The term megatrends was introduced by the American trend and futurologist John Naisbitt (1982), who has also made the term globalization known.
Megatrends are understood as global, long-term and profound transformation processes that have lasting effects on the economy, technology, ecology, politics and society. They work slowly and gradually over decades and are almost certainly on the horizon. These are overarching trends that can influence and reinforce other short- and medium-term trends.
Megatrends, whether individually or in combination, have an impact on customer needs and consumer behavior. Trend research as a strategic planning tool gives companies the opportunity to recognize and assess such market changes at an early stage. This can reduce potential risks and open up new opportunities for development and innovation, which in turn can lead to competitive advantages over the competition. Identifying and properly interpreting megatrends often results in a reorientation or adjustment of a company's vision and strategic goals.
Naisbitt, J. (1982). Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. New York: Warner Books.