Market Trend Analysis Guide

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Explore & Understand the Market, Playbooks | 0 comments

What is a Market Trend Analysis?

Whether you’re launching a startup from scratch or steering the course of a new product within an existing business, understanding the direction of your industry is key. This toolkit goes beyond mere trend analysis; it’s your compass for navigating both current consumer trends and the forefront of innovation within your domain.

Note: 🍋 Throughout this toolkit we will use the example of a food supplement company to better illustrate each task and information.

Trends encompass various aspects:

  • New core products or services (🍋e.g. CBD supplement gummies)
  • Innovative ways to enhance your core product/service (🍋e.g. Nutrition analysis with supplement orders)
  • Evolving user experiences and product delivery methods (🍋e.g. Supplement subscription services)
  • Emerging target user groups (🍋e.g. Supplements for pets)

A market trend analysis serves as your guide to deciphering shifts in consumer and market behavior, unveiling what consumers truly desire and need. This understanding becomes the cornerstone for refining the product/service and crafting the business model you aim to establish. You’ll seek answers to questions such as:

  • What products and services are consumers (B2C and B2B) actively seeking?
  • How are their buying and consumption habits evolving?
  • What innovative solutions exist in your industry?
  • What novel methods for product delivery and user experience are out there?
  • Which companies are thriving or gaining funding in this space?
  • What sets these companies apart, and what valuable lessons can be gleaned from their best practices?

Innovation Discovery, on the other hand, is where you move beyond trends to actively identify opportunities for innovation. Brainstorm ideas, prioritize them based on their potential and implementation effort, and detail these concepts with our Innovation Concept Sheet. 

Of course, ideally you would work on discovering market trends and innovations in the team. So if you are working with other people try to get them together and work through this toolkit in a workshop format. However, if you are a solo-founder or simply prefer to work through it on your own you can perfectly do so as well.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the “How To…” to uncover the insights that will shape the future of your venture.

What is a Market Trend Analysis Good For?

Market trend analysis is a pivotal process as it lays the foundation for innovation, refining products/services and crafting new business models. Working through the process of market trend and innovation analysis will help you to:


  • Gain Insight into Consumer Demand: Deciphering what consumers seek in products or services.
  • Refine your Business Model: Shaping business models based on identified trends.
  • Understand your Competitive Edge: Learning from successful companies and implementing best practices.
  • Identify Innovation Opportunities: Identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends.
  • Improve your Market Fit: Adapting products/services to changing consumer behavior.
  • Make better Strategic Decisions: Using data-driven insights for informed business decisions.

Curated Lists 📋

💡 To save you some time, we have prepared a free list with Trend Research Tools and a free list with Company Information Sources which you can use for your Market Trend Analysis

How to Conduct a Market Trend Analysis Step-by-Step:

Step A: Trend & Innovation Discovery Template

Step B: Trend Analysis

Step C: Company Research

Step D: Final Trend Selection

Step E: Innovation Opportunity Analysis

Step F: Innovation Concept

Step A

Trend & Innovation Discovery Template

To work on your market trend analysis you can either build your own whiteboard template for example on Miro or you can use our ready-to-use template along with this guide.

Included Templates:

Market Trend Analysis Miro Board

Step B

Market Trend Analysis

✅ Start your Research

The very first step is simple: open your browser, go to Google, type “[YOUR SECTOR] Trends” and press enter. Believe it or not, this is also how any of those McKis and BGCs out there would start their research.  

See what search results come up, usually you should find a number of articles, blog posts, reports, whitepaper etc. Screening the 5 most relevant results should help to get a rough idea about what is going on in your industry. Avoid falling into the research rabbit hole 🐇, it will get repetitive and the learning curve will flatten after a few screening reads.

🍋 Food Supplement Example

In our example we used the search term “supplement trends 2023”

💡 For the following steps you can use your Trend Research Tools List to find trend screening and keyword tools.

✅ Trend Screening

Use trend screening platforms like Google Trends, Exploding Topics or Glimpse to search for tendencies by topic or category. 

These platforms help you understand the search demand for specific topics or give you an idea about the major search trends within different categories. These search trends can be topics, products, or even brands that are trending within specific categories. Most of these platforms offer free features that are sufficient for this initial research.

🍋 Food Supplement Example

In our example we looked at categories like health/wellness ⇒ vitamins/supplements to find key trends like “supplement gummies”, “dog supplements”, “CBN gummies” etc..

✅ Keyword Research

By now you should have a list of major trends in your industry. To gain a deeper understanding of what customers are searching for in relation to these trends, you can delve deeper with keyword research. This involves analyzing the trends as search terms. There are many tools available that allow you to explore keywords, for example Semrush, Moz or Ubersuggest, let you explore a limited number of keywords for free. 

The keyword research will help you to understand important data like:

    • Search Volume: Meaning how many people are searching for this term in Google, which gives you a clear indication for the demand. You can compare the volume of different key trends to see which has the most demand.
    • Keywords ideas: Get further ideas of other related search terms (and more specific trends) and the questions consumers are asking related to the keyword. 
    • Competition: The intensity of competition for a keyword, meaning how many and which sites are ranking for this keyword (trend). The lower the competition on a keyword the better, again you can compare different keywords on their competition.

👆You want to focus on those keywords (trends) that have high search volume but low competition

🍋 Food Supplement Example

In our example we further explored the key word “supplement gummies”, which is one of the key trends in the food supplement industry.

Don’t forget to collect your findings on the first area of your Trend & Innovation Discovery  📒Template. Note down the major trends you’ve identified and add any notes or references.

Step C

Company Research

By now your whiteboard should have a full selection of the most important trends in your industry that you want to focus on, likely it will also have some more detailed ideas, sub-trends and maybe even some first “best practice cases”. Now it is time to examine the companies that are building on these trends and identify their best practices in terms of products, services, UX, business models, pricing models, etc.

There are different ways to find companies and innovative startups: 

  • During your trend analysis (step B) you will likely have found some brands that you already noted down. If not, go back and have a second look.
  • During your keyword research you likely also have looked at the competition, meaning the sites that rank for a specific keyword (trend) and have found some brands that qualify as “best practice case”. If not, go back and do that now.
  • Finally, you want to look through startups and company databases like, Insight Hack, Betalist  and Crunchbase or the portfolios of VC firms, especially those who also seed fund early stage startups, for example from Andreessen Horowitz or Y Combinator. This will help you to understand which startups exist in your industry and where VCs are putting their money. 

✅ So go ahead and study other startups and companies to get inspired and identify innovative ideas and best practices. For now, only focus on the high level ideas, finding inspiration for great products and services, business and pricing models or marketing approaches and user experience elements and note them down on your whiteboard. We will dive into a detailed benchmark later in this business challenge.

💡 You can find a number of different resources where you can look up company information on our List above.

🍋 Food Supplement Example

In our example we searched amongst others Insight Hack for food supplement companies.

Again use the first area of your Trend & Innovation Discovery  📒Template to collect the best practices and examples that you’ve collected on the colored sticky notes next to each trend.

Step D

Final Trend Selection

By now you should have a list of the most important trends and your whiteboard should hopefully be full of notes, ideas and examples and best practices. 

✅As the very last step go ahead and select the top trend(s) you want to focus on. Choose one or more, but keep it to a maximum of five trends. Those are the trends you will take a deeper dive in the next steps, so the more trends you choose the more work you will have to do. 

If you are working with your team, use the voting dots to select your key trends. Each team member gets three votes. 

Use the second part of the Trend & Innovation Discovery  📒Template to note down your selection.

Step E

Innovation Opportunity Analysis

Now that you have identified and prioritized the key trends in your market, it is time to get creative and specify innovation opportunities based on the trends that you’ve identified.

Innovation opportunities can include entirely new business models, products, or services or simply new innovative features for existing products or services.

✅ So go ahead and brainstorm (in the team or alone) ideas for innovative business models, products/services, or features based on the trends you prioritized. Use the sticky notes on the third area of your whiteboard template to note down everything that comes to your mind and describe each idea shortly.

Now that you’ve listed a number of ideas you prioritize them. To effectively prioritize your innovation opportunities, we will use a matrix with two variable axes: the Vertical axis represents Opportunity Potential, and the Horizontal axis represents Implementation Effort. This matrix serves as a great visual tool to assess and rank the ideas based on their potential impact and feasibility.

Opportunity Potential (Vertical Axis):

  • High: Ideas with the potential to significantly impact your (future) business, offering substantial value or creating a competitive advantage.
  • Medium: Ideas that offer moderate potential, contributing to growth but with less transformative impact.
  • Low: Ideas with limited potential, providing incremental improvements or addressing niche needs.

Implementation Effort (Horizontal Axis):

  • Low: Ideas that require minimal resources and can be implemented relatively easily.
  • Medium: Ideas that involve a moderate level of effort and resources for implementation.
  • High: Ideas that demand significant resources, time, and effort for successful execution.

✅Place each of your brainstormed ideas on the matrix on your whiteboard template based on your assessment of their Opportunity Potential and Implementation Effort. Collaborate with your team to reach a consensus on the placement of each idea. The goal is to focus on ideas situated in the high-potential, low-effort quadrant, as these represent the most promising and feasible opportunities. 

And last but not least use again the voting dots to select the innovation opportunity (or opportunities) that you will focus on. Ideally you should end up with one business model that you will move forward with, so you’ll probably just select one of the innovation opportunities. However, sometimes it can make sense to combine several innovation opportunities in one business model, just keep in mind the more ideas you try to combine the more complex it gets. And especially at the beginning you want to keep it simple. 

Step F

Innovation Concept

Now that you have selected the innovation opportunities you want to focus on, it’s time to detail the innovation concept for these innovation opportunities. We have provided an innovation concept sheet within the whiteboard template that you can use to specify your selected ideas. 

So go ahead and work alone or in the team to detail the following aspects:

Innovation Concept Name:  

➡️ Provide a concise and memorable name for your innovation concept.

Description: What is the idea? 

➡️ Clearly articulate the core concept. What is the product, service, or feature? Outline its key functionalities and purpose.

Benefits and Features: What are the main benefits of the idea? How does it create value for the customer, solve customer problems, etc.? 

➡️ Identify and list the primary benefits and features of your innovation. Consider the unique value proposition it offers to customers and how it addresses their needs or pain points.

Opportunity and Trends: Why is this idea a great opportunity? Which trends does this idea build on? Why does it have potential? 

➡️ Explain why your innovation concept represents a significant opportunity. Connect it to the trends you identified earlier in the toolkit. Highlight the market demand and potential for success.

Challenges & Questions: Where do you see the main challenges? What are your main questions/doubts about this idea? What are the things that you need to understand, analyze, confirm in the next steps?

➡️ Anticipate potential challenges and uncertainties associated with your concept. Identify the questions that need further exploration or validation. This section serves as a roadmap for your next steps in refining and developing the idea.