Many of us may have been looking at the internet generation as they grow up and been wondering what the impact will be, when they become the buyers in the companies we are selling to or the people we sell directly to. Each generation has had its own trends – the hippies of the 60s/70s, the punks of the 70s/80s and it goes on.
I just read an interesting article in ‘Marketing’ that refers to the Millennials (now in their teens) being less bothered about owning things, than the previous generation. This article generalises of course, but there are trends – that spread to those in their 20s and beyond. They don’t need to buy books – they ‘rent’ them. The same with videos and ‘Netflix’ – you rent not own. In London, you don’t have to own a bike, you can rent it and drop it back. And now you can do the same with cars. Other examples mentioned: “Easy Gym offers no contract, low cost, pay as you go gyms and T-Mobile last year launched its no annual service plan “UnCarrier” for customers.”
What businesses need to be preparing for is how to make sure that their brand caters to this trend. This is a generation that does not want commitment, wants to be different and to not follow the norms – and it may even want more flexibility in the workplace. The “Don’t blend in” slogan from Vauxhall’s adverts. We need to be preparing for how our businesses can help people stand out, be different and provide flexibility and freedom. It’s not something we want to hear, as it goes against the ideas of customers repeatedly coming back for more. But maybe, through adopting this approach, they will choose to come back for more – just in their own time and on their own terms.