Trend Spotting and Scenario Planning

The average product development cycle is between 18 and 36 months.

An excellent idea conceived today may not reach the market for two or three years.  During that time conditions change, competitors arise and needs shift.  Trend spotting and scenario planning help do two important things:

  • Uncover emerging opportunities, emerging customers, emerging threats
  • Assess the opportunities for existing products in future conditions

We work with our clients to gather and assess trends and develop alternative scenarios about their products, their markets and their customers.  Through this work we spot emerging needs, emerging customer segments and emerging threats that form the basis for new products, services and business models.

Our methodology is based on The Art of the Long View, pictured at right, an excellent primer on trends and scenario planning.


Trend spotting and scenario planning create powerful insights and are relatively inexpensive in terms of funding and resources, often completed in less than two months. Every innovation activity other than basic incremental innovation should start with trend spotting and scenario planning.  Our consultants work with your team to gather trends, assess trends and develop scenarios. Then we examine the implications of the scenarios to your existing products and customers, and future customers and their needs.  These insights form the basis for new ideas.

Examples of our work

OVO helped a financial services firm consider the implications of emerging trends in the retail banking space.  Based on the trends and scenarios we were able to recommend changes to the design of the branch and the people and processes within the branch.