Saturday, April 18, 2009


I recently finished a book called Microtrends by Mark J Penn, CEO of Burson-Marsteller, and at one time as advised former President Bill Clinton, then Senator Hillary Clinton and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

In 1996 Penn identified "soccer moms" as a critical group that helped re-elect Clinton to the White House.

And in his time of looking at numbers and trends, Penn believes it's the microtrends, or under-the-radar groups that although may be small in population, could have a significant influence on new products and services, or influencing new policies.

For example, there's the working retired, those who have retired, but pick up new jobs because they like to keep busy and not because of the money; "southpaws" or lefthanders are growing in population and there aren't enough products catered to them; and people in relationships but would rather live separately than together.

So when I came across this Mini Cooper with Hello Kitty splashed all over it in front of the BMW store, it made me wonder -- is this a new trend?

There are many Asian women in their 20s and 30s who love the Sanrio character and buy up all kinds of accessories from toasters that burns an imprint of the cat's face on toast to Hello Kitty underwear and toilet bowl cleaners.

So do Hello Kitty fans like to drive Minis? Or is the Mini the car Hello Kitty likes to drive?

It's a possible microtrend watchers may want to track...

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