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Trends Investigation Trainings by Studio Bellwether

The 1 Sentence Pitch

Studio Bellwether's online trainings teach the art and science of Trends Investigation.

It's like Stanford's d.school, but for Trends Investigation.

The Big Idea

Where practices such as Design Thinking, Business Model Generation, LeanStartup and GrowthHacking have been revolutionizing business and design in the last few years, we propose Trends Investigation as the next practice to add to today's creative business toolbox - the tool to reach for to create standout ideas and breakthrough innovations in quickly changing business landscapes.

Like guides to the explorers, Studio Bellwether shows designers, creative specialists and entrepreneurs how to gather inspiration from the near-term future so as make great products and experiences today.

The 3 Biggest Holes

1. People are unfamiliar with what Trends Investigation is, especially those outside of design and fashion fields.  It's crytpic sounding and sounds complicated.

2. People are unfamiliar with what the benefits of Trends Investigation are

3. Trends Investigations carried out by boutique consultancies (i.e. PSFK, The Future Laboratory, etcetera) are very time and resource intensive.  How can individuals and teams without big budgets for research partake in and benefit from Trends Investigations?

Brainstorm 3-5 Solutions

1. Collect and feature case studies prominitely on our website and in our promotional materials.

2. Create a short introductory video that explains what Trends Investigation is and how it helps originate standout ideas and breakthrough innovations.  Be inspiring and use common, everyday language.  No jargon!

3. Blog mini articles on what Trends Investigation is, its benefits, practioners of Trends Investigations, case studies, etcetera...  Compile articles over time into an e-book that links to video lessons.

4. Create a downloadable "Trends Investigation 101" handout that gets our customer segments excited about learning more about Trends Investigation.

5. Informed by the classes we already teach at IED in Barcelona, trim down the complex methodologies used by trends consultancies to create a proprietary process of our own that individuals and teams can take on to compliment their existing practices and tasks. Be inspiring and use common, everyday language.  No jargon!

6. Create tools that help the everyday creative specialist and entrepreneur integrate the science of Trends Investigation into their operational practices.

7. Target audiences already familiar with Trends Investigation (i.e. fashion and design) first.  Collect case studies and launch with broader groups of entrepreneurs next.

8. Landing page that is optimized to our customer segments not familiar with Trends Investigation, i.e. from Udemy to our site

Actionable Plan

1. Collect and feature case studies prominitely on our website and in our promotional materials.

2. Create a short introductory video that explains what Trends Investigation is and how it helps originate standout ideas and breakthrough innovations.  Be inspiring and use common, everyday language.  No jargon!

3. Blog mini articles on what Trends Investigation is, its benefits, practioners of Trends Investigations, case studies, etcetera...  Compile articles over time into an e-book that links to video lessons.

4. Create a downloadable "Trends Investigation 101" handout that gets our customer segments excited about learning more about Trends Investigation

5. Informed by the classes we already teach at IED in Barcelona, trim down the complex methodologies used by trends consultancies to create a proprietary process of our own that individuals and teams can take on to compliment their existing practices and tasks. Be inspiring and use common, everyday language.  No jargon!  Test these practices on existing online learning platforms, i.e. SkillShare and Udemy.  Improve the process over use, user experience research and time before doing something more resource intensive, like publishing a book or building our own platform. 

6. Create tools that help the everyday creative specialist and entrepreneur integrate the science of Trends Investigation into their operational practices.  Test our tools amongst our existing students.  Improve the process over use, user experience research and time before doing something more resource intensive, like publishing a book or building our own platform. 

MVP Plan

An implementable solution with minimal effort expended would be to launch our first class on an existing online learning platform that already has the tech sorted out AND an active audience, i.e. SkillShare.

MVP Success Metrics

Acquisition conversion rates:

a) % newsletter signups/website visitors

b) % click through to SkillShare registration/website visitors

Activation metric: number of paying users (per class)

Retention conversion rates: 

a) % students who finish the class/paying users

b) % return customers/paying users

Referral conversion rate: I don't know!!

Revenue: - revenue

How we will reach our first 100 users:

Leverage the active design and fashion audiences already on SkillShare, early adopters already there!!

Twitter-focused marketing - need a Twitter strategy

Devise a group strategy, i.e. take this with 5 friends and get your sixth one free, or even sign up six people and everyone gets half off - this will increase growth and, arguably, retention rates

Create use videos for tools we use, i.e. Evernote and Mural.ly, to promote our classes to users of those tools

Leverage how Google sign in allows people to invite their contacts

Invite Facebook friends strategy

Leverage our existing network of former Trends Investigation students from our classes at IED, as well as our networks of creatives and entrepreneurs that 

Reach out to agencies we have collaborated with and offer something for their staff/interns

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