The Trend Receiver method
We employ Trend Receiver research (Hofmann 2014, Hahn et al. 2016, Schweitzer et al. 2019) as part of the Foresight Academy methodology. Trend Receivers have connections in many contexts and have discerning views of what drives people and what aspects are undergoing change. They typically have links with both art & business. In fact, they have six main competencies which, combined, allow them to receive, filter, process, contemplate, and classify signals of change.
Trend Receivers combine their own user and everyday experience with high mental agility, interest in new influences and dynamics of change.
Trend Receivers competencies & capabilities
First, Trend Receivers have a thorough understanding of the given context by own consumption and usage
experience and thus know the motives and values of consumers interacting with it first-hand.
Second, while they do use their preferences and emotions as reference points, Trend Receivers have the ability to self-abstract and understand the needs of other consumer groups in the same way. They want to understand their own and others’ patterns.
Third, in general, Trend Receivers are interested in consumer habits, lifestyle issues and the differentiation among social backgrounds through consumption. They have high curiosity about people from backgrounds to which they do not belong. They are networked in many ways and have extensive access to different ways of thinking and broad and international sources of information.
Fourth, in addition, Trend Receivers have a strong desire to understand causes and correlations. They are not satisfied until they have identified causalities and assessed their significance. Therefore, they have also sharpened their competence to filter and perceive which structures, motives and values remain stable and to what extent new behavior patterns can develop. Essentially, trend receivers have the ability to recognize analogies and paradigms.
Fifth, Trend Receivers often exhibit biographical discontinuities that allow them to take a multiple look at their environment and to be sensitive to its complexity. They know from their own experience that the future cannot simply be derived from the present as a logical continuation, but that surprising changes are always possible.
Finally, Trend Receivers have an above-average communication competence. This allows them to exchange ideas with a wide variety of people, but above all it enables them to translate their perceptions into a precise and descriptive language and to respond precisely to the questions they are asked.
Systematization of persona types involved in creating and normalizing the new
1.) Further inventor types: lead user, cool-farmer, maker, vanguard, trend-setter
2.) Further trend observer types: cool-hunters, trend researcher, (some) experts, trend scouts
3.) Further multiplier types: early adopters, cutting edgers, market mavens, alphas, influencers