In the next few years, business growth may continue to be slow due to one factor that cannot be controlled – adult-aged U.S. consumers will experience an 11% drop in population from the aging Baby Boomers to the smaller Gen X. There are just not the numbers to help absorb the slowing spending and changing interests of Boomers in a congested, competitive marketplace.
So, is there hope in the wings?
Change is in the air! Have you noticed the protesting going on? Reminiscent of the late 60’s and 70’s when the young Boomers were spreading their wings and looking for change? Gen Y has started its impact, demanding change and questioning the big corporations.
Déjà vu, isn’t it?
This push of the Boomer generation then translated into the “Dream Decade” of the 80s, when money was flowing, businesses were booming. There were lots of Boomers with high consumerism. However, it was followed by the “Nightmare Decade” of the 90’s when corporate downsizing and offshore solutions started to shift business opportunities.
At the turn of the century, it was all about the burgeoning Internet and how to get online and do business online, but still Boomers drove growth. Now, in the second decade of the century, we have recession, high unemployment and a smaller market of consumers in Gen X to keep the purchase cycle high enough to make the returns businesses need to survive.
Funny, looks a lot like the pattern is shifting with the large Gen Y cohort coming into their own. It will take two decades of pressure from the smaller Gen X market and then, we will have another Dream decade where Gen Y will make more of an impact.
Prediction? The brands that will survive are the ones romancing and retaining their base of customers/members while preparing for the later part of this decade. From 2015 through 2020, a huge shift may be taking place where young people drive demand again as did the Boomers. They will look for consumer goods in terms of clothing as they preen to capture the attention of mates. They will buy homes, appliances, and other needs for the family building phase. And, they will look to trusted brands that give them the best deals as well as service that meets their needs, however individual these are.
Marketing ideas to embrace the youthful exuberance is key – providing the good deals, the choices and the new directions that the Baby Boomlet generation demands.
How are you making the most of being a trusted brand? How are you keeping in touch with those current customers/members who are providing the most profitability right now?