The best creativity tools to try today – #2TrendWatching’s Canvas – updated for 2022

The best creativity tools to try today – #2TrendWatching’s Canvas – updated for 2022

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 2022 are:

Trend: Locale Morale – Made-to-measure communal improvements

Recent lockdowns strengthened calls to improve the environmental and social fabric of cities. Consumers are doing their bit. A third (32%) of global consumers claim their neighborhood banded together mid-pandemic. Can your brand make urban life better, in more ways than one?

Start with a community where your brand is already established. What are their needs? Do they align with your core values? Launch a survey before diving in…

Trend: Productivity Paradise – When efficiency and tranquillity converge

Faced with apocalyptic headlines, consumers expect sustainability to be embedded in every product or service. It’s a matter of mental wellbeing. Almost half of young people (46%) claim eco-anxiety affects their daily life and functioning.

Trainhugger incentivizes consumers to engage with slow travel — proven to have positive mental health benefits — by embedding a carbon-offsetting service within each ticket. Can you help consumers make the most of their time by introducing guilt-busting add-ons that enhance wellbeing?

Trend: Playful Pivot – Switch things up for good

Tomorrow’s consumers need brands to help them blow off steam, literally. Pivot to provide relief and relaxation — for the masses, not just the top 10%! — and your brand may well earn widespread respect.

Before transforming your office into a sauna, identify which parts of your business would benefit from a playful pivot. Could you recycle underutilized resources to provide unmitigated relaxation — an offering tomorrow’s consumers actually crave?

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



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