The Clustered World by Michael J. Weiss, Little, Brown and Co., 323 pages, $29.95.
Author Weiss, who wrote The Clustering of America, introduced the general public to the marketing field of "geodemographics" -- demographics based on "neighborhood types" that group people of similar backgrounds, economic status, and personal preferences. In The Clustered World, the 40 U.S. clusters of his first book have grown to 62, and Weiss adds some discussion of international data.
New Eco-topians and Others
Clusters are identified by evocative names, such as Smalltown Downtown, New Eco-topians, and Big Sky Families. Each cluster has clearly defined demographic characteristics. For example, Big Sky Families are predominantly white midscale rural families (median household income, $45,200) who live in single family homes, have blue-collar or farm jobs, and tend to vote for moderate Republicans. Smalltown Downtown residents are older singles or young families who live in multiunit rental housing, have both blue- and white-collar jobs, and vote for moderate Democrats.
Demographics give marketers preferences for products and lifestyles. Big Sky Families, for example, enjoy overnight camping, photography, and gardens. They are not interested in electric juicers, burglar alarms, espresso makers, or online shopping.
Clusters are not limited to the United States. Weiss briefly examines some of the clusters in Europe as well as some of the common clusters that are found in more than one country.
Marketers, and even anyone interested in profiles of society, will find the data here fascinating, It will be up to the marketing departments to find ways to use it.