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Orientation

Why we created The Demand Institute

Consumer demand—the desire to purchase, coupled with the money to act on that desire—is the primary engine that drives the world economy. Consumers are estimated to spend over $450 trillion across all countries and industries during the next decade.  Understanding more precisely how this demand will evolve and shift is incredibly valuable to both business and government leaders. 

These insights enable business leaders to fuel growth strategies, drive innovation, and help top management teams allocate scarce resources across markets. This knowledge is equally vital to international, national and regional government leaders tasked with aligning economic policies and stimulus programs to their population's evolving needs and desires. 

We created The Demand Institute in response to demand from leaders who have expressed their desire to obtain more holistic, synthetic, rigorous and objective knowledge about where consumer demand is headed over the next 5-10 years.

 

Our social purpose: strengthening the vitality of the global economy


The work of the Demand Institute helps leaders discover new ways to drive growth and prosperity across our global economy. In particular, the world will become more productive when we collectively find new ways to better align demand and supply.

There is no doubt that massive advances in global supply chain performance over the past 40 years have generated products and services that are better designed, higher quality, faster to market and less expensive. As a result, businesses have created better customer experiences and more profitable growth for their shareholders.

Despite this progress, tremendous demand and supply imbalances persist. Many parts of our economy are struggling with overproduction, while others suffer the opposite problem. This is true for individual businesses, entire industries and even nations highly identified with particular goods and services.

As population increases and global competition for scarce resources intensifies, every leader needs to address imbalances in demand and supply. These imbalances include macro issues such as food, health care, housing, energy and education, as well as micro issues affecting every business.

When we fail to predict consumer demand, we waste time, money and resources. We produce the wrong product designs, or the wrong amounts for the wrong markets. The same is true with government programs. National and local programs that mismatch what people are demanding and how those demands are being satisfied are a waste of resources. The Demand Institute is building knowledge that can help leaders bring demand and supply back into alignment.

 

Our strategic focus: examining demand shifts


Over the last century we have collectively witnessed the value that is unlocked for industries as consumers shift their demand to new products and services. 

These demand shifts are often driven by technology in the form of new solutions that displace prior offerings. Classic examples are consumers shifting their demand from horses to automobile;, typewriters to email; and portable radios to digital music players. Equally transformational shifts are driven by changes in the culture and economy. The movement from cities to suburbs (…and now back again to cities); formal to causal business attire; and grade school to advanced education are examples grounded in a migration to a new way of life with different choices for how we live and work.

We are particularly interested in examining emerging demand shifts that are poised to unlock substantial economic value during the next 5-10 year time horizon. Our primary focus is investigating big global markets with huge economic value at stake, and where the shift is already "in play" and accelerating every year. At the same time, these are markets where there is substantial uncertainty about the shape, trajectory and timing of the demand shift.

Our team is scanning the world for the biggest and most important emerging demand shifts, and will conduct new research in collaboration with a broad cross-section of experts drawn from multiple industries to uncover the biggest opportunities (and challenges) facing business and government leaders as these shifts accelerate in the coming years.