Headwinds & Tailwinds

A means of assessing the impact of trends on marketing and strategic initiatives and concepts (i.e., new products, communications strategy, or innovation)

What's it for

An in-depth exercise examining the potential successes and pitfalls of ideas given the direction a trend is taking and therefore a useful tool for analysis and improvement of initiatives and concepts. Can be done individually, in small groups, or with a large group of participants in break-out groups

How to do it

Following an introduction to the Consumer Lifestyle Trends, break into small groups (no more than six members per group—ideally four) that will focus on evaluating a specific business initiative/concept

Consider each concept and whether the Consumer Lifestyle Trends represent a “tailwind” that supports and extends the life of that idea, or a “headwind” that challenges its success

Regroup and have each group share a summary of the tailwinds and headwinds they came up with, listening for commonalities. Time permitting, discuss larger strategies for addressing overarching headwinds or weakening tailwinds.