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Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changesby Mark J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne
Synopses & Reviews
In 1982, readers discovered Megatrends.
In 2000, The Tipping Point entered the lexicon.
Now, in Microtrends, one of the most respected and sought-after analysts in the world articulates a new way of understanding how we live.
Mark Penn, the man who identified Soccer Moms as a crucial constituency in President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign, is known for his ability to detect relatively small patterns of behavior in our culture-microtrends that are wielding great influence on business, politics, and our personal lives. Only one percent of the public, or three million people, is enough to launch a business or social movement.
Relying on some of the best data available, Penn identifies more than 70 microtrends in religion, leisure, politics, and family life that are changing the way we live. Among them:
You have to look at and interpret data to know what's going on, and that conventional wisdom is almost always wrong and outdated. The nation is no longer a melting pot. We are a collection of communities with many individual tastes and lifestyles. Those who recognize these emerging groups will prosper.
Penn shows readers how to identify the microtrends that can transform a business enterprise, tip an election, spark a movement, or change your life. In today's world, small groups can have the biggest impact.
"From 'Soccer Moms,' the legendary swing voters of the mid-1990s, to 'Late-Breaking Gays' such as former Gov. Games McGreevey (out at age 47), Burson-Marsteller CEO (and campaign adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton) Penn delves into the ever-splintering societal subsets with which Americans are increasingly identifying, and what they mean. For instance, because of 'Extreme Commuters,' people who travel more than 90 minutes each way to work, carmakers must come up with ever more luxury seat features, and 'fast food restaurants are coming out with whole meals that fit in cup holders.' In a chapter titled 'Archery Moms?', Penn reports on the 'Niching of Sports': much to the consternation of Major League Baseball, 'we don't like sports less, we just like little sports more.' The net result of all this 'niching' is 'greater individual satisfaction'; as Penn notes, 'not one of the fastest-growing sports in America... depends substantially on teamwork.' Penn draws similar lessons in areas of business, culture, technology, diet, politics and education (among other areas), reporting on 70 groups ('Impressionable Elites,' 'Caffeine Crazies,' 'Neglected Dads,' 'Unisexuals,' 'America's Home-Schooled') while remaining energetic and entertaining throughout. Culture buffs, retailers and especially businesspeople for whom 'small is the new big' will value this exercise in nano-sociology." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The ideas in his book will help you see the world in a new way." Bill Clinton
"Mark Penn has a keen mind and a fascinating sense of what makes America tick, and you see it on every page of Microtrends." Bill Gates
"Buy it — no question... Microtrends might be the finest non-fiction book you read this fall." Jeff Koopersmith, American Politics Journal
"Microtrends' generalizations are sound and cleverly written, despite their brevity, and will undoubtedly appeal to marketing analysts and armchair sociologists, as well as fans of Megatrends and Malcolm Gladwell." Kirkus Reviews
"The guru of small things... Mark Penn is more than a high-powered Democratic pollster: His idea helped transform the Clinton presidency into a service provider for various niche voters." New York Times Magazine
"Using insight about data and a sly sense of humor, Penn shows how microtrends create opportunities and challenges....With its wide lens, Microtrends is an often amusing look at the future of our increasingly segmented world, where today's underground is tomorrow's mainstream." Hartford Courant
"Riveting....imaginative....Penn is as much a business consultant as he is a political junkie — a symbiosis that helps explain why so much of his book is so original." Financial Times
"Penn is at his best basing arguments on the numbers he adores and less convincing when his proof consists of anecdotal evidence and examples from popular culture." Library Journal
Mark Penn argues that the biggest trends in America are the Microtrends, the smaller trends that go unnoticed or ignored. One million people can create new market for a business, spark a social movement, or effect political change. In 1996, a microtrend identified by Penn ("soccer moms") was crucial in re-electing President Clinton. With years of experience as one of world's most highly regarded pollsters, Mark Penn identifies the new microtrends sweeping the world:
*Single women by choice: More often than ever before, they aren't waiting for Mr. Right. They are raising children by themselves and buying their own homes.
*Splitters: A growing number of middle-class residents are shuttling between two homes, creating new communities and dynamics in the real estate market.
*Sun Haters: Environmentalists, skin cancer survivors, and parents concerned about the impact the sun is having on our health.
*Philo-semites: A growing number of people want to date Jewish men and women.
*Classical Music Dads: Older men who are fathers in their 40's and 50's and taking on a larger role in the nurturing of their children and becoming an important factor in consumer culture for kids.
Penn highlights everything from religion to politics, from leisure pursuits to relationships. MICROTRENDS will take the reader deep into the worlds of polling, targeting, and psychographic analysis, reaching tantalizing conclusions through engaging analysis.
About the Author
Mark Penn was dubbed "the most powerful man in Washington you've never heard of" by the Washington Post. Mark Penn is the worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller. He was pollster to President Clinton in his 1996 re-election campaign, and has been an adviser to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, numerous corporations, and 25 foreign heads of state.
E. Kinney Zalesne has served as a White House Fellow, Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and Executive Vice President and President of two national social-change organizations.
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