Takeaways from “Trend Management Toolkit” by Anne Lise Kjaer [Book Review]
Anne Lise Kjaer is a renowned international futurist and speaker with a strong focus on Nordic Socioeconomics and Culture.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting in person and engaging in conversation with Anne in occasion of a conference on Digital Customer Experience at Google in London where she was keynoting.
She has been lovely and kind enough to provide me with a copy of her new work. And I am thankful to her for that.
She has recently published, in fact, a very useful and interesting book on the importance of the Trend Management and Scenarios Planning in Business.
Full of precious research findings and practical tips and methodologies about how to analyse the forces shaping the markets in a every changing and always-on world, “The Trend Management Toolkit” has given to me food for thoughts and represents a very great guide for all those who work and take decisions on Strategy and Marketing issues and aspects.
The tools, the inspirational views and the insights Anne shares in her book are a valid guide for companies and leaders for fostering the innovation and strategy mind-set within the most important levels of the organization.
According to Anne, If Brands and companies of all kinds do want to succeed and prosper in the 21st century they have to embrace the 4ps economic model: people, planet, purpose..and then profit..in this precise order. This approach only will guarantee they will be able to deliver sustainable social, emotional, and economic value within one package and satisfy both shareholders and stakeholders needs.
I highly recommend to buy this book. And, as always, here are a couple of usable and useful takeaways directly extracted from her book:
“..The sociology of people is an essential component in understanding the future, but we also need to factor in the sociology of things..”
“..Organizations also have to cultivate a culture of innovative thinking based on behavioral economics — monitoring current trends in society to understand people and their behaviors, needs and wants..”
“..Change agents are individuals who make change happen and they are typically resilient, self-reliant, and extremely potent professionals who work solo, in small teams, or within large companies — every organization, large or small, needs them to thrive..”
“..Today, it is not enough to identify customer demographics, companies also have to study the psychographics of attitude, beliefs, moods, values, and situations..”
“..Globally, the business landscape has transformed immensely over the past 50 years. As part of this change, we have witnessed a significant shift from a ME approach involving a few influential stakeholders to a WE approach, in which large communities of people are in constant about our society, business values, and ecosystem..”
“..It is time to replace the term “consumer” with “people”, to connect us back to an authentic landscape of real human needs and desires..”
“..Consumption remains a means of expressing ourselves … Changing consumption patterns are set to shift the way organizations engage with their end users..”
“..Consumption is an essential part of living, but it has also become a source of concern and sometimes guilt..”
“..Despite improved standards of living across the West, there is also increased dissatisfaction. Our lifestyle scanning shows that, without a true purpose and meaning to the consumption patterns they are encouraged to engage in, people feel increasingly empty inside..”
“..With a far larger community of stakeholders influencing the direction of society and business, inevitably there needs to be shared responsibility and dialogue at all levels..”
“..Organizations have myriad new societal obligations and expectations to fulfill, so there is only one way to survive in an environment where accountability is the norm, not the bonus, and that is to demonstrate that you really do care by having a long-term business vision in place..”
“..People want to feel good about the products and services they buy into, and this is why emotional values have become the drivers and rational values the passengers. This doesn’t mean that “need” and “value for money” will become obsolete, rather that people are likely to prioritize personal sensations of wellbeing and meaning over material possessions..”
“..When consumers make a purchase, they consider the overall meaning and brand values and seek the opinions of trusted friends to ensure they make an informed choice..”
“..Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge for business will be to go from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism, in which the short-term maximization of profit and shareholder value is replaced by sustainable growth and development ( conscious capitalism )..”
“…Social Initiatives will play a key part in shifting us from “old ideas”, but to do this they must clearly demonstrate commitment around a common purpose to create social impact and genuine cultural change….”
“..When we consume, we want to feel a benefit; If we can feel good and know we are also doing good through our choices, that is a real selling point..”
“..Situation-determined consumption means that people mostly make decisions based on how their choice or experience stimulates tangible and intangible needs..”
“..We are quite likely to consider the ecological or moral background of a company (emotional pay-off), but our need for instant gratification remains a primary driver (the rational pay-off)..”
“..Many trends point to the importance of intangible rewards and, increasingly, people’s choices about what and how to consume are a tool to support an individual ecosystem they believe in. In effect, every time we buy into a product or service, we vote with our purse — supporting the ethical and social ecosystem of the brand..”
“..People are beginning to recognize the importance of their individual contributions to a stronger whole — by acting through their choices, they shape the society they want to see. Organizations need to prepare for this evolution and start delivering meaningful experiences.”
“..Businesses have to help people find meaning in the products and services they choose and the best way to start is to consider the values (purposes) of your existence as a business. Once you have determined that, you can them help people to feel they are making the right choices..”
“..Online forums, comparison sites, and peer reviews are all engagement platforms for scrutinizing brands. They, and not you, are driving customer perceptions about your organization. This means that earning and renewing trust on a daily basis is essential and you can never bank on customer loyalty, but must prove you deserve it on an ongoing basis..”
“..Our fundamental drive, the motivational engine that powers human existence, is the pursuit of meaning..”
“..Given the myriad choices, design powered by emotion becomes essential, so organizations that offer authentic and engaging products and services will win out. People are now openly looking beyond the product to the experience..”
“..Experiences that provide involvement, inspiration, and knowledge will be an essential component in the successful 21st-century brand fabric..”
“..Your loyal and potentially loyal stakeholders want to buy into and believe in your story and this means delivering a clear emphasis on the personal touch and the cultural context of your brand. Emotional engagement comes in many different forms, but it is important to recognize that people consider themselves in relationship to your brand and not the other way around..”
“..Filtering and deciphering the interaction between people and product has become essential because it shows that people and brand relations are more dynamic than ever before….This means looking at the world through their eyes to imagine what they experience in going about their daily lives and then creating scenarios that allow for these contrasts to coexist within the same value universe..”
“..If you want to tap into and learn more about the true needs of tomorrow’s people, traditional demographics are no longer pertinent. A holistic approach is essential, which means implementing thinking from a wide variety of research and design practices to develop long term planning and fertile scenario building..”
“..Self-impovement is a key motivator in today’s society, while belonging is especially important in a world where traditional social ties are loosening and many people move for their job or to achieve a better quality of life..”
“..As individuals and organizations, our desire and need to make a difference within society is an area that increasingly informs our worldview and public debates. ..In this regard, it is crucial to consider what your organization contributes and how it might cement its role as a trusted and responsible player in society..”
“..We are shaped less by society constructs and more by our immediate self-created reality and environment. But in a world inundated with information and contradictory messages, fresh thinking is required to adapt to a new world order..”
“..As we explore our world, physically and virtually, we are exposed to a much wider array of influences than ever before. The local impact of global knowledge sharing and the ways in which it alters perspectives is astonishing..”
“..Cultivating a culture of authenticity and community is a primary means to build trust and business performance..”
“..Authentic and trusted organizations ensure that Brand promise and consumer experience are totally aligned. But one of the great challenges in a diverse and multicultural society is to mantain reputation at every level, from stakeholders through to industry and government..”
“..Cultural capital becomes increasingly embedded in local thinking strategies. The benefit is a deeper knowledge and understanding of local cultures and customs..”
“..You need to truly understand the ecosystem in which you operate because only then you can stand out and deliver experiences that are meaningful to people..”
“..People whether they work for you, use your services and buy your products have higher standards and more complex decision making processes than ever before..so whatever you offer, present it an ethical and meaningful package..”
“..Your actions are reflections of your values and when you share your beliefs, you will attract people who share them..”
“..We might understand the sociology of people, but we also need to include the sociology of things, places, and experiences to see how everything is interconnected..”
“..Human-centric processes demonstrating empathy for local culture and context play an increasingly important role in brand innovation and success..”
“..Businesses need to start thinking of themselves as facilitators, making it possible for people to build their own meanings into products and services..”
“..Purpose driven is a parameter impacting our lives around the clock, and we now expect it from our work, our social encounters, and our personal lives, as well as from the brands we interact with..”
“.. Meaningful experiences that bring inspired involvement and informed engagement must be embedded in the DNA of all thriving 21st-century organizations..”
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