect with us on LinkedIn or visit our website - We are happy to provide a free assessment of your latest challenge and look forward to getting to know you better.


The Innovation Group at JWT Intelligence


Global Opportunity Network

Global Opportunity Report 2017




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