Marketing & Media trends
#BizTrends2022: Dion Chang's Flux Trend briefing - The State We're In
You've been a long-time contributor to #BizTrends and speaker at our annual events. In your opinion, what constitutes as a trend?
The Flux mantra is "trends as business strategy", so our trend lens looks at disruptive trends that will affect businesses and their business models. The trends we track focus mainly on disruptive technologies or new/changing concepts (like a four-day workweek, or shifting skills) that will alter operating systems and company culture.
What is your process for determining a trend?
Since Flux tracks business trends we work across many sectors - from financial services to retail to hospitality - so we have to be very adept at understanding and identifying undercurrents and winds of change that will affect businesses or sectors.
The key is being able to join the dots with, for example, something that is happening in a global economic or geopolitical sector to seemingly unconnected signals rising up from a socio-cultural perspective.
The Flux team reads voraciously, and because we connect the seemingly disconnected dots, what we compile for research purposes is really broad and varied. Translating that volume of information for a client also requires us to understand the industry they are in and how the sector operates. Usually we expose a client's blind spots for their future strategies. Spotting a trend is the simpler part; tracking its trajectory and impact for our clients is the real skill.
Of the trends that you predicted last year, which of them came to realisation and what did we not see take place in 2021?
After operating for 15 years, Flux is confident in its trend analysis for businesses. We don't speculate, we analyse and map scenarios.
Can you share any examples of how trends in general and your approach specifically, help clients and brands?
After a trend briefing for a large private healthcare company, the CEO told me that I made him realise that the company was not just in the healthcare business but also in hospitality. That kind of subtle nuance provides invaluable insights for formulating brand values and strategic planning.
You're speaking at our #BizTrends2022 event. What can we expect to hear from you?
I'm the opening speaker so I'm giving a broad trend overview - called The State We're In - which Flux starts every year with. The overview follows the acronym T.R.E.N.D.S. which represents six key trend pillars (technology, retail, economy, natural world, diplomacy, socio-cultural) that will shape how we will live, work and connect in the coming year.
If someone wants to break into the industry as a trend consultant, what advice would you give them about how to look for trends and organise them into intelligence for clients?
Understand the difference between being a "futurist" and a trend analyst. Mapping an imagined future that has no relevance to a client's current problems does no one any favours. Flux helps clients bridge the gap between a long-term vision and finding innovative solutions for short-term problems. It's a delicate balance.
Date: Wednesday, 02 February 2022
Time: 13h00 – 17h30 with tea break
Price: R150 per head; 25% discount for bookings of five or more. Students are free.
Alternatively mail moc.ytinummoczib@pvsr for more information.