Recently, we offered insight on how to reposition brands to attract millennials. This is a wise strategy for some brands today, BUT the times they are a changin’. There’s a new kid – or should we say target market – on the block: Perennials.
Gina Pell recently described Perennials as inclusive, relevant, passionate, compassionate, creative, confident people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world and stay current with technology.
Executives should get to know this inclusive, socially conscious group of all ages in order to survive the next economic downturn.
From a CEO and business owner’s perspective …
Promote On Purpose sees Perennials as people who want to do business with socially conscious companies they trust. This group gravitates toward environmentally conscious businesses that give back and place the needs of customers and employees above their corporate agendas.
Now, before you think we’ve gone all soft and gushy on you, read on. The Perennial psychographic is identified not by who they are, but on what they value. It’s not a “green movement” but a market segment that is shifting its buying decisions based on core values and authenticity.
Perennials tend to avoid inauthentic companies that prioritize stock prices, profits and the desires of stakeholders and boards of directors above serving their customer base. They look for authentic companies that do the right thing and are committed to serving customers It’s that simple.
According to Pell (who coined the phrase Perennials), “The days of targeting media and products at people based on their age is over.” While we agree Pell is on to something big here, we don’t think companies should throw demographics completely out the window because every brand is different.
Age, income, gender and ethnicity often matter when developing a business and marketing strategy. However, we DO believe many companies will struggle or even collapse if they don’t start redefining target markets based on psychographics.
A massive value shift is looming
Consumers of ALL ages are experiencing a shift in values regarding how they make purchasing and work decisions. This shift, combined with the underpinnings of a bad economy, an escalation in global cyberattacks and the advent of drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological breakthroughs, will likely lead to a convergence in the marketplace that will speed up innovation. And crush brands that aren’t prepared.
And when a convergence of this magnitude occurs, a market correction typically follows. Sure, on the surface, the economy looks great, but economists, the government and investment firms know that another market correction is poised to hit in late 2017 or 2018.
Just look at what happened when social media, cloud computing and mobile converged back in 2008-09 … recession. Had we known how those three innovations would converge, we would have made very different decisions back then. Just ask Blockbuster, Borders bookstores and Kodak, not to mention the scads of print newspapers struggling to stay afloat.
Another recession will fuel Perennials’ innate desire for conscious capitalism, and inauthentic brands will pay the price
Another market correction will feel like a tsunami to Perennials once they realize they are facing a third recession in 20 years – something that has never occurred before. They adapted twice already – spent less, saved more, changed careers, etc. – now they have to do it all over again – and more?
Consequently, Perennials will strengthen their embrace of this new value system and dispatch with corporate leaders who do not share those values. This growing segment won’t purchase products or services from inauthentic brands that prioritize record profits over solid customer service or socially conscious initiatives.
They WILL align themselves with brands that embrace the same values they do.
To learn how businesses can survive recession, check out this recent post: Innovate, Exit or Die: What Most Senior Executives Understand About the Economy that Most Americans Do Not
Engaging with Perennials today equates to business survival tomorrow
Is your business prepared to cater to the needs and social mores of Perennials? Would you describe your company as trustworthy, authentic and socially conscious?
By the way, you can’t fake it when it comes to values. Perennials can sniff out a faker miles away.
So, what steps can executives take to prepare to engage with this socially conscious group of all ages?
Step 1: Change your mindset and start thinking about your target market differently.
It’s important to ask yourself, should a major market correction occur, how would my target market’s values shift? For example, will they become more conservative? Will they make purchase decisions based on cash or credit? Dig deep.
Step 2: Change how you market your company so authenticity and trustworthiness shine through.
What marketing messages should you create that speak about what you care about rather than what you do? Remember, you can’t fake it. If your brand needs to overcome past transgressions or issues with trust and authenticity, a major corporate culture shift may be in order.
Get more tips on authentic marketing here: Truth Sells: Five Keys to Authentic Promotion
We’re prepared for the future – let us show you how
At Promote On Purpose, we help innovative companies grow sales and improve ROI. In fact, we see ourselves as an ROI delivery firm, because we focus on our clients’ top line and guarantee results.
To learn more about the Promote On Purpose Performance Guarantee and how to reposition your brand for long-term success, give us a call at 844.808.3246. You can also connect with us via the handy online form on our contact page.