What Is The Consumer Trend Canvas? The Consumer Trend Canvas In A Nutshell

The consumer trend canvas is a simple framework for understanding consumer trends and uncovering innovation opportunities. The consumer trend canvas is a simple framework for identifying consumer trends and creating value-based innovation. The framework encourages successful innovation that is customer-centric without necessarily being consumer-led. That is, it encourages businesses to identify trends before they become mainstream.

Understanding the consumer trend canvas

Many organizations believe consumer trends are mysterious, opaque, abstract, or difficult to predict. What’s more, they seem to come as quickly as they go.

In today’s expectation economy, many trends emerge from where quality, positive impact, and personal expression meet. Uber is regarded as having started a trend based on prompt, interactive, and personalized service across multiple domains. On the other hand, socially responsible companies such as Patagonia have revolutionized guilt-free consumption and so-called ‘meaningful consumerism’.

The consumer trend canvas is one of a suite of similar tools for aspiring innovators, including the business model canvas, value proposition canvas, and storytelling canvas.

The two components of the consumer trend canvas

The consumer trend canvas is comprised of two components which in turn are divided into parts. 

Let’s take a look at each component and part below.

1 – Analyze

The left-hand side of the canvas diagram is devoted to helping a business understand the trend it is examining. The analyze component consists of four parts:

  1. Basic needs – what are meaningful consumer needs the trend addresses? It’s important to realize that trends are driven by fundamental needs that rarely change. Some of the more common needs driving consumer behavior include social status, self-improvement, connection, identity, freedom, entertainment, and simplicity. 
  2. Drivers of change – why is the trend occurring now? Trends are invariably driven by change as consumers satisfy their needs in more novel or exciting ways. To analyze change, the business must consider shifts and triggers. Shifts are long-term, macro changes such as urbanization and the climate emergency. Triggers are more immediate factors driving the emergence of a trend, including new technology, environmental accidents, or economic shocks.
  3. Emerging consumer expectations – what are the new needs, desires, or wants created by the change? How does the trend satisfy them? Identifying these unmet needs is the key to creating innovative products. In other words, is there a gap between what the consumer wants and what they currently have?
  4. Inspiration – how are other businesses applying the trend? In most cases, innovation results when previously unrelated information is combined and deployed in a new, useful, context. Companies should find their inspiration from a wide gamut of industries, perspectives, regions, and cultures.

2 – Apply

On the right-hand side of the canvas, space is provided to identify the potential opportunities a trend could bring to a business.

This component consists of three more parts:

  1. Innovation potential – how and where might the trend be applied? How will the trend influence the company’s business model or vision? Will new products, services, or marketing campaigns need to be created? The business must avoid jumping on a trend for the sake of it, particularly when the trend is not aligned with organizational, industry, or cultural values.
  2. Who – or the new customer group likely to be impacted by a trend. Linking a specific demographic to a trend is simple in hindsight. However, the business must find a way to make the trend relevant to a new group of people to be truly innovative.
  3. Innovation – from the information gathered above, new and innovative ideas should then be brainstormed and recorded. Each session should be led by a competent moderator who provides a creative environment and encourages a diverse range of opinions.

Key takeaways:

  • The consumer trend canvas is a comprehensive and holistic framework for identifying new consumer trends and developing innovative products or services.
  • The consumer trend canvas stresses the importance of customer-centric trends over customer-led trends. By the time a trend is led by customers, it is likely too late for a new player to take advantage of it.
  • The consumer trend canvas requires the business to describe trends in terms of six key parts: basic consumer needs, drivers of change, emerging consumer expectations, inspiration, innovation potential, and new consumers or consumer demographics.

Connected Analysis Frameworks

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Agile Business Analysis

Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA) is certification in the form of guidance and training for business analysts seeking to work in agile environments. To support this shift, AgileBA also helps the business analyst relate Agile projects to a wider organizational mission or strategy. To ensure that analysts have the necessary skills and expertise, AgileBA certification was developed.

Business Valuation

Business valuations involve a formal analysis of the key operational aspects of a business. A business valuation is an analysis used to determine the economic value of a business or company unit. It’s important to note that valuations are one part science and one part art. Analysts use professional judgment to consider the financial performance of a business with respect to local, national, or global economic conditions. They will also consider the total value of assets and liabilities, in addition to patented or proprietary technology.

Paired Comparison Analysis

A paired comparison analysis is used to rate or rank options where evaluation criteria are subjective by nature. The analysis is particularly useful when there is a lack of clear priorities or objective data to base decisions on. A paired comparison analysis evaluates a range of options by comparing them against each other.

Monte Carlo Analysis

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Cost-Benefit Analysis

A cost-benefit analysis is a process a business can use to analyze decisions according to the costs associated with making that decision. For a cost analysis to be effective it’s important to articulate the project in the simplest terms possible, identify the costs, determine the benefits of project implementation, assess the alternatives.

CATWOE Analysis

The CATWOE analysis is a problem-solving strategy that asks businesses to look at an issue from six different perspectives. The CATWOE analysis is an in-depth and holistic approach to problem-solving because it enables businesses to consider all perspectives. This often forces management out of habitual ways of thinking that would otherwise hinder growth and profitability. Most importantly, the CATWOE analysis allows businesses to combine multiple perspectives into a single, unifying solution.

VTDF Framework

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Pareto Analysis

The Pareto Analysis is a statistical analysis used in business decision making that identifies a certain number of input factors that have the greatest impact on income. It is based on the similarly named Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of the effect of something can be attributed to just 20% of the drivers.

Comparable Analysis

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SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

PESTEL Analysis

The PESTEL analysis is a framework that can help marketers assess whether macro-economic factors are affecting an organization. This is a critical step that helps organizations identify potential threats and weaknesses that can be used in other frameworks such as SWOT or to gain a broader and better understanding of the overall marketing environment.

Business Analysis

Business analysis is a research discipline that helps driving change within an organization by identifying the key elements and processes that drive value. Business analysis can also be used in Identifying new business opportunities or how to take advantage of existing business opportunities to grow your business in the marketplace.

Financial Structure

In corporate finance, the financial structure is how corporations finance their assets (usually either through debt or equity). For the sake of reverse engineering businesses, we want to look at three critical elements to determine the model used to sustain its assets: cost structure, profitability, and cash flow generation.

Financial Modeling

Financial modeling involves the analysis of accounting, finance, and business data to predict future financial performance. Financial modeling is often used in valuation, which consists of estimating the value in dollar terms of a company based on several parameters. Some of the most common financial models comprise discounted cash flows, the M&A model, and the CCA model.

Value Investing

Value investing is an investment philosophy that looks at companies’ fundamentals, to discover those companies whose intrinsic value is higher than what the market is currently pricing, in short value investing tries to evaluate a business by starting by its fundamentals.

Buffet Indicator

The Buffet Indicator is a measure of the total value of all publicly-traded stocks in a country divided by that country’s GDP. It’s a measure and ratio to evaluate whether a market is undervalued or overvalued. It’s one of Warren Buffet’s favorite measures as a warning that financial markets might be overvalued and riskier.

Financial Analysis

Financial accounting is a subdiscipline within accounting that helps organizations provide reporting related to three critical areas of a business: its assets and liabilities (balance sheet), its revenues and expenses (income statement), and its cash flows (cash flow statement). Together those areas can be used for internal and external purposes.

Post-Mortem Analysis

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Retrospective Analysis

Retrospective analyses are held after a project to determine what worked well and what did not. They are also conducted at the end of an iteration in Agile project management. Agile practitioners call these meetings retrospectives or retros. They are an effective way to check the pulse of a project team, reflect on the work performed to date, and reach a consensus on how to tackle the next sprint cycle.

Root Cause Analysis

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Blindspot Analysis


Break-even Analysis

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Decision Analysis

Stanford University Professor Ronald A. Howard first defined decision analysis as a profession in 1964. Over the ensuing decades, Howard has supervised many doctoral theses on the subject across topics including nuclear waste disposal, investment planning, hurricane seeding, and research strategy. Decision analysis (DA) is a systematic, visual, and quantitative decision-making approach where all aspects of a decision are evaluated before making an optimal choice.

DESTEP Analysis

A DESTEP analysis is a framework used by businesses to understand their external environment and the issues which may impact them. The DESTEP analysis is an extension of the popular PEST analysis created by Harvard Business School professor Francis J. Aguilar. The DESTEP analysis groups external factors into six categories: demographic, economic, socio-cultural, technological, ecological, and political.

STEEP Analysis

The STEEP analysis is a tool used to map the external factors that impact an organization. STEEP stands for the five key areas on which the analysis focuses: socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political. Usually, the STEEP analysis is complementary or alternative to other methods such as SWOT or PESTEL analyses.

STEEPLE Analysis

The STEEPLE analysis is a variation of the STEEP analysis. Where the step analysis comprises socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political factors as the base of the analysis. The STEEPLE analysis adds other two factors such as Legal and Ethical.

Other related business frameworks:

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