Are You Ready to Serve GenY?

For years, the “baby boomers” represented the focus of much of society – from television programming, to advertisers’ focus to social media commentary from journalists and academics. But, today there is a new generation that is rapidly gaining attention and focus from these groups.Generation Y – born between 1977 and 1995 – are a close second to baby boomers in volume ; about 76 million compared to 77 million boomers.

Also known as Millenials, Generation Next, Generation Net or Gen O, Gen Y is very much a “different breed,” representing both opportunities and challenges.

Billie Blair, Ph.D., is president/CEO of Change Strategies, Inc., an organizational change management consulting firm in Temecula, Calif. “I don’t think any group has fully connected with the millennials,” she says. “Our corporate clients constantly bemoan this fact.”

Connecting effectively with Gen Y and the millennial generation “is tricky.” You can’t just create a Facebook page — you really have to take a well-rounded approach. The challenge is compounded by the fact that most of us are not them. We’re older. We’re of a different generation. We’re not really connected. What to do? Make connections.

Having employees that represent this generation can be a good start. But if you don’t, there are other ways to connect. Reach out to GenY members of your target market communities – either through “old-fashioned” routes like live focus groups, advisory boards or hosted events – or through one of the myriad of online forums available. Join some forums and just listen and learn. No different than any other audience, actually – except for the fact that this one is tending to be overlooked. There is significant opportunity out there for businesses who work proactively to connect with these emerging consumers.

Still, being “hip and trendy,” engaging in social media and connecting through popular culture, isn’t all that is needed to truly connect with customers of the future. The old rules still apply – provide your audience with products and services that meet their needs and exceed their expectations. That will work every time.

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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