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  • Guido Falconi

Generational Shifts



Have you sat down and thought about how the world will change after this whole pandemic is over? I am not talking about how we will never hug each other again or how the word “viral” will completely disappear from marketing.


I am talking about the world will truly change. Whether we like to think about it or not there will never be such thing as normalcy again. We will eventually go back to our daily lives but the scars left behind by this pandemic will not go away. There may be good things that come from this, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, and all those “essential” workers will hopefully be paid a living wage after this considering they kept society from collapsing. Maybe we will examine our broken healthcare system and overhaul it giving more people access to it. Then there’s the bad. Many people will come out of this with no jobs, and unfortunately many will not come out of this at all.


But whatever is waiting for us after this one thing is certain, it will be a new, different world. I have outlined some of the ways I think things will be different and how you can prepare your brand for this in the months and years to come.


Baby Boomers Will Learn How to Use their Phones


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Being one of the groups most susceptible to COVID-19 boomers have been forced into their homes for fear of their health. One of the biggest changes we will see is baby boomers going digital. In the era of social distancing, boomers have been forced to learn how to use technology.


We all know an old person who has trouble working their phone, but due to social distancing guidelines boomers, for the first time in their lives are being forced to look into food and grocery delivery apps, social media to keep up with their families and even video apps like Zoom and FaceTime to see their loved ones.


Even after the pandemic is over boomers will still be engaged in all of these social apps. What this means is that boomers will no longer be unreachable through online marketing, they will now be connected to this brand new world many of them ignored before.


This is of course great news for marketers since it has the potential to change the online marketing landscape and the demographics of social media by bringing new potential customers.


Gen X will go Through a Reimagining


For Gen X this is the third economic crisis they have seen in their adult life. This will likely prompt them to rethink their life choices and many will change their careers whether by choice or not. This means we will see hardened veterans entering new fields looking for new opportunities.


So, how do you take advantage of this shift as a brand? Well, a new career typically comes with new equipment like a new wardrobe or new technology. So if you are a fashion brand you could use this opportunity to boost your sales by offering sales geared towards these new job seekers.


Alternatively, many Gen X business leaders might look to pass the torch on and retire feeling they’ve done enough with their lives and wanting to try new things. This, of course, will not happen overnight but it is a possible development to keep in mind. Retirement brings with it new adventures, like traveling. And with that new possible marketing opportunities for travel agencies, fashion brands and restaurants.


Millennials Will Buckle Down


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I am going to make a bold prediction about my generation, I predict most Millennials will gravitate away from freelancing and towards more stable full-time jobs. We have always been the adventurous type, willing to take risks, sleep on friends’ couches and work crazy hours. It is because of our innate adventuring spirit we are willing to try it all and live from project to project.


Exciting as the freelancing life might be, I believe Millennials will abandon our bohemian-like lifestyle for the corporate life the same way our Boomer parents abandoned the hippie lifestyle before us. Of course in our case it will because we experience 9/11 as children, lived through the Great Recession as young adults and now that we are finally establishing ourselves have to live through the worst pandemic the world has seen since 1918.


Millennials will change their way, but not the way they look at the world. When advertising to them community and advocacy will remain important and so your brand should do all it can to maintain that image. Millennials will also not forget the brands that stepped up for their employees and their clients during this time, so keep that in mind as you make your business decisions going forward.


Zennialls Will be Zennialls


How Gen Z will react to this pandemic is still a big question mark to me. The Oldest Gen Zers are barely 24 years old, this means most of them are still finishing high school or starting college. Entering the workforce in the middle of a pandemic cannot be easy, Millennials entered the job market around 2008 and suffered for nearly a decade only to be hit by a Pandemic after.


I am rather excited to see how Gen Z reacts to this new world. The only prediction I can make is that they will be more careful when taking on student loans, nobody is going to take giant loans willingly for some time.


We will not see the true effects on Gen Z for a good 10 years. It took a decade to decipher all the economic and psychological effects the 2008 crash had on Millennials, I think this will be the case with Gen Z since they have not established themselves in the job market just yet.


Conclusion


I am excited to see how accurate my predictions are,


I am also excited to see what the American office looks like after two months of people working from home. Will businesses see that people working from home can be just as efficient and thus make coming into the office optional? If so, would this mean businesses will scale down their real estate? Will office attire be loosened since we have seen that people can be as efficient in yoga pants and shorts as in suits?


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