Retail Generation Gap – Why Premium Brands are Stuck: A Special Report
There’s a generation gap in retail and it is stunting the sales of your premium and luxury goods.
As a retail consultant and expert on motivating sales teams, I was the keynote speaker at the Retail Customer Executive Summit this past week. Afterwards, we heard a lot about technology and how to really “connect” to customers – mostly via technology…
But what that reliance on technology means to one of the most creative generations, one that celebrates diversity and individualism, is strict adherence to manufactured corporate teamwork.
Is that short-sided? I think so…
At a time when the Boomer generation – the largest – is becoming older, we are the ones most desiring a personal shopping experience. Yet what we often find is one rooted in a depersonalized and technological customer experience.
One where an employee’s tablet or smartphone pulls up all the back-end information about a customer. And while the employee may truly be able to help the person with all that information, what the Boomer frequently sees is “some kid texting” – not taking them seriously.
Which gets our Boomer dander up. Big time. And my generation will tell you and their friends of any slight of our egos because…well…we’re not only the largest but also the most vocal. Our parents, the Silent Generation would put up with it – not us.
This is only a symptom of something far greater…
There’s a generation gap growing across the retail landscape and its causing several premium brands to be stuck in neutral but not for the reasons you’d think…
The Silent Generation (1925-1945)
My parents were from the silent generation who grew up in the Great Depression, when there was no work. No hope. No future. Their parents were constantly worried about money, so they made sure to get the most out of their purchases like socks, jeans or food; they found most things could be recycled a number of times to get the most out of them.
Boomers have been on an upwardly mobile race against the Joneses since we were born. We were the generation who struck out on our own at 18, or got the education, or played the corporate game, or started our own business – we strove to do better than our parents. That meant mainly owning more than our parents.
Right or wrong, we’re the generation who lived out the housing/retail/Wall St/mortgage bubble on the backs of our homes. My generation grew up to believe Excedrin would cure a headache faster than any other, that Green Giant frozen vegetables were perfect, in short, that you got what you paid for.
We were the ones who got the hand-me-downs from parents raised with nothing.