In 1991 three young consultants at a Big Four consultancy spotted a trend in this new new thing called the Internet and decided to form a research company. It was the year the World Wide Web was introduced and newsgroups and email were about all most people knew of the Internet – if they’d heard of it at all.
In that nascent medium no doubt there was a significant trend! There were opportunities to conduct research about the Internet and via the Internet, and in the coming years Phase 5’s research laid the foundation for online banking, online investing, and e-government development in Canada.
That Internet Company
By its fifth year, Phase 5 was publishing the Canada Information Monitor, which became the publication of record about business use of the Internet. The company was earning a reputation of being “that Internet company” and continuing to build on its foundation of spotting trends.
Today Phase 5 work divides broadly among three practice groups – Innovation, Customer Experience, and User Experience / Design. Offices in Minneapolis, Ottawa, and Toronto serve the global reach of our clients, regularly taking us to Europe and Asia with research conducted in multiple languages and reported across geographies.
Still Trendspotting Today
Phase 5’s core differentiation continues to be our holistic approach to helping clients identify and capitalize on trends. Over the years we have added UX / design capabilities to what is now a full range of qualitative and quantitative research capabilities. This toolset allows us to work with clients from the beginning to the end of the innovation cycle, leading projects to:
- Identify the key opportunity, the critical unmet need
- Develop, design and prototype a solution
- Bring that solution successfully and profitably to market
- Maintain customer satisfaction and engagement for repeat business
As in 1991, today we are still focused on trend-spotting for our clients. Our arsenal has expanded to a vast array of quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as UX and design expertise, but our professional satisfaction still lies in uncovering the trends that drive business growth.