Enclosed, you’ll have a glimpse into the world 5 years into the future. Unlike our traditional custom trend
reports, this report takes a longer term view beyond the consumer trends, looking at the macro forces which
have the potential to dramatically impact your company.
After working on more than 10,000 trend projects for 800 brands, I can assure you that this time period is
one of the most unique because it is the most critical for strategic change, and yet the most significant
blind spot for leaders in almost every industry. Four key factors should differentiate your thinking within the
1. The Human Forecasting Blindspot: Most leaders are terrific at predicting what will happen next year,
or even two years into the future -- unless there is a global pandemic. Interestingly, most leaders are
also relatively capable of predicting what their industry will look like in the far-distant future, such as
10 years out. However, the difficult time period is 5 years into the future. Humans are generally terrible
at predicting what occurs in this time frame because we overestimate the amount of change we think
we will be capable of impacting. We overestimate our level of control and underestimate the amount of
change imposed by technology and the competitive market.
->Implication: The far-distant forecasts of your market and competitors will probably happen sooner than
2. The Farmer Trap of Clinging to the Status Quo: More than half of the companies on the Fortune
500 list in the year 2000 are gone or displaced. These were the best-equipped companies for change,
theoretically. Still, there is such a strong desire to repeat whatever led to last year’s harvest that people
dismiss trends and ideas that fail to align with their vision of the expected future.
->Implication: As we experience history’s highest rate of change, challenge your expectations, and keep an
open mind to potential.
3. The Sweet Spot for Market Disruption: Bold moves that switch which company is in the lead
don’t happen overnight. Launching major product lines, expanding into new markets, and completing
successful M&A activity all take several years to enact. If your company gets disrupted or disrupts
someone else, it will generally happen from moves completed with 3-5 years of vision.
->Implication: Use the 5-year report to craft the scenarios for how your market could be reshuffled, either
by yourself or a disruptive competitor from
4. The Window of Opportunity to Make a Difference: As leaders, many of our incentives and duties are
driven by the pressure to hit quarterly and annual numbers. This leads to an over-focus on short-term
decision making, which is unfortunate since most of the shorter-term decisions are optimizations of
the current status quo. Longer-term strategies about products, services, and resource allocations have
a much more significant impact on our companies and personal careers, but they take several years to
->Implication: Use the implications of this time frame to rethink your career legacy.
If you would like to think more deeply about making innovation and change happen, contact us for a copy
of my latest bestseller, Create the Future – Tactics for Disruptive Thinking. The book explores the human
traps that cause us to cling to the path we are on while showing the tactics and tools we’ve learned from
helping smart people like you figure out how to unlock their full potential.
Additionally, if you would like to further explore and iterate on the implications for your brand, we offer a
series of strategic planning workshops to help you plan out your future scenarios and opportunities.
CEO of Trend Hunter and NY Times Bestselling Author