by Emily Enger
In today’s world of assumptions and stereotypes, it’s often hard to separate fact from fiction. For example, what seems to be a new trend might just be one observer’s limited scope. Or a purchase may fall through for a reason completely different than the one you anticipated. For a business, a mistaken assumption can actually mean lost money as you try to fix problems that may be nonexistent. Research is a highly important step in any business plan.
Generational issues is one of those areas filled with assumptions and stereotypes; it is also an area that is difficult to fully understand. Thankfully, there are organizations dedicated to researching generational divides, so that businesses can build their marketing tactics on a more solid foundation. One of those organizations is the Center for Generational Kinetics. This center looked at the following question: Do Millennials only buy products from their own age demographic?
It’s an understandable thing to look into. Millennials often talk about current celebrities on a first-name basis, as if they’re buddies who derive identity from these famous strangers in their age bracket. A Millennial’s most utilized items – especially social media and other technology – is, for the most part, invented by other Millennials. But does this mean Millennials won’t buy items from anywhere else?
The good news is that the research came back with a blatant negative. You don’t need to invent a way to shed years in order to attract young customers.
“We find there is actually no correlation when it comes to how old you are to how old your customers are,” said Curt Steinhost, a certified speaker for the Center for Generational Kinetics. “It only has to do with whether you will adapt to the buying preferences of another generation.”
You don’t need to be a Millennial to attract Millennials to your business. But you do need to be adaptable and willing to intentionally market to those outside your own personal demographic.
“For the first time in workforce history,” said Steinhost, “we have four distinct generations working side by side in the workplace together, from youngest to oldest more than 40 years of experience!”
The key, it seems, is to hone your marketing strategy. Diversifying the age of your employees is still a good idea to help you understand other points of view, but making your business’ brand sharp, updating any technology used, and focusing on markets you lag behind in would be money better spent