Strategic Design | marketing & branding thoughts by Nick Rice

Dynamic marketing, branding & design strategies that span the gap between business & creative.

Gen Y is driving technology consumption

According to Forrester, North American 18-26 year olds are integrating technology into their lives faster than any generation previously. They spend twice as much time online as baby boomers. Almost half have broadband at home. Whether its blogs, IM, or social networks like Facebook, Gen Y is driving technology consumption.

It's amazing how much this trend is changing the face of America. Pay phones are gone. Travel agencies are very hard to find. Land line phone subscriptions are falling. To most folks in the blogosphere this is not new news. But I'm still surprised at how many corporations are not embracing the shift.

Loyalty is the key to long term growth. The Web 2.0 trend is only exposing & amplifying what has always happened. People have always recommended products the love and bashed products they hated. Technology has enabled those local conversations to happen globally. It has created massive tribes of like-minded consumers with the power to shower explosive growth on a company or tank it.

Now more than ever you must make products/services that customers will love, not just be satisfied with if you want to grow. Keeping your customers happy is more important than short term Wall Street-driven changes. Be more competitive by beating the competition. Not by simply cutting price.

You should leverage technology to enable conversations. There's still room for traditional market research, but you can learn a lot by paying attention to what is already being said. Before you had no idea what college kids in Idaho loved about your product without expensive focus groups that were automatically filtered because they're staged research initiatives in a controlled setting. Now you can just tap right into Bebo, MySpace, Flickr,, xanga, etc... The list goes on and on.

Here's the key; take advantage while you can. Every corporation on the planet is heading down this same path. If you don't beat them, all you'll hear is corporate marketing crap that is coming not the users themselves.

technorati tags > forrester, strategy, customer, loyalty, marketing, technology, integration

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