Since I have started coaching and appearing publicly, I have realized that much too often relation to past experiences is made what makes wrong interpretation of what is standard for many and for the whole wide world. Funny enough, but what is standard for one person, not necessary is for other. The same is with generations and offering fit for the Todays consumer. As books on competitive advantage would say – either you produce few things for wide audiences, or something special with high margins for selected few, still we have to target audience and market.
Everyone is familiar with a saying – ‘when I was younger, the grass was greener and sun was shining brighter’. The paradox is that that grass is still green and sun is shining bright however our attitudes, understating of the world, experiences have changed and what seemed to be normal in past is no longer part of daily routines today.
Giving an example, Amazon business model back in 90s revolutionized the way how people order books within days and months following the launch of amazon.com. Customer focus and needs has been the core value. Today, Amazon has tapped into many business areas still driving on customer focus as a core value. And customers like to choose – service provider that is accessible, easy to use and understandable. Therefore, there is no reason to complain if some of the businesses are pushed out of the business because they are providing their services to shrinking audiences.
Millennial spending habits are different from ones by baby boomers and other generations and millennials have become the world’s most powerful consumers. According to Financial Times, millennials are the biggest global generation — and their choices are upending businessfrom the US to China. It means that service providers, product producers must change as most likely their products are designed for baby boomers.
Money is another area what has evolved from banknotes and coins, to account balance and internet bank interface to being a value in your mobile phone. Cash is no longer a king for Chinese while shopping in China or going abroad to other 70 countries if Alipay is used. And just to be clear, many payment solutions see themselves as ecosystems not only payment facilitators as it was pointed out by Alipay in Money 20/20 conference this week. But there is a greater shift happening in minds of millennials. Money is no longer a material value but rather numbers that you obtain and drain – exchange for some other goods and services. It means that also emotional attitude towards indebtedness, cash flow and value attached has changed – there is not physical attachment to money. As a consequence millennials have different attitude towards responsibilities that comes with having a mortgage, lease or buying on credit. Other generations might refer to saying on ‘greener grass’ above but for others – this might be the new normal.
Therefore, if we want to be in the business also Tomorrow, better start working on solutions with Tomorrows audience in mind.