Trend Scanning and Trend Spotting: In Pursue of Value Creation Directions in Design Roadmapping

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper brings together two streams of literature on trend research and shows how it relates to value creation as well as to dealing with changes in the environment over time in the process of design roadmapping. First, we identify distinct types of trend research. Our analysis of a wide range of empirical and theoretical studies, in the streams of literature on 1. design and innovation and 2. strategy and foresight suggests that there are two predominant types of trend research: trend scanning, and trend spotting. We define trend scanning as the systematic detection of changes already underway along its forecasting horizons of estimated impact. We define trend spotting as the observations and visual detection of early signals of a vogue, swing or drift in social interaction of people and products. Second, we used the inductive case study methodology on trend research practices by corporate organizations, design studios, management consultancies and independent entrepreneurs to illustrate the range of trend techniques, actions and interaction in the method and process of trend research. Third, we build a framework and summarize from the both literature and practice, four trend methods categorized on the dimensions of trend synthesis and trend logic. Finally, we identify practices associated with effective trend research and avenues for future research to deepen our understanding of this important activity in design roadmapping and what organizations can do to capture value from trends and manage innovations of value creation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication25TH IPDMC: Innovation and Product Development Management Conference
EditorsAntonio Fernandes, Christer Karlsson, Paul Coughlan
Place of PublicationPorto, Portugal
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventIPDMC : 25th International and Product Development Mangement Conference - PORTUGAL, PORTO, Portugal
Duration: 10 Jun 201813 Jun 2018
Conference number: 25


ConferenceIPDMC : 25th International and Product Development Mangement Conference
Internet address


  • Design roasmapping; trend research


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