In our day-to-day work, the institute uses many methods, combining traditional qualitative and quantitative research with forecasting methodology developed by experts.
No single forecasting method is completely reliable, so the more methods we use in our analysis, the better the quality of our forecast. Unlike the case with the present, there is no single future. The future is not a linear process, and it is wrong to assume that if we are now at point A, we will necessarily get to point B. There are many futures: the possible future, plausible future, probable future and last but not least, the preferable future (see: the futures cone). Our task is to identify the most probable future, based on the greatest amount of data available today, so that you can prepare for it.
We choose the methods depending on the project and the task we face. We regularly use, among others: environmental scanning, signal based forecasting, visioning, future scenarios and expert panels.
We adopt a broad understanding of change factors, using the STEEP model (sociological – technological – economic – environmental – political). Consumers do not live in silos and they use multiple categories at the same time, and if something doesn’t work for them in one, they move to another. That’s why it is important to monitor a broad range of trends – in many areas at the same time. Inspirations most often come from outside our own category.
The trends we forecast are verified through quantitative consumer research (outsourced to external research agencies) and in-depth expert and consumer interviews – on the assumption that it’s the basic needs of consumers that are always the main change driver.
By using the tools and methods of speculative design (in collaboration with academic centres, other commercial entities, specialists in specific areas, most often within large interdisciplinary projects), we can also confront our future scenarios with a real creative process, a specific project or a particular product.
The principle we adopt for using speculative design is that each project should be substantively embedded in reality, and that the visionary concept should have a scientific basis. It is important for these projects to seek ideas – for the direction in which thinking about change will develop, to inspire, to serve in an even more detailed diagnosis of trends and to try to determine the possible future.