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FuturistU > Innovation & Change > Opportunity Hunting > Module 2 / 4

Megatrends

Instructor: Jeremy Gutsche
If you look at everything impacting the future, there are probably just 50 megatrends that explain every major change in consumer demand. Instead of predicting what’s hip next year, megatrends explain how the world changes in the next 3 to 10 years. At Trend Hunter, we are constantly reevaluating which megatrends are the most important and publicly reveal just 18 Megatrends that we believe have the most sway.

This module explores not just what those 18 Megatrends are, but how best to use them, alongside our 6 Patterns of Opportunity, to productionize creativity and employ more associative thinking.
Workshop Questions:
1. What is one outside industry you could better leverage for inspiration?
2. How does your team currently use trends? What could you do to refine that process?
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Insights by Trend Hunter AI

Grounding Sheets
Brands are launching bedding with conductive materials like silver or carbon
Trend - Grounding sheets, made with conductive materials like silver or carbon, embody a wellness trend aimed at harnessing the Earth's natural energies for health benefits. By allegedly transferring the Earth's electrons to the body, these sheets replicate the benefits of barefoot grounding, promising improved sleep, reduced inflammation, and greater relaxation.
Workshop Question - How can your brand leverage the growing consumer interest in holistic and nature-inspired wellness practices?
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Sustainable De-Influencing
Brands launch campaigns that highlight the danger of overconsumption
Trend - On social media, especially platforms like TikTok, the "de-influencing" trend is gaining traction. This movement flips the script on traditional influencer marketing by encouraging users to critically analyze trending products and resist impulsive purchases. De-influencers often expose potential drawbacks of popular items, prompting a shift in consumer behavior. As this movement gains traction, brands are strategically engaging in de-influencing campaigns to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.
Workshop Question - In an era marked by growing skepticism towards influencer-led consumerism, how can your brand authentically contribute to sustainable practices and engage customers in meaningful ways?
8.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Finance Bot
Generative AI is being used to simplify financial planning and literacy
Trend - Artificial intelligence is being used improve financial literacy and planning tools--compiling relevant information communicated in a way that's accessible to users. These AI assistants create a more customized and accessible experience than automated customer service tech allows.
Workshop Question - How could AI help your brand better communicate with its customers or users?
5.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Informed Restaurant
Restaurants are using AI forecasting tools to determine future menu items
Trend - Restaurants are using artificial intelligence (AI) analytics and forecasting tools to determine demand for each menu item. These tools use restaurant-specific and market-wide data to determine future-facing consumer interests, helping determine menu item creation and sales numbers.
Workshop Question - How could your company leverage its data with AI to improve its existing and upcoming services?
7.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
AI Support
Businesses are incorporating AI chatbots for instant customer service at scale
Trend - Businesses are moving customer service units toward artificial intelligence. AI chatbots for customer service have complete knowledge of any trained dataset, and can deliver instant answers to any related question to any number of customers at a time. This scalability saves money for the business and time for the consumer.
Workshop Question - How can your brand utilize trained AI chatbots to improve the online shopping experience, or post-sale support experience, for customers?
6.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Automated Chef
Brands are releasing AI-powered cooking devices for the home kitchen
Trend - Just a few years after AI-powered chefs debuted in numerous restaurant pilots, brands are now adapting this technology to the home kitchen. These cooking devices help ensure consistency in cooking while making the process more efficient due to their advanced AI.
Workshop Question - How could your brand repurpose industrial AI tools for the benefit of the home consumer?
6.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
AI Management
Companies are using artificial intelligence to automate workplace operations
Trend - Companies across various industries are incorporating AI and robotics into their operations to improve efficiency, productivity, and customer experiences. These bots hold important roles, such as CEO or manager, and help deliver important data to businesses and their teams to help streamline key workplace objectives.
Workshop Question - How can your brand automate time-consuming tasks using artificial intelligence?
6.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Electrostatic Disinfection
Advanced home sanitation products provide long-term disinfection
Trend - While many consumers are familiar with traditional forms of sanitation, such as alcohol-based cleaning products, the pandemic caused more people to get familiar with contactless, electrostatic sprayers for disinfection. These are advanced tools that create barriers against harmful bacteria
Workshop Question - How can your brand address the increased importance of home sanitation in the post-pandemic world, while also keeping cost and time investment in mind?
6.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Automotive Supply
Automakers are using blockchain technology to optimize supply chains
Trend - Automakers are leveraging the convenience of the blockchain to eliminate supply chain faults such as human error and paper production. Companies found that storing supply and demand information on digital ledgers results in accurate data updated in real time with no margin of error.
Workshop Question - How could your industry leverage the blockchain to avoid errors?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Hybrid Event
Corporate and work-related events are made easier with hybrid programs
Trend - Though corporate events are back to being in-person, virtual attendance is still popular as it offers flexibility, accessibility and comfort for people not willing to travel. To prioritize experience, brands are releasing technologies and platforms that help enhance hybrid event experiences.
Workshop Question - How could your brand be more flexible in its offerings for employees or customers?
3.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends