Every new generation in the past 50 years has been called, or has claimed, to be fundamentally different from the oldies. This tends to cause a bit of friction with parents (unless they’ve given up ‘parenting’ at an earlier stage) but notably not so much with grandparents because, and I’m guessing here, they’ve seen it all before in their own children.
The big deal about change
Change is the only permanent force in our lives. So what? Change is a constant, and yet we will draw people’s attention to it again and again saying: “look, this is different!” or “I’m unique!” The millenial generation is no different in its uniqueness 😉
One example of what is different for today’s students is, by the time they graduate, they’re all over Facebook already. If you’ve spent years on Facebook it seems a bit of a waste to start from scratch on LinkedIn.
Some months ago, Brian Solis interviewed the Co-founder/CEO of a platform called Identified.com. Viewing the information on the Identified blog I recognized a lot of stuff from my own career path (involving change). Perhaps you recognize any of the following?
- Study, no job.
- Another study.
- Job doesn’t match expectations or strong points.
- Switch to different kind of job.
- Part-time study and job.
- New job, research or internship required by study.
- Keep job, build resume and ‘rest’ after graduating.
- New job, tasks shift.
It was about time someone figured out that people might like to re-use parts of their ‘personal’ network in their new career, and that they might find the contacts in their mailbox less useful than their contacts on social media 😉
What happens if I do this?
Young people living their lives ‘inside’ social media is just an example of what has changed – but the underlying issue of ending up in a place that doesn’t match your talents or ambitions (interests) is not exactly new. In fact, part of ‘growing up’ has been finding out more about yourself by trying stuff out.
Marketing trend or change?
Marketers’ strong point is spotting trends and giving them ‘big’ names. The actual change taking place may be less exciting (too slow or insignificant). One marketing action is giving generations different names and trying to find out what matters most to each generation in order to sell them more stuff.
Sometimes marketing seems a bit like calling your two-month-old kid “Godzilla” because he/she’s got a big voice. It doesn’t make your kid bigger but it sure sounds awesome. I checked Twitter recently, which never fails if you’re looking for Godzilla marketing trends. Here’s a couple of ‘trends’ I found (Godzilla doesn’t hide):
- “going real time to right time” Rachel Happe Tweets #defragcon
- “moving from transactions to engagement” @alanlepo
- “After B2B and B2C the future is P2P” (can this get any worse?? I hope I made this one up…)*
My main conclusion is that there’s only one underlying change: companies are getting more interested in customers and trying the personal “customer-centric” approach.
- Because they can. They have the tools: social media.
- Because they’re afraid to miss out. Their competitors are doing it too.
- Because we, their customers are changing – we’re getting used to relevant content, and to replies within a day or so (preferably faster).
Change is the only permanent force in our lives. Treating every day as being identical to the last just because it looks identical on the surface is downright dangerous. One day there will be a stalled car just behind that bend in the road.
The big deal about change is that it is life as we know it.
* B2B Business to Business, B2C Business to Consumer, P2P Person to Person… they didn’t manage to squeeze F2F in – maybe I ought to thank Twitter for their 140-character limit 🙂
That’s it for this post. If you want to add your insights please add them in a comment. I’ll respond to any non-spammy comment about ‘the big deal about change’ or my writing skills 😉