Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes

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by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne
     
 

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"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
In 1982, readers discovered Megatrends.
In 2000, The Tipping Point entered the lexicon.
Now, in Microtrends, one of the most

Overview

"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
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:
People are retiring but continuing to work. Teens are turning to knitting. Geeks are becoming the most sociable people around. Women are driving technology. Dads are older than ever and spending more time with their kids than in the past. You have to look at and interpret data to know what's going on, and that conventional wisdom is almost always wrong and outdated.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.

Editorial Reviews

The thesis of Microtrends is direct and counterintuitive. The most important trends in the world today, contends author Mark J. Penn, are the smallest ones. His book explores the largely invisible micro-communities that are changing every aspect of our lives, from politics and religion to food, marketing, and entertainment. Advice on mobilizing small forces in a global community.
American Politics Journal
Buy it - no question . . . Microtrends might be the finest non-fiction book you read this fall.
—Jeff Koopersmith
The New York Times
Unrelentingly fascinating....Microtrends is a diligently researched tome chock-full of counterintuitive facts and findings that may radically alter the way you see the present, the future, and your places in both..... Microtrends is the perfect bible for a game of not-so-trivial pursuits concerning the hidden sociological truths of modern times.

Business Week
Delightful and fast-paced....Penn's central premise is that the Internet, changing lifestyles, and other factors now sliver the world into hundreds, if not thousands, of groups. A breezy, entertaining consideration of niche groups within America.

The Economist
As chief strategist to Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid, Mark Penn has been tipped by The Economist as the 'next Karl Rove.' But when not wondering how best to take the White House, Mr. Penn is a business guru too. Washington, DC insiders will browse his new book, Microtrends, for clues on how the Hillary-for-president campaign will be run; others should read it for its dozens of social insights that could well be turned to profit.

Financial Times
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. Penn's thesis is that change in today's world is driven by small trends that are started below the radar and which creep up on us unexpectedly. The era of megatrends belonged to the Ford economy, which offered mass produce and limited choice. Today's world is characterised by Starbucks which offers hundreds of potential combinations to its finicky customers.

USA Today
The strength of the book lies in Penn's analysis of the implications and opportunities of each microtrend....Despite the vast amount of ground Penn covers, Microtrends readers won't be lost in a sea of statistics. Though the book is a trivia-lover's dream - the average American sleeps less than 7 hours per night, children under 14 are banned from tanning in indoor salons in New Jersey, and 80% of dog owners buy presents for their pets on birthdays or holidays - Penn adroitly manages to convey the relevance of such minutiae to the world at large.

Newsweek
Penn does more than spot trends, he also shows how responding to them can make or break companies and campaigns alike.

Kirkus Reviews
One of America's most influential pollsters carves the present into bite-sized pieces in an attempt to reveal future trends. Penn gained fame as an advisor to Bill Clinton during his 1996 campaign by identifying blocks of constituents like "Soccer Moms" as potential voters. Here, he and co-author Zalesne expand their trend-spotting to identify 75 burgeoning patterns that they argue are both reflecting and changing our modern world. Each chapter examines a discrete subdivision with themes ranging among politics, lifestyle, religion, money, education, etc. These easily digestible nuggets of scrutiny are fairly straightforward and primarily serve as a kind of pie chart of the human race, dividing Earth's citizens (primarily Americans, although a single chapter is devoted to international issues) into the cliques and tribes to which they subscribe. Among the emerging classes, the authors find "Cougars" (women who pursue younger men), "New Luddites" (technophobes) and "Car-Buying Soccer Moms," among dozens of other sub-surface dwellers. The book's 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. Yet the book stands on an unbalanced argument. "Microtrends reflects the human drive toward individuality, while conventional wisdom often seeks to drive society towards the lowest common denominator," Penn writes in a conclusion, explaining why such movements are important. But by dividing and isolating people into popcorn-sized kernels of experience, their innate individuality is lost in many little crowds instead of one big one. Another troublingfactor is that few of the book's observations feel new. How often have superficial features about stay-at-home workers, caffeine addicts or shy millionaires been recycled on the evening news, let alone the Internet and other mediums? Penn tries to spin the gravity of these ripples. "Movements get started by small groups of dedicated, intensely interested people," he says. But his observation could apply to anything from the Third Reich to MySpace. More cynical readers may feel like a number. A think piece about personal choices that unearths more round holes for square pegs. Agent: Bob Barnett/Williams & Connolly
Bill Clinton
"Mark Penn has a remarkable gift for detecting patterns and identifying trends. The ideas in his book will help you see the world in a new way."
Bill Gates
"Mark Penn has a keen mind, and a fascinating sense of what makes America and the world tick, and you see it on every page of Microtrends."
The New York Times Magazine
"Mark Penn is more than a high-powered Democratic pollster: his data helped transform the Clinton presidency...."
From the Publisher
"Mark Penn is more than a high-powered Democratic pollster: his data helped transform the Clinton presidency...."The New York Times Magazine

"Mark Penn has a keen mind, and a fascinating sense of what makes America and the world tick, and you see it on every page of Microtrends."Bill Gates"

Unrelentingly fascinating . . . a diligently researched tome chock-full of counterintuitive facts and findings that may radically alter the way you see the present, the future, and your places in both . . .
Microtrends is the perfect bible for a game of not-so-trivial pursuits concerning the hidden sociological truths of modern times."
The New York Times"

A trivia-lover's dream...Penn adroitly manages to convey the relevance of such minutiae to the world at large."
USA Today

"Mark Penn has a remarkable gift for detecting patterns and identifying trends. The ideas in his book will help you see the world in a new way."Bill Clinton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446402064
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
09/05/2007
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

Bill Gates
"Mark Penn has a keen mind, and a fascinating sense of what makes America and the world tick, and you see it on every page of Microtrends."
Bill Clinton
"Mark Penn has a remarkable gift for detecting patterns and identifying trends. The ideas in his book will help you see the world in a new way."

Meet the Author

Dubbed "the most powerful man in Washington you've never heard of" by the Washington Post, Mark J. Penn is the worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller. He was pollster to President Clinton in his successful 1996 re-election campaign, and is 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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Microtrends 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the author has given a peek at the future. i understand why some things are changing in our world
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
This book is useful, entertaining and, at times, a little strange. These qualities all arise from its core premise. Mark. J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne set out to reveal dozens of "microtrends" they say are reshaping U.S. and global society. They group these contained trends by topical clusters (work, health, etc.), and argue that Americans' freedom of choice is allowing social fragmentation into more distinct niches. The result is snapshot after snapshot of 70 or more niche groups. The book provides just a few pages on each one. If you're familiar with a trend or, conversely, find it too quirky ("Young Knitters"), these few pages may seem long. If you haven't encountered some of these trends, the entries will seem tantalizingly short. No matter what your niche, Penn and Zalesne will surprise you at some point, and their explanations of the forces shaping society are detailed and often quite original. As a result, getAbstract recommends their book to all marketers, especially those seeking niche audiences, and to everyone whose business requires planning for social change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book provides information about below-the-radar societal trends that can help the savvy business person identify future business opportunities.The information is clear, succinct, and intellectually curious. The statistical data mentioned in each section provides the business strategist with enough information to quickly assess areas that might be ripe for further exploration. I enjoyed this book and recommend it for anyone who considers themselves an entrepreneur or innovator. This book is also a recommended read for anyone interested in understanding societal trends, in general. The details shared have helped me to better understand how our American culture is quietly changing and why.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿As of 2005, 57 % of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents were women¿. In public relations, women make up something like 70% of the field¿ Since 1970, the number of women lawyers in America has grown 2900%¿ ¿According to a 2006 employee survey by Vault, nearly 60% of employees in America have been involved in an office romance.¿ ¿55% of parents say they are strict.¿ However, other parents are not. ¿91% say that most parents today are too easy on their kids.¿ ¿As of 2006, more than 30 million Americans - or nearly 1 in 4 adults- have tattoos.¿ What does all of it mean? That¿s what this asks the reader. There are 75 microtrends (small forces behind tomorrow¿s big changes) explored in this book from Cougars to Vegan Children and the rise of left-handed people. This is a fascinating exploration of what little things, happening now, may mean in the future. While the author does not attempt to be a futurist, he does offer some questions that can be posed. From the very first chapter on Sex-Ratio Singles, where he offers statistics on the rise in single women in a society where more boys are born than girls and marries them with statistics on more homosexual men then women and poses this: ¿Historians have well documented that ta society with too many unattached men leads to war. Will a society with too many unattached women lead to peace?¿ This book is full of status and figures and is not meant to be read from cover to cover but more as a reference book. Each section and trend stands on its own so you are free to ignore the Social Geeks trend or the entire Technology section if it doesn¿t interest you. It is a hearty book and not for anyone who is looking for prose or in depth explinations of the why and it does not offer conclusions as to the potential impacts of these trends. Anyone who is interested in the world he or she lives in should peruse this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many of the trends discussed are quite interesting, and are great for dinner time/trivia conversations. Some trends, if accurate--such as the baby boomers continuing to work well past age 65--and indirectly solving the Social Security funding shortfall, could have a huge impact! What I perceive would bump this book up to a five-star rating would be to cut back on the number of microtrends discussed, and provide more interpretive guidance on how one could potentially benefit from such developments.