Microtrends III

This is now the third part of the summary of Microtrends:Surprising tales of the way we live today by Mark J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne.

The Young Knitters: 20 million people in America are knitting, the fastest growing group are teens and 20-somethings. There are knitting weblogs and websites, thousands of MySpace members affiliate with knitting subgroups. Four percent of them are men. Besides, there’s a trend among youth towards make-it-yourself products. Nike, for example launched a Make-Your-Own-Sneaker Kit.

High School Moguls: The Internet and eBay make teen entrepreneurship easier than ever. In 2000, 8 percent of all teens (1.6 million) were making money over the Internet. These figures are constantly rising, of course. According to YoungBiz Magazine the top 100 entrepreneurs in America aged 8 to 18 in 2001 earned a total of $ 7 million in profits.

Aspiring Snipers: 1 percent of young people in California said in a phone poll in 2006 they wanted to join the military to be a sniper. In the past, being a fighter pilot was high on the list. All of the Aspiring Snipers were urban blacks and Latinos. Sniping is a mainstream business. Dozens of gun companies and makers of night vision equipment flock to sponsor Sniper Weeks, there are conferences with military and law enforcement personnel from around the world who gather for lectures, presentation and trainings.

Surgery Lovers: This is about aesthetic medicine: cosmetic procedures from skin-recurfacing to liposuction, nose jobs and more. Surgery Lovers crave the latest and greatest procedures to give them a boost of youth.

In 2004 1.2 million cosmetic procedures were performed, 1 million on men. Very often husbands and wives are coming in together for cosmetic enhancement. What used to be only for older, wealthy and white women is spreading to everyone: younger, middle-income and non-Caucasian people.

LAT-Couples: These are long-term, monogamous couples who live in the same city but in separate residences (living apart together). That’s in Great Britain, 1 million couples, 3 in every 20 people aged 16 – 59, in Canada 10 percent of the 20+ people. They’r either young and don’t want to give up their newfound independence or older people who don’t want to make inheritance matters difficult, or in-between-people who have children from a prior relationship or aging parents living in their homes and do not want to complicate matters by introducing a live-in-lover or spouse to that family agreement.

The next (and final) post on Microtrends will present some international trends and conclusions.


Lydia said...

A-mazing! I think it's great that young people are rediscovering making their own clothes. Sounds like a backlash against the shopping culture that has prevailed for over a decade. The kids of today will probably have much more in common with the generation that experienced hardship in the Great Depression here and war in Europe than they will with Boomers.
The sniper cult, now that's a scary thing...

francessa said...

Lydia, yes, agreed on the backlash to shopping culture! I've always waited for something like this!

Among the 75 trends described there are some that sound downright frightening, like the Newly Released Ex-Cons or the Educated Terrorists. But all in all, there are much more positive trends, I think (or hope).

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