As part of a cooperation with the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, we interviewed more than 50 companies about the role of trends in innovation management. Specifically, we wanted to find out what role trends play in the "early phases" of innovation management, how companies use trends in innovation management and where the potential for trend management lies.
In a multi-stage process, we conducted an extensive literature analysis, in-depth interviews with innovation managers and a survey of over 50 companies.
Summary Of The Results
Trends play a major role in the companies surveyed and serve as important input information in innovation management. Trend knowledge is mainly used to prepare strategic decisions, to develop strategies, to define a product and service portfolio and to consider future scenarios. For the acquisition of trend information, mainly data research is carried out and internal and external experts are consulted. Market, customer and technology knowledge continue to play an important role in the holistic identification, evaluation, and exploitation of trends.
Numbers Around Trend Management
Processes for structured and sustainable trend management are currently in the implementation phase at a majority of the companies surveyed. However, trend management processes are already an integral part of strategy and innovation management for some respondents. Software tools in innovation management are mainly used in large companies. The focus here is currently more on ideas management than on trend management.
In 71.7 % of the companies surveyed, new products and services are generated on the basis of search fields. Among other things, these search fields are derived from trend knowledge. Although 64.2 % of the companies state that trend monitoring is very important for innovation management, only 54.7 % of the companies define search fields based on trend knowledge in order to generate targeted innovations. There is also a discrepancy between the importance of trends and the use of software tools. Only 20.8 % of companies can process trends using software tools.