The essential element at the start of any strategic forecasting exercise is the need to think strategically and creatively (if not philosophically). There should be no intellectual constraints. This involves clearing the mind of preconceptions and prejudices, of casting aside any specific knowledge of the market or the product that existing market research has given you. In other words, not worrying about the detail (at this initial stage) but concentrating instead on wider factors and issues which are likely to have a critical influence or overriding affect on the product, market or business in question. Of course, any market research relevant to the implementation of any strategic recommendations must be considered at the appropriate stage of the analytic process.
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