In the age of the digitally connected customer, we’ve never had more opportunity to connected personally with customers and create ‘fans’. But where to make the big bets and how to learn to do this without breaking the current model?
It takes a test market…
As Brian Solis put it recently, there’s a new generation emerging that isn’t about age, nor just about social networks. He captures it beautifully as “Generation C”:
There is a new group of consumers who are far more connected than everyone else and they’re unlike the traditional consumers we’ve come to know over the past. Your first guess might be that I’m talking about the Millennial. After all, I think they’re born with a smart phone and a Facebook account. What I’m referring to is something altogether bigger than any demographic. This is the dawn of Generation-C, where “C” represents a connected society based on interests and behavior. Gen C is not an age group, it’s a lifestyle.
We have our test market.
We’re now two weeks past the TUCON 2012 main stage, but the image that sticks with me is the one of a shopper reading a brand label on the left and painting his face in team colors on the right. What makes people ‘fan’ enough to paint their face over a sports team? Because the team knows them personally? Not necessarily.
Connection. They feel part of something. They feel the need to both cheer and defend their object of loyalty. They’re emotionally attached to something enough to sometimes put logic aside and embrace it regardless. Political candidates know this and certainly the Oakland Raiders know this support.
So when I take Brian’s comments and the image of the fan, I see an enormous opportunity for Generation C to be served, but as Brian Solis says, “It isn’t everyone.” But it is enough of a sample set to see into the future and begin testing out the way to create fans in a world connected by, as Brian puts it, “Smart phones, tablets, ultra portable laptops, and whatever’s next…”
Generation C is the vanguard of what’s coming next. Learning to find, draw in and connect with that group is the path to being well ahead of the marketplace. How many chances do you get to do that??