Ebco exists to enable innovation teams at the world’s largest companies through their unique approach to trend forecasting, which leverages fractal thinking and deep-dive trend analysis to reveal game-changing and leading-edge future opportunities.
Fortune 500 brands like Starbucks and Colgate credit Ebco with helping them set the strategic direction for innovation efforts that have the potential to yield product pipelines worth billions.
Just one such engagement lead to one of the most colorful and Instagrammable drinks of all time and the launch of the Digital Center for Excellence at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.
Ebco’s rapid growth is driven by leaders Erin Mays and Kalyn Rozanski whose preference for “fractal thinking” is focused on discovering patterns that exist horizontally, analogously, and at different scales. Their approach delivers innovative opportunities clients are unable to achieve and envision utilizing traditional methodologies.
This new mode of thinking and discovery is critical because, as Mays champions, “we no longer operate in a world where basic, linear methodologies lead to groundbreaking solutions.” The market is evolving faster than ever, with ever-changing technologies, business models, and consumer expectations.
And now more than ever, companies are embracing the value of leveraging trends as a core component of their innovation process.
We asked 50 global innovation leaders about the relationship between trend forecasting and innovation and here’s what we learned.
Ebco leverages their proprietary expertise in trends to draw conclusions from seemingly unrelated industries to drive innovation while also uncovering trends within trends and trends that lead us down new paths. More simply put, what’s happening in the fashion industry may influence the future of automotive. Or, what’s happening in retail may influence what happens in food and beverage. Businesses need to think and explore fractally, and that’s what we do to help our clients find the biggest opportunities.
Ebco’s proprietary Stages of Innovation Funnel – which starts with Pre-Strategy Opportunity Identification and ends with Go-to-Market Strategy, is a copyrighted tool that helps innovation teams see where and how trends can ignite the process and drive informed and future-facing action.
With a dynamic team and expert thought leadership, Ebco is being noticed. Their client list spans across categories and reaches globally, and the firm has more than doubled every year since its founding in 2015. Recently Ebco won the Austin Under 40 in Innovation and Start-Up Category and the Austin Inno 50 on Fire award. Ebco is also recognized as a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council-certified organization (WBENC). As a women-led business with leaders who are passionate about the future, and even more so about impacting the success of girls and women, Ebco makes it a priority to donate time and resources to organizations such as Girls Empowerment Network and She’s the First.
"Trends are one of the key drivers of innovation - reflecting where consumers are going, what products they are seeking, and that fundamental hallmarks, attributes and benefits a product must have to meet them where they will be in the future.”- - Gail Nichols, Ebco Client Director Innovation Mizkan America
Given the growth mindset typical of their innovator clients, Ebco offers an ever-growing library of trend discovery options. At Ebco’s core are in-depth custom trend investigations that support the client’s internal strategic initiatives. Additionally, with its forward-thinking, paradigm-shifting methodology, Ebco now has a range of trend offerings that help clients and partners break out of their typical thought patterns through quick and affordable solutions that mimic the agility start-ups experience. This shifts costly and time-consuming market research to a quick model that makes corporate innovation more competitive with start-ups, which are their biggest, most innovative threat. Ebco’s disruptive products for innovation pull inspiration from adjacent categories and start-ups to deliver solutions that are not offered elsewhere in the industry.
Being aware of trends enables our team to be first to market and capture share early on, which turns to financial success for our company.- - Stephanie Garvey, Ebco Client Director of Marketing Bissell
Ebco developed the first-ever corporate subscription box called TrendBox. TrendBox sends a package with real products and a report directly to the desk of innovation professionals. The box encourages sensory learning, on the spot ideation and team inspiration. The TrendBox has ignited instant conversation amongst teams and encourages conversations that will impact the future of client categories.
Trend of the Month Club
Ebco launched Trend of the Month to bring together innovation professionals into an expert community and to deep dive into a trend that is impacting the CPG space. This club mimics the same type of inspiration and idea generation that start-ups and entrepreneurs achieve through networking and collaboration while focused on a specific trend each month and bringing that value to corporate.
Ebco’s Trend Expedition brings teams from around the world into a specific market for a curated and immersive experience that brings trends to life. Through real-time immersion, the 1-2 day experience culminates in a rapid-fire ideation session that generates hundreds of actionable ideas.
Ebco is known for immersive and stimulus-rich sessions where company teams engage in hands-on ideation and learning experiences. During these sessions, cross-collaborative teams touch, see, smell, taste, and feel products as trends come to life and ideas are generated.