The best creativity tools to try today – #2 TrendWatching’s Canvas – updated for 2023

by | May 2, 2019

Our look at the tools you can try when in search of your next big idea, try TrendWatching’s Consumer Trend Canvas.

What is it?

The Consumer Trend Canvas (CTC) is basically a single-sheet grid which takes you from a current trend on the left-hand side of the page to the innovation of your own at the other.

What is it for?

They suggest it is a way for people to be able to identify what their customers are going to want next. They also say that a consumer trend is more than just pleasant diversions – they are an essential part of uncovering innovation opportunities.

How does it work?

You begin with a trend – the example they give is Beneficial Intelligence – and then work through six more stages before you arrive at the point where you come up with your innovation, each step informing the next.

The stages are:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Basic Needs
  3. Drivers of Change
  4. Emerging Expectations
  5. Innovation Type
  6. Who

If you use it logically, it will help you identify the current state of the market and how it is likely to evolve, what users want from products in that market, what your product will set out to do and who will use it.

Some of their top trends for 2023 are:


Flip your brand inside out. Show the heart of your company, literally.

The pandemic had consumers looking inwards – reflecting not only on their own behavior, but that of their favorite brands, too. We know you’re focused on transparency already (if not, now is the time to ring the alarm) but how can you showcase your efforts in the most authentic and honest way possible? Consumers won’t take your CEO’s word for it. Instead, prove that your promises align with your actions by shining a spotlight on your employees, team or co-workers.


Embedding assistive intelligence into consumers’ lives

After decades of progress, artificial intelligence and robotics are moving out of the lab and becoming integrated into consumers’ day-to-day lives. Strong consumer uptake, combined with a growing skills shortage and an urgent need for contactless solutions, has set the stage for a new wave of automation that promises to augment the human experience. This is important, as 43% of consumers say technology advancements have complicated their lives just as much as they have simplified things. Think 2023-2030 on this one.


Consumers seek new routes to enlightenment

The relentless pursuit of self-improvement is giving way to self-transformation, with the pandemic having acted as a catalyst for personal growth. People’s definition of wellness is constantly evolving, moving beyond the physical to encompass mental, emotional, spiritual and social health. In fact, 76% of global citizens now say that mental health and physical health are equally important. This reprioritization means that every brand needs to ideate how to integrate wellness into 2023’s products, services, experiences, campaigns and more.

Who is the canvas for?

It works for almost anyone who wants their next idea to be on-trend – be that for marketing ideas, product development, niches in a particular kind of service and so on. It’s a way to get real-world stimuli into your thinking and see how your ideas, products and services might play in different contexts and with different consumers/audiences that you may not have considered.

How long does it take?

You could put a week into it, but even a rapid-fire approach would help you to channel your thinking and steer you towards ideas that your customers may actually want.

Difficulty rating

1/5. TrendWatching’s CTC is a brilliantly simple-to-use creativity tool.

Why we love it

CTC is a well-thought-out, uncomplicated tool that is definitely worth trying when you want to catch the zeitgeist. We’re big fans of insight supported by processes at Now Go Create, and this ticks all the boxes.

Where do I get it?

Check out the trends on and download the free worksheet here.


Do you have a favourite creativity tool? Tell us in a tweet @NowGoCreate. And if you want to equip yourself with a wealth of other tools (and supercharge your creativity in the process), check out Now Go Create’s creativity training courses or email

Mike Peake is a regular collaborator with Now Go Create. He can be found at


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