Robyn Waters provides a thought provoking environmental scan of the macro marketplace that takes the listener deep into the hearts and minds of the consumer. Her visual presentations challenge the audience to look at trend ‘from the inside out’ by focusing their attention on what’s important instead of just what’s next.

Robyn Waters has over thirty years experience tracking and translating trends into sales and profit. As Target’s former Vice President of Trend, Design, and Product Development, she helped a small regional discount chain become a national fashion destination. Seth Godin calls her “the woman who revolutionized what Target sells, and helped the company trounce Kmart.”

Fast Company magazine featured her as one of the top twenty 'Creative Mavericks' in their June '04 Master of Design issue. She has served as a juror for numerous national design competitions, including the BusinessWeek IDEA Design Awards, the National Design Awards for the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the International Housewares Association. She has also been invited to serve as a juror for the 2007 Microsoft PC Design Competition.

She is the author of The Trendmaster’s Guide: Get A Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next, a simple and witty guide to tracking and translating trends into sales and profit. Her second book, The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape, explores the contradictory nature of today’s consumer. She is also a contributor to The Big Moo, a collaboration of 33 of the world's best business thinkers.

Robyn demonstrates a unique ability to inspire and motivate an eclectic audience and client base. Her thoughts and challenges resonate as well at the C-level as they do with design and MBA students. Anyone with a desire to reframe their way of looking at the world and go deep into the hearts and minds of their customer will enjoy her innovative insights and provocative presentations.

Speech topics

A New Retailing Paradigm

Shakespeare opined, “All the world’s a stage.” Today, he’d be just as correct saying, “All the world’s a store.” Thanks to technology, every minute of every day is a shopping moment. When you can buy just about anything you want, from anywhere, anytime, the verb “to shop” takes on a whole new meaning. The message of this talk is how to take the wisdom (and mistakes) from financial economics to take a more methodical approach to the risks we face. Allison draws on her financial expertise and time in the field with unusual risk takers.

The Trendmaster's Guide from A to Z

Welcome to a new way of looking at the world! The Trendmaster's Guide from A to Z is a practical and fun exploration of the trend tracking process that simplifies and demystifies the art of trend. Every letter offers an insight into how to navigate the unknown and a useful suggestion to help you prepare for what's next. Current and emerging trends in business and retail are presented as examples of how to be more than just up to the minute. A to Z will show you where the minute is going, and it will help you get there ahead of the competition. 

Trend / CounterTrend

Trend used to be so simple. Once upon a time a trend was a trend specifically BECAUSE everyone wanted the same thing. Today, the 'next big thing' is in reality many different things...and it's not unusual for complete opposites to be deemed trendy at the same time. Trend Countertrend explores the polarity of macro trends influencing the marketplace today. Can a commodity be a luxury? How do you customize your product for the masses? Is there such a thing as 'healthy indulgence?' How can you make something old 'brand' new? What is extreme relaxation all about anyway? And can you do good AND make money in today's business environment? F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that the test of a first-class mind was the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the head at the same time and still be able to function. This presentation will help you embrace that concept in practical manner that makes sense for business today. 

Design with Heart

Top Business leaders are finally embracing the integration of logic and reasoning (left brain) with imagination and creativity (right brain). Now it’s time to add the heart. A wake up call for beancounters and a ‘feel good’ for visionaries, this presentation makes a case for whole brain thinking. In order for true design innovation to occur, both the left side and the right side of the brain need to engage. Six sigma, best methods, and process improvement rely predominately on the left-brain functions. Break-through thinking, disruptive innovation and remarkable product development need the creative energy of the right side of the brain. If your company is struggling with analysis paralysis and you’d like to put more ‘heart’ into your product development process, this presentation can help you find a way to break through the innovation barrier and get in touch with your best instincts. 

Reframing Your Perspective

Trendmaster Robyn Waters often encourages her clients to reframe their thinking—to tap into the hearts and minds of their customers by focusing less on what’s next and more on what’s important. It is sage advice that Robyn herself followed as she transitioned her successful retail career from a prestigious, high-demand leadership position within Target Corporation--as Vice President of Trend, Design and Product Development-- to a new, more balanced life as a consultant, author, and speaker. In this candid and compelling keynote, Robyn chronicles her personal journey of self-discovery and details how her drive for professional success eventually transitioned into a pursuit of happiness, meaning and personal fulfillment. By sharing her story, Robyn hopes to inspire others to reframe their perspective on success in order to find a greater sense of purpose.


The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape 

From the former trendmaster of Target—how the power of contradictory trends can help reframe your business strategy.

The Trendmaster's Guide: Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next 

According to Robyn Waters, it’s a myth that trends can only be spotted early by überhip Bohemian types who are ever so much cooler than everyone else.

Request booking info