USA Today: Review: Tome tracks our trends, from tattoos to snipers

October 2, 2007

Tome tracks our trends, from tattoos to snipers

In a world where even the ring of a phone is individualized, it makes sense that the megatrends movement sparked by a best seller 25 years ago has now been sliced and diced into microtrends.

One man behind this shift to the niche is pollster Mark Penn, CEO of the PR firm Burson Marsteller and a chief adviser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. You have him to thank for the term “soccer moms,” a group he identified as pivotal swing voters while working for Bill Clinton in 1996.

In his decidedly macro-size book, Microtrends, Penn and co-author E. Kinney Zalesne have waded through polls, studies and surveys to ferret out 75 new pockets of humanity — from Extreme Commuters to Sun-Haters to Shy Millionaires. It’s subsets like these, comprised of as little as 1% of the population, that are shaping the future of society, Penn hypothesizes.