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Sep 30, 2014    Burn Book

The Kids Aren’t Airtight

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I changed my mind & I’m proud of it. I encourage employees to tell me when they disagree & why, and honestly, how boring would people be if they never did change their minds?

I had an epiphany after asking my younger brother why he’s working four jobs. And why he stays until midnight at the $10/hr internship where they’re totally exploiting his talents. It hit me: How does this influence who/where millennials buy from and how can we expect them to be ‘loyal’ to a brand when no employer has been ‘loyal’ to them?

In this passing moment of maturity, I realized ‘hey, this is the first generation that has never known what it’s like to have steady employment, to graduate with no prospects, and to face the unknown in so many areas: profession, healthcare, the list goes on and on….’

It was a #deepthought (shameless plug, follow @rockcandymedia on twitter for more deep thoughts)

When I hear employees talking about how their former employers still owe them money, or just overhear stories of how they talk about companies they worked for that went under like it’s an everyday thing–all of a sudden it hit me: how does this affect their buying habits if they’ve never truly known loyalty like I did in the ’90s, when Trilogy was giving new cars as sign-on bonuses?

The back and forth outrage between Baby Boomers and their indignant progeny isn’t a trending topic anymore, but the sentiment of distrust in today’s newly independent consumers is still lingering.

Conventional wisdom holds that to get the attention of the younger generation, you’ve got to come out with the newest, shiniest whatever to do so, and that’s not UNtrue. What bugs me is the reasoning behind it, and that’s usually ‘Throw out a bunch of thoughtless crap because they won’t develop brand loyalty for the next decade’.

This generation came into their maximum buying power in a time of serious financial uncertainty and the highest level of distrust for the corporations that A- Employed them and B- SUPPLIED them.

Why am I not seeing more companies willing to get their hands dirty by doing some ACTUAL DIGGING into what these kids are feeling? I mean, have I gone crazy, or is that not EXACTLY our job? We study why people buy. I’m challenging myself to go past the surface, all the pomp and circumstance, to really figure out why they choose the apps they do, the services they subscribe to, the T-shirts they wear.

I’m going to say something a wise client said as discussed this topic: “I blame the business community.” (MH–this is for you). I wonder & study my brother’s & employees’ shopping habits and pose the question: “How does this influence who/where they buy from and how can we expect them to be ‘loyal’ to a brand when no employer has been ‘loyal’ to them?”

They say knowledge is power. In this arena, I feel everyone chooses to complain about this generation but they are completely missing the boat, and the opportunity to speak and ultimately sell to this generation.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control

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