"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles Mackay
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Mark Penn's 75 Trends of 2007
Mark Penn's 75 Trends of 2007

By. Rachel Sylvester

Mark Penn argues that the world is increasingly made up of “societal atoms”. These are, he says, “small trends that reflect changing habits and choices.” Often, they are counter-intuitive. By analyzing polling data, he has identified 75 “microtrends”, categories of people who might just change the world. Although most of the research in his book is based on American polls, many of the findings are replicated in the UK.

1. Sex-ratio singles. Around three per cent of women are, according to Penn, now left on the shelf because there are not enough straight men to go round.

2. Cougars. Women who date younger men. The number following the example of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate has more than trebled in the last ten year.

3. Office romancers. According to one recent survey nearly 60 per cent of Americans have mixed business and pleasure.

4. Commuter couples. The number of people who live in separate cities has doubled in the last fifteen years.

5. Internet marrieds. Couples who meet on line are more likely to cross class and race barriers.

6. Working retired. The baby boomers are refusing to give up their jobs at 65.

7. Extreme commuters. The number of those who travel at least 90 minutes each way to get to work has doubled in the last ten years.

8. Stay-at-home workers. Up 23 per cent in the US since 1990.

9. Wordy women. It’s not just JK Rowling. Females have a rising profile in language-based professions such as the media, PR, law and politics.

10. Ardent Amazons. Women are also increasingly going into jobs that demand physical strength, such as the military, fire-fighting, plumbing, sport and building.

11. Stained glass ceiling breakers. The number of female vicars has trebled in the last twenty years.

12. Pro-Semites. According to Penn: “Jew-loving is a bit of a craze.”

13. Interracial families. More than one per cent of couples in the US are mixed race.

14. Protestant Hispanics. Latino immigrants are a powerful lobby group and those who are Protestant, rather than Catholic, are a surprisingly important subgroup.

15. Moderate Muslims.

16. Sun-haters. Those who are turning against tanning are “early adopters” of a trend that Penn believes will soon spread.

17. 30-winkers. Margaret Thatcher survived on four hours a night, and the number of people who sleep fewer than six hours is rising fast.

18. Left-handers. The number has doubled in a generation and will continue to rise, thanks, Penn thinks, to more liberal teaching and parenting.

19. DIY doctors. We are all researching, diagnosing and curing ourselves via the internet.

20. Hard-of-hearers. The number of people with hearing loss doubled between 1970 and 2000.

21. Old new dads. Fathers having children in their 40s and 50s, up dramatically.

22. Pet parents Not only are people having more animals, they are also treating them more like children.

23. Pampering parents. Nurture, not discipline, is the order of the day.

24. Late-breaking gays. Those leaving heterosexual marriages for gay relationships. One study found that one in five gay men were past 40 when they had their first homosexual experience.

25. Dutiful sons. Although the bulk of those caring for elderly relatives are women, the number of men is rising.

26. Impressionable elites. Wealthy and educated people who are now more obsessed by personality, rather than issue-based, politics than their working class counterparts.

27. Swing is still king. The non tribal centrist voters will still, according to Penn, determine elections.

28. Militant illegals. In the US, illegal immigrants are increasingly taking to the streets to demand more rights.

29. Christian Zionists. Christians who support Israel outnumber Jews.

30. Newly released ex-cons.

31. Mildly disordered. Conditions such as attention deficit disorder are on the rise.

32. Young knitters. The fastest growing group of people who knit are in their teens and 20s.

33. Black teen idols. There is a new class of black super-achievers graduating for the first time.

34. High school moguls. The internet and eBay make teenage entrepreneurship easier than ever.

35. Aspiring snipers. The most bizarre fact Penn has discovered is that one per cent of young Californians told a pollster that they want to be snipers. “Stealth,” he says “is in openness is out.”

36. Vegan children. The younger generation is turning off meat in a big way.

37. Obese adults. There are an estimated 300 million obese people in the world, compared with 200 million in 1995, with all the implications for health policy.

38. The thinning thousands. There are meanwhile thousands cutting their calories to near-starvation levels in an attempt to lengthen their lives.

39. Caffeine crazies. Starbucks and Red Bull are taking over the world.

40. Long attention spanners. 50 million Americans do jigsaw puzzles, best-selling books are on average 100 pages longer than 10 years ago – and Penn believes politics is moving from soundbites to issue-based campaigns.

41. Neglected dads. The man who discovered the Soccer Mums thinks advertisers, and politicians are now ignoring fathers.

42. Native language speakers. The number of people living in households where no-one speaks English well has increased by more than 50 per cent in recent years.

43. Unisexuals. After metrosexuals, we have unisexuals, people to whom as Penn puts it “the binary gender classification system is arbitrary, limiting and oppressive.”

44. Second home buyers. Middle income earners are the fastest growing group of those buying rural retreats.

45. Modern Mary Poppinses. Well-educated, well-heeled women are increasingly becoming nannies.

46. Shy millionaires. There is a significant group of rich and super-rich who live below their means. Penn calls them Secret Succeeders and Satisfied Savers.

47. Bourgeois and Bankrupt. In America personal bankruptcy filings have climbed nearly 350 per cent in the last 25 years.

48. Non-profiteers. The number working for charities and non-profit organizations has soared.

49. Uptown tattooed. High earners are now more likely than low earners to have ‘body art’.

50. Snowed under slobs. One in ten people identify themselves as ‘very messy’ – and they are almost twice as likely to be Democrats as Republicans.

51. Surgery lovers. There has been a huge increase in cosmetic surgery and nearly half of surgeons say they have treated teenagers.

52. Powerful petites. According to Penn, ‘little women are big business.’

53. Social geeks. Computer nerds are now more sociable than their technophobic neighbours.

54. New luddites. A dedicated band who refuse to logon.

55. Tech fatales. Women spend a third more on technology than men.

56. Car-buying soccer moms. Although you would not guess it from the adverts, they are also the majority of car-buyers today.

57. Archery moms. Niche sports – such as archery – are taking over from mainstream ones such as soccer.

58. xxx men. There are 4 million pornographic websites worldwide, about 12 per cent of the total, and one in four search engine requests on an average day is for pornography.

59. Video game grown ups. Mothers over 45 are one of the fastest growing group of computer game players.

60. Neo-classicals. Classical music is growing in popularity.

61. Smart children left behind. Middle class parents are increasingly holding their child back a year, so they are the oldest not the youngest in the class.

62. The home-schooled. A growing band are abandoning mainstream education.

63. College drop-outs. Although college enrollment has gone up college graduation rates have stayed about the same.

64. Numbers junkies. Science is failing to attract enough students. There are only 77 maths students at Harvard, out of over 6,700 undergraduates.

65. Mini-churched. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, there are nearly 10,000 distinct religions in the world with two or three new ones being created every day.

66. International home buyers.

67. LAT couples. One million couples in Britain live apart – but are not separated.

68. Mammonies. In Italy 82 per cent of men age 18-30 are still living at home with their parents.

69. Eurostars. Although Americans are reproducing at a rate of 2.1 children per woman of child-bearing age, European women are having an unsustainable 1.5 children each.

70. Vietnamese entrepreneurs. Vietnam is one of the most successful exporters.

71. French teetotalers. No country has cut its alcohol consumption more than France in the last 40 years.

72. Chinese Picassos. Between 1993 and 2005, China’s premier art auction house nearly quadrupled its annual sales volume.

73. Russian swings. Russians who, in the 1990s, swung towards democracy are now swinging back.

74. Indian women. An increasingly powerful force.

75. Educated terrorists.

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posted by R J Noriega at 4:08 PM | Permalink |


2 Comments:


  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger Rob Bednark

    Thank you for posting this summary! I just read this book, have to return it to the library today, and was hoping someone somewhere on the web did a summary like this. I think your summary would be good to put in a wikipedia article for the Microtrends book.

     
  • At 12:53 PM, Blogger Rob Bednark

    Note that there's a good 60 minute video of Mark Penn speaking at Google about "Microtrends": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hifihRzPevE

     

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