Those in senior marketing roles today most likely can you remember life before smartphones, broadband and possibly even before the Web.
Such folks (me included!) were raised with thoughts & perceptions of the world shaped by local, Industrial Economic conditions.
The fact that you’re reading this blog means you’ve made (or are making) the transition to think and understand our new Global, Connection Economy environment.
Gen C (Generation Connected – born from 1990 onwards) will be the first generation to grow up with always on, internet connectivity being normal – they won’t know a time otherwise.
They are Connection natives.
Gen C are now 25 (or younger) but over the next few years will soon grow in buying power and this shift in purchasing behaviour will either make or break brands.
For example, for Gen C:
- If you’re not online, you don’t exist
- Acute individualisation/curation/personalisation is important. Niche of niche is normal for them – even being niche is not individual, authentic, or hardcore enough. Mass marketed products/services don’t apply to them.
- Connection is paramount – they build relationships by being inspired from and sharing inspiring digital content
- The ‘Why’ matters – amidst the frenetic pace of life, constant messaging and technological advances, their BS detectors are finely tuned. They are looking to be taken on a journey that matters (and so they can even inspire others to join them on such a journey).
Senior marketers of Industrial Economy brands still have a small but closing arbitrage window where their target market may not necessarily be Gen C and no change in marketing strategy is required.
However the New Normal is looming (if not already here) for all brands.
For Industrial brands to win from here on, they will need to make the difficult, DNA altering decision to reverse their position to become the Best for the Least for the Most (perhaps the poster child of such a brand reversal being Herman Miller).