Greenwood, Laura, Power, Jess and Harris, Joanne (2016) The Power of the Forecaster: An Exploration into the Value of Trend Forecasting for the Survival of SME’s in the Creative Industries. In: The 90th Textile Institute World Conference, 25th – 28th April 2016, Poznan, Poland. (Unpublished)

Trend-forecasting is a growing resource utilised throughout a diverse range of businesses in the creative industry. Not only is it important to understand the significance of trend research, but also to recognise the latest mechanisms applied to support emerging innovations in Small to Medium Enterprises (SME). This research aims to question the value of trend-forecasting contributing to the enrichment of SMEs in the surface design sector for interiors. Qualitative research will be explored and critically analysed in the form of mini-case studies, workshops, exhibitions and a series of short interviews. The selected sample suggests SMEs are reluctant to engage with forecasters due to limited knowledge of trend influence, organisational culture or profit driven businesses. The research highlights although forecasters cannot guarantee profit, they do support creative design, market orientation, retailing and social media. This may have a positive impact on increased levels of customer, brand awareness and industry leadership. Eventually this could improve revenue; ultimately benefitting the UK economy in supporting future SMEs.

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