Since the introduction of generation branding starting with “Baby Boomers” (birth years from 1946 to 1964), there has been what I’ll can an obsessive need to brand all future generations. Why we can no longer say a child of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s…is perplexing, the fact still remains that the generation branding has become part of everyday life and we cannot ignore how this impacts businesses from hiring to brand marketing.
While the Baby Boomers and Generation X (Gen-X followed Baby Boomers) are still influential, businesses, especially restaurants and convenience stores are setting their sights on the future, Generation Y and Generation Z.
What is a Generation Y?
Generation Y or more commonly known as the Millennial Generation (Millennials) do not have a specific age group, but typically fall in the birth years of the early 1980’s to early 2000’s. It is estimated that Millennials constitute 22% of the US population.
What is Generation Z?
Generation Z is the latest generation following the Millennials. While exact birth years are not drawn on any demographic after the “Baby Boomers” the range is typically the late 1990’s to present day. Most individuals relate Gen Z as falling on the birth years of the late 2000’s and up. This demographic makes up 26% of the US population.
Why are Generation Y and Z more influential?
Together they make up 48% of the US population and are equally important. Millinnials and Gen Z are technologically savvy. They tweet, post, review, tag and share more information than any generation before them. They have grown up in a society with televisions and computers in every home, phone in every pocket and multiple sources of information at their fingertips at all times.
They rely on social media in their decision making process; however, they have higher expectations than those of the generations before them. Both generations expect value as well as good products and/or services. Causes, giving back to communities and being socially responsible are more than buzz words to these generations. They will fact check.
How do you connect with Generation Y and Z?
If a meal they had at your restaurant is to their liking, with good service and overall value, these generations are more likely to review and share their opinions on social media. This can impact future sales in a positive light. So don’t just use them to promote your business, embrace them. Market specials on social media that appeal to them. Don’t think of it as discounting or giving away profit. These generations are your marketing budget.
Develop menu’s or store sku’s based on their feedback. Post or tweet a survey that offers a coupon for participating. This not only provides your business with helpful information to control costs, it makes them feel connected to your company.
Many factors go into business decisions, this does not mean abandon the Baby Boomers and Gen X. Being aware of changing demographics, household median and education will always play a large roll in the business development process, especially in the restaurant and convenience store market. Learning to embrace and evolve with the changes will ultimately define your business success.