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 cluster your spots. Read more and get started right away!
Hi there! I hope you've collected and selected a lot of different trendspots. Today we are going to turn these various trend spots into coherent trend clusters. Curious how? Let’s get started then!
Let’s first start with why you would want to cluster your findings. By clustering your trendspots you create groups of spots that tell the same story, known as 'trends'. The result of today’s exercise is to connect the dots (or spots) and understand which of your spotted signals of change are similar.
For this exercise it is best to have all your spots together in one place. This could be on your computer, but I would recommend you to print them out. This way you can pick them up, easily move them around and put them aside when you want to. This is called a 'trend evidence wall'.
Check all your spots and talk them through. It is nice to do this in a group to get different opinions and thoughts on all manifestations. You can also try and experiment with this on your own.
Values and needs
It is important to understand the story behind your trend spots. You've already selected your spot by asking yourself some questions in the exercise we did previously, now we are going to dig a little deeper. Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself while clustering:
Write these values and needs down on post-its and put these on signs that represent them. Now cluster the signs with the same kind of values & needs.
Sometimes one single spot could represent multiple values and needs. If that’s the case then you can place your spot in multiple trend clusters and decide later which trend it fits best.
It really helps to work together to get multiple perspectives on the signals and clusters. If you work alone it might help to write down your answers, leave it alone for a bit and have a second look to see if you come up with different aspects. You are actually doing quite the same as you did in the exercise with the Trend Level Canvas.
Put together the manifestations which you think should be a group, based on the similarities in the keywords that you wrote down. Now try to capture in a few sentences which change in people’s feelings, needs, attitudes, expectations and values lies behind the cluster.
I hope you made some interesting clusters that excite you. Next week we are going to define your cluster a bit more by creating a Trend Overview. Don’t turn off your spotting senses (if you could anyway) and keep documenting interesting findings. Have a great week!
By: trend intern Sanne Aalbers