How Does Generational Change Affect Brands?

The generational change is built on a digital basis, despite supposing a shift in characteristics and environment, the last three generations have a common denominator: the Network.

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The generational change is built on a digital basis, despite supposing a shift in characteristics and environment, the last three generations have a common denominator: the Network. They are born practically connected, their socialization habits depend on the Smartphone, even their professional experience through rooms full of computers.

How do these changes affect brands?

A constantly moving target does not cease to imply a constant rethinking of campaign strategies, or an internal critique that reinforces the corporate image. If we look at data from this year, we see how 75% of Generation Y does not trust brands, while 68% of Generation Z believes they are responsible for the impact of their advertising content on society. Both generations are positive about the future but with nuances that distinguish them, since the Z relies on the fact that 85% of the jobs of the future are still to be built, many of their jobs have not been created yet.

Two apparently opposite generations in consumption habits coincide in their vision of brands: what disappoints is not the product but the message, which does not adapt to what these segments of the population expect or demand. To put the focus on these issues was held a few weeks ago at the Complutense University of Madrid the First European Meeting of Child and Family Marketing (EFY & KMS), organized by the Chair TMKF, which wanted to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the current marketing paradigm for children, adolescents and families.

Molding strategies according to the generation we address is one of the main objectives of current marketing and for this we need to go to five basic points: essence, experience, exchange, sensitivity and engagement. Concepts that should be applied in global strategies, in addition to the channels that predominate in this type of public such as social networks, socialization platforms for generations that prefer YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat to traditional media. Also, focus efforts on improving web pages is the basis, taking into account that at the moment both Generation Z and Generation Y prefer to buy in store than online.

Currently, 50% of children create their first account on social networks before age twelve and 30% use messaging applications. Consumer-brand relational models evolve at the same time that the generations, to ignore the change weakens the influence in a hyperconnected, fast and instantaneous society. In this context, the Generation T (born from 2010 to the present) knows the world through a digital screen, the contents that do not circulate in these ways do not reach it. Children who were born less than ten years ago have a relationship with technologies that no longer only involve two senses, sight and hearing, but also a third, touch, and hence share common characteristics. Although with the previous two generations the strategies in network were improved, with this last one they must be placed in a protagonist plane, their doubts before the marks happen through virtual answers.

In the coming years a significant change in the philosophy of the companies is expected, which will adapt their communicative methods to a perspective of totally different publicity, to a public that chooses for collaborative consumption. The Touch Generation does not represent a challenge for the future but for the present, the relational models have already turned to a total dedication to the digital. The treatment between these consumers and brands always passes through the network and is a link between the sale of products and the transmission of values. Thus, we see how generational changes do not leave brands impassive, their characteristics remove the foundations of campaign strategies, their constant connection represents the basis of a marketing that is already post-millennial.