4 Ways to Leverage Insight Communities to Drive Trends Forward
Trends are only for teams focused on the long-term future, right? We don’t think so. When you zoom in, you can find consumers living out these trends in their everyday life. Building avenues to observe and capture these nuances early is what foresight work is all about. The most human-centric organizations have learned the secret to leveraging insight communities to inform their foresight. Here are four ways that you can harness the power of communities across your organization to keep a pulse on your consumers to identify trends and put that insight into action in the here and now.
Get consumers’ take on the trend.
Whether we realize it or not, trends and fads can show up in consumers’ lives even today. And while fads are exciting and could help a brand remain relatable and current – it is important to distinguish the difference between fads and trends.
So, what is the difference?
- Trends tend to be widespread across industries and demographics, remain relevant for a long period, and most importantly, fill a need and serve a greater purpose for consumers.
- Fads on the other hand have a much narrow reach, shorter lifespan, and often speak to a specific segment of consumers.
By leveraging insight communities, you can quickly tap into consumers to gain a pulse on trends vs. fads and spot changes early. Having insight readily available allows you the agility to create strategies or pivot based on what matters most to consumers.
See it come to life.
Once you have identified trends to narrow your focus on, using insights communities as a medium to see consumers living out those trends can allow you to spot areas of opportunity. Ways to accomplish this include:
- Incorporate observational opportunities with community members to see in “real-time” how they are (or are not) reflecting these trends in their daily life.
- Dig deeper into what are they doing and why. Use the learning of observational activities to probe for more insight into their needs and motivations.
Co-create solutions, advancing your brand into the future.
The most effective insights communities provide a reciprocal value exchange. Rather than simply extracting learning from members, create opportunities for them to co-create solutions to the problem they are having or needs that are unmet.
Allowing them to have that voice will build community engagement, enhance the value of the engagement itself, and drive customer-centric strategy.
Tie learnings to tangible strategies with stakeholders.
A trends report is valuable in its own right, but having insights that are supported by actual community engagement provides credibility and relatability to your specific organization. Adding tangibility to your insights allows key stakeholders to see the vision and identify ways to activate those strategies to shape a competitive advantage.
By tapping into insights communities, organizations can more closely align consumers’ real-time values with trends to ensure human-centered decision-making.