Hat Tip to Hugh from gapingvoid on his post about Global Microbrands and the link to Trendwatch.com. Hugh, my corp friends that are stuck behind firewalls cannot access your site. They are more interested in your cartoons than anything.
Hugh captures the sinking feelings that are permeating boardrooms.
"BusinessWeek called it 'The Vanishing Mass Market', Wired Magazine spoke of the Lost Boys and the Long Tail. Others talk about Niche Mania, Stuck in the Middle, or Commoditization Chaos. We at TRENDWATCHING.COM dubbed it NOUVEAU NICHE: the new riches will come from servicing the new niches! And while all of this may smack of wordplay, the drivers behind this trend stretch widely and profusely, and have been building for years. So even though you may be more or less familiar with the below, it's definitely time to incorporate NOUVEAU NICHE into your corporate vocabulary AND your business strategy. The move towards everything niche should definitely rank right up there with other mega trends like GENERATION C, MASSCLUSIVITY, MASTERS OF THE YOUNIVERSE and so on. What's fueling NOUVEAU NICHE?
1. Consumers are more individualized than ever, expecting every good, service and experience to be addressing their unique and oh so important selves. Gone are the traditional demographic segments, the distinct consumer classes: this is all about being MASTERS OF THE YOUNIVERSE. Gone too are the days when, as BusinessWeek so eloquently put it; "the ideal was not merely to keep up with the Joneses, but to be the Joneses." In a NOUVEAU NICHE world, where the demise of institutions and their stifling conventions has unlocked latent hyper individualization, where it is all about 'me' (for better or worse), where being special will lend consumers status, to be mass is now every consumer's nightmare. Witness GRAVANITY, witness MASSCLUSIVITY. Even the few mass objects of desire that still manage to unite large groups of consumers -- iPods, Nokia handsets, or the Mini Cooper -- are likely to be customized and personalized the moment they leave the warehouse, website or store.
Consumers are also more experienced than ever. They expertly cut through the crap, ignore advertising, and know which quality and price levels are fair."