"Many companies interpret trends from a product or marketing perspective but we are always people focused. We are ultimately interested in understanding new behaviors, how people are changing, what they are doing and wanting to do, how they are adapting situations to them and their needs or what their unmet needs are.
Behavioral change is our starting point because it is only by taking a people-centric approach that we can innovate in the ways that are for the betterment of society, driving positive change, find new opportunities rather than simply launching more products into already cluttered categories," continues Hanne Caspersen.
To identify trends and translate them in ways that make them real and relevant, the Trends team within Philips Design adopts a six-step process. The starting point is, of course, the research question.
The team then creates a mind maps to explore all sides of the question and identifies search - fields - before going out to look for weak signals. These weak signals can be anything; changes in behavior, facts, figures, inspirations from artists, new research and experiments, new businesses, new products, services and observations from fieldwork.
These unsorted phenomena are logged in the trend-wiki; our global online collaboration tool that is continually updated, and then the core team of 2 or 3 people begin a process called 'pattern recognition'. 'Pattern recognition' is used to identify common areas that eventually form the basis for a trend.