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It is better
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John Sumser

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Next Generation II
(June 04, 2003) - 
Consumers in their early teens through their mid 30's are on the leading edge of a demographic wave that will wash over the world during the next two decades, transforming the culture and economy.  This group was molded by the social revolutions of the past two decades and is far different from the post-World War II generations of the Baby Boom and the Baby Bust.  At the same time it is hard to capture their attention and most companies are using the same tired methods and failing miserably at their tasks. The key to marketing to this generation is to build brand awareness while understanding that brand relationships require constant revitalization.

While the idea of Employment Branding has begun to take a modest foothold, it will become powerfully important as the members of Generation Y (don't ever call them that) begin to take their place in the workforce. Although they represent a very large group of people, there are not enough of them to fill the seats in the workforce (as their elders retire and die). Competition for their attention and loyalty will make the efforts associated with bulk baby boom marketing seem trivial by comparison. This group will force HCM into a proactive market driven stance.

Here are a few resources to help you understand the group and its dynamics. We'll tell you right off that the information is primitive and far too general. We understand little about how this "baby bulge" will impact the next five to ten years. The one thing that is certain is that they are in short supply.

  • Good General Bullet Points On Gen Y from a presentation called "Tested Strategies for Reaching the Headphone-Wearing, Itchy Mouse-Fingered, and Frequently Paged"
  • The Sociology Section of The Word Spy contains key definitions of demographics notions like huppie (Hispanic Urban Professionals), Generation D (the all-digital group) and cablinasian (The word Tiger Woods uses to describe his mixed ancestry, which includes Caucasian, black, American Indian, and Asian)
  • Meet Gen Y
  • Alvin Toffler, Future Shock II "Our education system is a second-rate, factory-style organization pumping out obsolete information in obsolete ways. And it's not just that they haven't gotten the science books updated. They are simply not connected to the future of the kids they're responsible for."
  • The impact of demographic shifts on Training
  • Gen Y doesn't read the newspaper
  • 21st Century Diversity "As for recruiting on campus, many companies are recognizing the increasingly diverse student population and implementing specific initiatives to take advantage of this broader applicant base by attending career fairs and developing specific recruitment campaigns."
  • Marketing to Gen Y. The same issues apply in Recruiting and Retention
  • The Generation Gap "Our generation gap is a generational war, a war between cultures, in the same way that Muslims and Christians war. It is the friction between people who do not understand each other, the same friction and frustration felt by businessmen and tourists traveling to completely different cultures."
  • Tips About American Generations for Indian Companies an international perspective
  • Can We Achieve Equity When Generation Y Goes to College? is a 112 page report from the Educational Testing Service that includes detailed statistics on the composition of college populations over the next 10 years. It may be the foundation of an assessment of the total college labor pool.
  • An older article on marketing challenges in Gen Y
  • Harris Poll On Top Brands "the reputation of, and what you know about, the company that makes that product or service" is "very important."
  • Managing Gen Y
  • Gen Y tastes in Home design (the first real spending as adults)
  • Growing Up Digital, a website based on Don Tapscott's book 
  • Gen Y Retention Strategies
  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense on Gen Y Recruiting and Retention initiatives.
  • Finding the right perspective for communicating with Gen Y. Guidance for newspaper editors.
  • Federal Opportunities from the Gen Y perspective. ""The best thing is probably that sense of community where we are all working, regardless of our job titles or what specific tasks or duties we are doing, we are doing something good for this country."
  • Suck on Generational Warfare
  • A Japanese firm sends 23 Million Email Messages a month to young cell phone users.
  • Visit LiquidGeneration (May not pass some corporate filters) Ask yourself, "Have you ever seen a job board that appeals to this crowd?"
  • Born To Snack (PDF File) an executive summary for a larger report, useful for the depth of categorization and interesting trend projections.

- John Sumser, © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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