The Trend Work-out: flex your muscles to train your inner trend researcher. In the following months I, trend intern Sanne, will be your trend fitness instructor and give you tips and tricks on practicing trend research. This week I will help you select your spots. Read more and get started right away!
Hello again! So, how was your spotting? Did you find a lot of new and interesting manifestations? Well done! Jani de Kock from South Afrika put in a request for us to blog about how to know if your manifestations are good or not. So, it's time to get critical and select the most interesting and relevant ones.
A tool that can help you check your spots on their relevance is the Trend Spot Selection Canvas. This tool gives you criteria to check your spot on different aspects such as innovation and clearity. To give you a better idea on how to use the canvas with an actual trendspot, I will give you an example of my own findings.
Buy, Use, Plant
I've spotted Biopack, a product designed by George Bosnas. Biopack is an alternative way of packaging the way we know it. Instead of recycling the package materials, Bosnas’ took it a step further. How? By making the egg crate out of cleared paper pulp, flour, starch and biological seeds. Yes, seeds! After using the eggs, instead of discarding or even recycling the box, users are encouraged to plant it and water it so the legume seeds that are inside of the box itself can grow.
Let’s check this spot
Now you can put your spot in the Trend Spots Selection Canvas, I’ll do that with mine as well. Let’s go through it step by step.
// Is the Biopack innovative?
It is innovative in a way that it goes further than recycling, it is new and as far as my search on the internet went I couldn’t find products that work the same way.
// Is the Biopack inspiring?
For me it is. It shows me a different way to look at packaging that inspires me to think what else could be improved or replaced with this material/product. The way they communicate their product is with background research and a good explanation why it is made, how it is made and how it works. They also added pictures which give a good first impression and understanding of the product.
// Is the Biopack clear?
It is clear what it does and why it exists. Buy, use and plant, to create less waste and contribute to a better environment. Below you can find a picture that I found on their website that, in my eyes, makes it clear and understandable.
// Is the Biopack reliable?
Since I never used it I’m not sure whether it will really work. I do trust the product and looking at the pictures from the process it looks like it’s reliable. It is also good to check if the source of your spot is reliable, both the designer and the website where you found your spot. The spot I found was from a real designer who has his own website which shared the same story as designboom. If you are not sure whether your source is trustworthy, try searching for the same manifestation on other websites and media to see if its true news of fake news.
// Is the Biopack an anomaly?
I wouldn’t say it’s an anomaly. We live in a world that is dealing with climate change and huge piles of rest materials/waste. Products like Biopack are trying to put in effort and help where possible, in this case packaging. So for me it’s not that outstanding, weird or abnormal, more of a good cause and reflection on societies’ (or even worlds!) needs.
// Is the Biopack impactful?
Impactful in a way it could be a great help to create a better environment. I personally think we need more products like this. For now it has a small impact, a change on one sort of package, the egg crate. But imagine what this would mean if we would pack more products like this, and could we then also plant other products? Is there enough ground to keep on planting, and if these are seeds to grow food, what effect will that have on the food industry? So yes, I think it is impactful in a small way now but could grow and have a larger impact on the system as we know it now.
Get the hang of it
The first couple of times you will check your spots with the help of the canvas, but trust me, at one point it will be all in your head and you can select your trend spots way faster. You will feel and see, maybe by a little background research, if your spot is one to keep or to delete. I would recommend you to document all your signals, even though they might seem weak, so you can always find your spots quickly or take a second look if you have to.
Good luck with selecting your spots, next time we are going to cluster them and help you seek for the deeper layer behind your trend spot.