Smart businesses have always had to accommodate changing tastes, generally exemplified by new, younger generations. What has changed now is the nature of the new generation,
(PRWEB) November 29, 2012
The venerable department store Macy's has recognized the crucial necessity of marketing to Millennials. The move is an important recognition of the economic power wielded by the 80 million North Americans between 18 and 30, according to CampusAuction: Bid for a Better World (http://www.campusauction.com).
Macy’s recently unveiled 13 new brands and extended 10 other brands in an effort to reach the 30-and-under demographic (Link). Marketing professionals who have been recognizing and warning about the current and impending power of Generation Y, the news of Macy's brand revamp does not raise the question “why?” but “why did it take so long?”
“Macy's deserves credit for recognizing the extraordinary power of the 18 to 30 year old consumer group, both now and in the future,” says CampusAuction CEO Eyal Lichtmann. “However, they do not get extra credit for crystal ball-gazing. This consumer demographic already controls $400 billion a year and is poised to become the most powerful spending group in human history within a few short years.”
What Macy's has concluded is what every business must confront and acknowledge: Business success today and in the future depends on appealing to today's Millennials, he says.
“In some ways, there is nothing new in this. In other ways, everything has changed. Smart businesses have always had to accommodate changing tastes, generally exemplified by new, younger generations. What has changed now is the nature of the new generation,” Lichtmann says.
Today's young generation differs from all previous consumer demographics in significant ways. An important factor in this difference is technology. It is not merely the fact that technology has made it possible and simple to compare prices and product attributes; young consumers are making demands of corporate citizens on the lines that no generation has made before. Changing relationships between citizen and government, and between business and customer, have altered the expectations of customers. It is no longer exclusively about product quality and price. These remain very important, but an added and very significant component of moral responsibility has been added to the expectation mix.
“The current generation equates the power of business almost equally with the power of government to make positive change in the world,” Lichtmann says. “Therefore, consumers are more likely to vote with their wallets, confident that their purchasing choices will influence the greater world, not merely their wardrobe or living quarters.”
Macy's has recognized the importance of the Millennial generation through a five-point action plan for sustainability, among other corporate social responsibility undertakings. These may appeal to customers of every age, but they have a particular resonance for young people. Their latest foray into the Millennial demographic focuses more on style than political substance, initiating clothing lines that are influenced by tattoos and other fashions that will change on a monthly basis, seemingly acknowledging that this generation’s notoriously short attention span extends to fashion as much as to entertainment. All considered, though, Macy's is striking the balance that all businesses need to face: young consumers demand great products, great prices and will patronize businesses that are committed to the same things they care about. “It's a tall order for any business,” says Lichtmann. “It is, nevertheless, the new reality.”
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