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From the former trendmaster of Target—how the power of contradictory trends can help reframe your business strategy
Contradictions are everywhere! These days we wear Old Navy with new Gucci, Hanes T-shirts with Armani suits, couture Chanel with vintage denim. Suburban mansions are filled with flea market finds, and we show off our Michael Graves teakettle from Target on Viking stoves in our gourmet kitchens that might even include cabinets purchased from IKEA.
When Robyn Waters began her career in the late 1970s, a trend was defined as something that everyone wanted at the same time. Fashion and business magazines proclaimed what was "in" and what was "out." Back then, it was fairly easy for companies to determine the next big trend, and ride it all the way to the bank.
In today’s marketplace the "next big thing" has been replaced by a thousand next big things. And in order to discover what consumers are hungry for companies need to discover what’s important…to them. Today a cookie cutter approach no longer works. Waters explains that for every trend there’s an equally valid countertrend.
In The Hummer and the Mini, Waters explores the new trend landscape and urges companies to stop looking for the one right answer in their industry. There are many good ways to design products, develop a line of goods, merchandise a store, or craft a marketing message. You can thrive by selling huge cars (the Hummer) or tiny ones (the Mini). You can turn something old into something new and desirable (the Vespa) or turn a commodity into a luxury (In-and-Out Burgers at the Oscars). You can even customize a product designed for the masses (personalized postage stamps) or sell less as more (Minute Clinics).
Through lively tales of influential trends and countertrends, The Hummer and the Mini will show you how to live with the contradictions, make the most of the inconsistencies, and embrace the paradoxes of business as a source of fresh ideas.