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The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape
     

The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape

by Robyn Waters
 

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From the former trendmaster of Target—how the power of contradictory trends can help reframe your business strategy 

Contradictions are everywhere! These days we wear Old Navy with new Gucci, Hanes T-shirts with Armani suits, couture Chanel with vintage denim. Suburban mansions are filled with flea market finds, and we show off our Michael Graves

Overview

From the former trendmaster of Target—how the power of contradictory trends can help reframe your business strategy 

Contradictions are everywhere! These days we wear Old Navy with new Gucci, Hanes T-shirts with Armani suits, couture Chanel with vintage denim. Suburban mansions are filled with flea market finds, and we show off our Michael Graves teakettle from Target on Viking stoves in our gourmet kitchens that might even include cabinets purchased from IKEA.

When Robyn Waters began her career in the late 1970s, a trend was defined as something that everyone wanted at the same time. Fashion and business magazines proclaimed what was "in" and what was "out." Back then, it was fairly easy for companies to determine the next big trend, and ride it all the way to the bank.

In today’s marketplace the "next big thing" has been replaced by a thousand next big things. And in order to discover what consumers are hungry for companies need to discover what’s important…to them. Today a cookie cutter approach no longer works. Waters explains that for every trend there’s an equally valid countertrend.

In The Hummer and the Mini, Waters explores the new trend landscape and urges companies to stop looking for the one right answer in their industry. There are many good ways to design products, develop a line of goods, merchandise a store, or craft a marketing message. You can thrive by selling huge cars (the Hummer) or tiny ones (the Mini). You can turn something old into something new and desirable (the Vespa) or turn a commodity into a luxury (In-and-Out Burgers at the Oscars). You can even customize a product designed for the masses (personalized postage stamps) or sell less as more (Minute Clinics).

Through lively tales of influential trends and countertrends, The Hummer and the Mini will show you how to live with the contradictions, make the most of the inconsistencies, and embrace the paradoxes of business as a source of fresh ideas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's neither provocative nor fresh to note that some people are buying big things while others are buying small things, and that premise isn't enough to rescue this cheery but uninspired collection of musings about consumer trends. "Bottom line, it's become hip to contradict," says Waters (The Trendmaster's Guide), who sees "consumers pursu[ing] opposites simultaneously" for instance, sales of both high-tech video games and classic board games have increased. But the former Target v-p never considers that these may be different consumers. Her broad, breezy survey includes products from Vespas to Tupperware, poker to dodge ball, Whole Foods to the slow food movement, but no coherent trends emerge. Worse, the self-described "Trendmaster" offers no new interviews with experts or behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt. Rather, she gives us "secondhand learnings" drawn from "endless magazine and newspaper articles written by others." Though an agreeable guide to today's consumer landscape, she doesn't leave the reader whether manufacturer, marketer or shopper with enough insights to make the journey worth it. (Oct. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591841364
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/05/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.87(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Robyn Waters is the former VP of trend, design, and product development at Target, where she worked with hot designers like Michael Graves, Philippe Starck, and Todd Oldham. She now has a consulting firm, RW Trend, that advises companies on how to track and translate trends into sales and profit, and stay ahead of the curve. The author of The Trendmaster's Guide, she lectures around the world and lives in Minneapolis.

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