Whether you are thinking of a new product to introduce or to find market opportunities for your products, it is important to study social and business trends. New social trends transform how goods are built and sold. Business opportunities grow out of the changes in the social order.
I just got a copy of the book “Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes” by Mark Penn and it is proving to be a very compelling read. The book identifies relatively small patterns of behavior in our culture, which the author calls “microtrends” — trends that have great influence on business, politics, and our personal lives.
Some of the trends identified in the book include:
- Stay at home workers — whether running their own businesses or working for companies — need a way to build community in a collaborative kind of way. There is also a market for teaching people how to run and participate in tele-enabled meetings.
- As more people work from home, opportunities arise in ensuring home office safety, comfort and design.
- For stay-at-homers, there is a need for better health insurance system and retirement savings than the current employer-based one.
- More and more dads are actively raising their kids, but unlike the Soccer Mom, are ignored by marketers.
- Potential for Daddy-and-me relationships are untapped — e.g. more dads changing diapers, spending time with kids, buying gifts for the kids, and contributing more to household chores. Marketers remain focused on the Moms.
- 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.