Preparing a company for its future and the unseen opportunities to remain scalable requires more than just a glimpse of trend data and annual inflation rate projections. A successful decade-down-the-road strategy continuously pulses based on enormous amounts of perfectly woven input so that it’s not only easy to digest, but is scythe-like in its ability to hack out a clear path.

When the Insights team of an iconic brand sought to create a mosaic of what America will look like in 2020, it required directional findings from socioeconomic strata, population data, cultural drifts, how the millennial generation will impact the evolving family structure, and more. The development of an interpretive yet cohesive framework would allow for the identification and evaluation of white-space growth opportunities — and implications — for its business.

This extensive undertaking solicited collaborative efforts from teams across category management, marketing, research and analytics, as well as external subject matter experts. The depth and breadth of discovery enabled the identification of relevant sources from which to mine, and the course of action for supplementary research to fill in gaps of knowledge. The intensive synthesis and analysis of numerous information sources would address working hypotheses that would either be disproved or lead to the universal application of a roadmap for the future.

Painting a picture of 2020 through the lens of this organization gave way to an unrivaled mural of marketplace relevance. The consolidation and curation of disparate inputs led to near-certain projections: what the mainstream mindset would become; how households will be structured; what communities will resemble racially, culturally, and socioeconomically; and how classes will shift and influence buyer behavior.

The outcome of this vastly thorough and foresight-driven approach to consumer intelligence has helped this manufacturer not only target future markets and align brand positioning with new audiences, but structure product development based on graying segments of a decreasingly homogenous America. This pointed portrayal yielded a view into the future that empowered it to make decisions in the present.

Although brand ideas, experiences, and go-to-market strategies are brought forth daily, it’s critical for organizations to focus their efforts, energy, and investment on those who will create the most marketplace impact and customer value. Buying a ticket to the company’s future, this body of work with its broad yet concentrated view effectively steered the company’s strategies toward relevant product expansion, innovation, and messaging strategies that not only honor American values, but those well beyond North American borders.