Marketers are constantly looking for the next big segment of consumers to gain whatever advantageous angle they can. Whether it’s the Baby Boomers valuing individual choice, Generation X and their results-driven desire, or Generation Y who just craves change, marketing is largely about who you’re trying to reach and why. But now that the age of the digital consumer is upon us, the ability to tap a certain segment can actually be made more difficult, despite the tools available. Have you even heard of Generation C?
Sure, consumer data is just about everywhere you can draw from — we can know where people are, what they like to eat, and who they know or what they buy. More so, we can figure out what they believe in. Now unlike ever before, marketers can get to the core of someone’s values, understand their emotions, and sell to them. And yet what is most surprising is this: Age may no longer be the tell-tale sign of a target group as once assumed.
Meet, Generation C
The “C” stands for creation, curation, connection, and community — four of the key values this segment offers up as the main driving forces behind their decisions. At face value, these essential values seem a bit nebulous, but really, it’s possible they’re more targeted than we may realize. Also known as the “YouTube Generation,” these consumers are a group of whom
- 40% rarely watch TV
- 67% upload photos on social media
- 85% consider peer approval before buying
- 91% sleep next to their phone
Ultimately, Generation C consists of influencers (large and small), helping to guide industry decisions, especially with things like traditional advertising. This is a group that consumes digital video by the billions — without personalized, original or relevant information, it’s completely ignored.
So how are brands to react in light of such a choosy Generation?
1. Be transparent:
If people are already talking about your brand, it inevitably means you’re being scrutinized. Getting involved in the conversation shows that you hear what people are saying, and actually take pride in addressing their concerns. With both positive and negative reviews, tackling the conversation head-on and remaining open to discussing what’s at hand is a solid way to show you’re only human.
2. Take a stance:
Generation C consumers want to see that you’re on their side, so choose your issues wisely and don’t be silent. Part of that may involve alienating some of your consumers, but ultimately it will build a much deeper trust and brand identity in the eyes of your target audience. Just be sure not to go overboard and to pick your battles wisely — sometimes a controversy isn’t what it appears to be without some appropriate research.
3. Genuine Storytelling:
Your product may be great, something anyone could get behind — but that means you need to support it with real stories or attempts to ground the brand as something human. Any chance to highlight true accounts of people using the product, being affected positively, or just exemplifying your values is cause for celebration! Here, it’s not so much about talking up a product but more or less adding to what’s already there.
4. Offer Personalized Value:
Generation C needs to know they’re on your mind, or at least that’s how it appears. Through creating shareable content, whether educational, funny, or inspiring, reaching your consumers personally is a top priority. Personalizing content provides trust on an authentic level, something that serves as the foundation to any proper brand.
The moment your efforts start feeling fake to Generation C, the moment they look elsewhere. Traditional methods may work to a certain extent, but the YouTube Generation won’t settle for anything less than what they think they deserve. (Authentic) content is king!