Consumer Trend Canvas


The Consumer Trend Canvas (CTC) is an easy-to-follow framework developed by TrendWatching that will help you unpack and understand any consumer trend, and then apply it to launch successful, consumer-facing innovations of your own.

We’ve seen this tool generate everything from sustainability-focused savings accounts to patent-worthy plant-based seafood.

It’s as versatile as you are or your company is.

Why should you use the Consumer Trend Canvas?

The Consumer Trend Canvas works because it’s simple. It divides the process of working with a trend into two main parts, analysis, and application. It guides you to ask the right questions. It pushes you to examine examples of your chosen trend in action. It lays out the three core elements of a trend – basic needs, drivers of change, and innovations in order to help you assess how these components fit together and create new expectations. It prompts you to think about where, how, and to whom you will apply the trend to create new purpose-driven innovations.

Who should use the Consumer Trend Canvas?

The Consumer Trend Canvas works for anyone that needs to ideate in their business. So whether you work at a brand, agency, consultancy, school, university or non-profit, the Consumer Trend Canvas can help shape your innovation efforts and take advantage of the trends that are most crucial to your business or industry.

When should you use the Consumer Trend Canvas?

Ideally, whenever you observe, hear about or read about a new trend. We have a saying at TrendWatching that ‘trends are useless, unless you apply them!’. By that we mean, scanning the latest opportunities and correctly identifying which are relevant to your business is a complete waste of time, if you don’t use those insights to launch innovations!

Regular innovation periods can keep you on track with what is happening in the world. Include the Consumer Trend Canvas into those periods, and take optimal advantage of the trends you are seeing.

How does the Consumer Trend Canvas work?

You’ll be guided through 9 key steps:


1. Pick a trend

2. Inspiration: How are other businesses applying this trend?

3. Basic needs: Which deep consumer needs and desires does this trend address?

4. Macro-trends: Why is this trend emerging now? What’s changing?

5. Emerging Expectations: What points of tension and new customer expectations are emerging?


6. Innovation type: How/where could you apply this trend to your business?

7. Target audience: Which customer groups could you apply this trend to?

8. Generating your innovation idea!


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Trend Firm
As one of the world’s leading consumer trend firms since 2002, TrendWatching is purpose-built to guide, inspire and empower business professionals – whether they're marketers, creatives, strategists, entrepreneurs or innovators – to bring to market more sustainable and impactful innovations that benefit all, not the few. To achieve this, we deliver Free Trend Updates to over 100,000 trend-driven professionals worldwide and offer a number of dedicated trend services.
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