It seems like yesterday my child was still sitting on my lap while watching cartoons. Though it saddens me to be helpless in slowing the clock hands of time down, I find new pleasure hearing his future thoughts and plans. Today he is a fine young man ready to enter this next phase of life. The business guy within me can already see the emerging marketing campaigns geared specifically in his direction. For those risk-takers, I offer up great kudos. They are the ones who realize today’s casual spending youths are tomorrow’s growth sustainers.
In most industries, targeting and forecasting comprise the foundation for potential spending, both planned and unplanned. Actually, there is a certain excitement when we peel the various layers of potential back from two current generational sales onions.
As this new age demographic begins to venture into the world, they too have a certain uniqueness to their expectations. Like all of them prior, each has its own special identity. And with identity come targeted marketing decisions… even in these trying times. It is fully acceptable in the business world to simultaneously examine the now while also planning for the future.
For instance, the home buying market is more robust right now, than it has ever been. Demand has outpaced inventory exponentially throughout the US. People are purchasing and furnishing now and doing so in an effort to adjust to this new unfolding world of home offices, second homes, and more comfortable, and highly functional living spaces for the future.
Though difficult for first-time owners, Millennials and Gen Zers currently, it is prudent to maintain forward strategic thinking whether they have purchased a home or not. There is intent here to make it happen at some point in the future. Eventually, it will happen for them—as studies have shown homeownership to be a large part of their individual long-term plans. They will be buying. Will you be ready to define the 'what' which comes with their purchase in terms of what lies under their feet?
Scores of people are prioritizing new living arrangements. Even if a new home is not in the immediate future, the current climate has forced an awakening towards finding a happy balance between current and future planning. Younger folks are on the move currently, either back home for a bit, or settling for something smaller to wait things out. Clearly, there exists a niche opportunity here somewhere to market to these “transitional” consumers. Have you considered them yet? They are still significant movers and shakers in this fickle economy.
“Though purchases for larger items such as homes may still be out of question, living spaces are very important, as purchases for personal items still rank high.“
In recent times, most marketers have focused on the Millennial generation—for good reason. They spend billions in the United States each year and have long been known for a willingness to cash their dollars in for various luxury items. The prior generation known as the Baby Boomers were far less likely to make many of those same purchases. Currently, this Millennial group still offers up tremendous opportunities for retail growth. Interestingly, they place as much loyalty on relationships and social causes as the brand name itself. Student loan pressure is a significant problem too, as they adjust to a new world of debt. Regardless, they have a unique willingness to spend; but it must be on their terms. To understand them is to target them. What plans are you making directed squarely at these shoppers to entice a first purchase or to invest in a loyalty program with them?
On their heels, however, is the age 23-and-under group known as Gen Z. It is very important to consider them now also. Like their predecessors, Gen Zers have unique purchasing habits and the power to spend their dollars where they see fit. They are the up-and-coming purchasers for tomorrow. What appeals to them may not mix well with what currently is being sold to others. Have you begun adjusting the bullseye in their direction yet?
Like so many other young folks in the age group, they have been able to take advantage of this Covid pause and save up some extra money after paying down their bills. A reality that surprisingly seems to be somewhat common right now. There is no mistaking; these types of behaviors are potential growth opportunities, even in these craziest of times.
Though purchases for larger items such as homes may still be out of the question, living spaces are very important, as purchases for personal items still rank high in terms of importance. Could it be they are looking today too as they plan for their future? A prudent business is considering all possibilities with this shopping segment as well. A dollar spent loyally today, may reap future business tomorrow in terms of larger spending.
The savvier manufacturing and selling communities are aware these forms of opportunity can fully translate into sales transactions. Both the short and long-term planning timelines need to be addressed relating to these generations now seemingly on the move. People are shifting their lives. They are adjusting to the times. And with shift comes the potential for sales and product rotation. Potential now to react, pivot, and seize new growth opportunities lurking right around the calendar corner.
The area rug industry should be taking notice specifically of these generations for their spending potential and behavioral trend uniqueness. Like any well-crafted marketing strategy, these generations alone should make the rug industry begin to pay attention as part of its next formation for targeting demands and consumer preferences geared specifically toward their direction.
Typically, the magic sauce for any business is to understand just who the customer is walking through the door. You actually know who they are, perhaps simply have not considered them yet. In these two unique cases, as a business persona, I would make it a point to quickly celebrate them! Those fresh faces looking back at you currently while making their initial purchases may be the reason for your sustained smile in the very near future. Embrace them, understand them, and sell to them.
If not you, someone else certainly will.
Aric Morrison’s book “Adversity Rockstar” is available on Amazon or visit: adversityrockstar.com.