It refers to the process of looking for meaningful patterns in consumer conversations, demographics, psychographics, and behavior—patterns that may reveal the emergence or presence of a consumer or market trend. It is an important market research tool used by brands to detect and predict changes in consumer desires and lifestyles, buying behavior, and perception of value. It helps organizations decide how to best invest in product development, how to position their products and services in the market, and how to more effectively approach and connect with online consumers.