Friday, January 29, 2010

I Just Read…Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes

--by Hanje Richards

Microtrends, by Mark J. Penn with E. Kinney Zafesne, is a fascinating look at how relatively small patterns of behavior are wielding great influence on business, politics, and our personal lives. Penn’s thesis is that it only takes one percent of the public -- three million people -- to launch a business or a social movement.

Mark Penn is the man who identified “Soccer Moms” as a crucial constituency in President Clinton’s reelection campaign. Using his polling expertise, he has identified over 70 "microtrends" that have the potential to rock the world, or at least a significant portion of it.

Some of the trends Penn identifies and discusses are: Commuter Couples, Working Retired, Protestant Hispanics, Southpaws Unbound, Video Game Grown-Ups, Shy Millionaires, and Vegan Children. Penn examines the actual and potential possibilities that are created by each of these microtrends.

"Stuffed with smart, offbeat tidbits....Penn and his co-author, E. Kinney Zalesne, deserve credit for leavening their facts and figures with humor and pop-culture asides." -- Bloomberg