Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 500,000 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Dashboard
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 500,000 cutting edge ideas.

Exploring the Millennial Market (INTERVIEW)

Lou Lenzi, General Electric Industrial Design Director
Jonathon Brown
July 13th, 2013
In the face of aggressive new competitors, General Electric recently renewed its commitment to being a top-shelf appliances manufacturer by investing heavily in innovation. GE created a robust internship program and built a strong infrastructure to support innovation and ideation going forward. One of GE's newest products is a kitchen appliance line aimed at millennials called Artistry, which was designed by 27 year-old former intern Tomas DeLuna. The line includes design elements specifically geared toward the Millennial generation, priced at a level first time home buyers can afford. According to Lou Lenzi, director of GE’s Industrial Design Operation, this is a departure from the old approach. For the first time, GE looked at organizing products around user types rather than price points. The Artistry series is one example of General Electric's new way of approaching the appliance market.

3 Questions with Lou Lenzi

1. What is the biggest obstacle you face when innovating?


One of the biggest challenges is this is a two step business: there is the end user, but also the retail buyer, and that middle man can be your friend and biggest challenge at the same time. When we gather the insights on consumers, we have to come back and convince retailers that this is the way to go. That’s the biggest challenge.

Over the past couple years, we’ve been getting in front of our customers. In the past, design would be a walled off studio with badge access and the whole thing. We’ve tried to be more forthcoming with retail partners. We’ve showed buyers and merchants 2016 concepts, but also ask for their input and have an opportunity to articulate why certain elements of those concepts are important.

2. What makes an innovative culture? How do you create a culture of innovation?

It comes out of what makes sense for General Electric in the appliances business. Where do we want to stand? That was the driver for innovation. The old model had problems. The question became what are we going to do differently? We recognized there are some new competitors on the scene. Fifteen years ago it was different, but now you have some really aggressive competitors. A few years ago, we were very much a silo development community: design was a sectioned off area of the company. Now, half of my team is embedded in the production development rooms.

3. How do you identify trends?

We look at a host of data. We have a consumer insights team and a design research team. They sift through the high-level macro trends and we also do an exercise that involves marrying macro trends with persona development to keep us fresh. It's called the “Home 2025” design blitz. It's an intensive 60 day project involving the design, R&D and consumer insights teams. There were four teams assembled, with each team focusing on a specific vision of the home in the year 2025. The teams were assigned based on 2x2 matrix with life stage on one axis (young to old) and physical space on the other axis (small to large.)
References: linkedin, ge