Throughout history, there have been only a few times when entire generations follow a different path than their predecessors in business. In most cases the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree–many approaches to business and sales strategies remained consistent over long periods of time.
Right now is one of those rare moments. The world is changing, as I’m sure you know. Moore’s law says that technology performance doubles every 18 months; this evolution is shifting business strategies to the extent that the younger generation does business very differently than older generations.
Whether you are buying a new car, buying promotional products or communicating with your friends, you’re doing it differently now than you did 20 years ago.
My 3-year-old is a wizard on my iPhone. My 7-year-old is more proficient than me on her iPad. Today’s college kids can’t imagine a world (or a workplace) without the internet.
Those of you with kids who have entered into the workforce are nodding your heads. Here’s why:
*assumes technology introduced in 1995
As those 1990 kids (which this article calls “Generation C”) start to enter the workplace and expand their corporate footprint, this industry will go through a facelift worthy of Joan Rivers. The promotional products industry will change more in the next five years than in the previous 20. The “legacy business models” (distributors and service providers) that are not investing in the right type of technology and developing more integrated marketing that leverages social platforms—those that have a status quo business strategy–will lose market share at an increasing rate.
As a professional in this industry, you will be in one of two camps: you either acknowledge the change, or you think business will stay status quo and these younger generations will fall in line. If you are the latter, you can stop reading here. But if you believe the technology-enabled generation will require a different strategy, keep reading.
Tips for Succeeding in a Generation C World
- Don’t fight the change. The sooner you embrace this shift, the better you will be positioned to survive (and thrive).
- Answer the hard questions. In five years, with your current strategy, will you and your business be better off or worse?
- Make the investment. Either through hard cash or strategic partnerships, find a technology investment that you’re confident will give you a competitive advantage.
How are you preparing for Generation C clients?
These three videos will give you a look at how Boundless is embracing and investing in the future.