Trends: Recognize, Analyze, Capitalize
by Tom Peters and Martha Barletta
I had enjoyed the first book of Tom Peter's "Essentials Series," Design. I looked forward to learning how to recognize, analyze, and capitalize on trends. But Trends let me down. The book's title does not describe its content.
Instead, the book should be called "Big, Hidden Markets," for Tom Peters and co-author Martha Barletta describe the two biggest consumer markets in the Western world: women and retired people. Forget the whining that women don't earn as much as men, says Mr Peters; statistics show that women account for 80% of spending in US households.
Of the remaining 20%, women are often in the background making the final choice. Consider car buying. I tend to pick out a few models based on our current needs and my expectations for quality. But its my wife who makes the final decision as to the specific model, color, and some of the features. Then I go in to make the purchase.
Now, I tend to avoid malls, but I do venture into grocery stores, electronics stores, and the occasional clothing store. I am self-employed, so I go any time of day, and it has always stuck me how women make up the majority of customers. Equal rights are not reaching the supermarket aisle.
Along the way, Ms Barletta describes the female mindset in making purchasing decisions -- useful for males to understand the frustrating habit of picking out things to buy, and then placing them back. Whereas a guy usually figures this pair of pants is good enough for covering up his legs, the woman asks, "Are these slacks the best?" -- the best for a variety of parameters, such as quality, value, fit, length, color...
The final 1/3 of the Trends book describes the other big hidden market, empty nesters. With the daily expense of children reduced, parents have much more income to spend on other things. And with age comes a greater demand for convenience; at 53, I no longer care about the "best" points program; I now chose the airline that provides the most comfort for the price of an economy seat. (Currently, that would be Air Canada for international flights; WestJet for flights within Canada.)
Part way through this book, I was disappointed that I wasn't going to learn how recognize, analyze, and capitalize on trends in the CAD industry. Instead, this book is for consumer goods firms who need to understand that the 18-35 range is the worst to be marketing to, since they have the least disposable income.
Published in 2005 by Dorling Kindersley Limited
You can purchase this book through Amazon.com: Trends: Recognize, Analyze, Capitalize