The Idea: Tony Bartell, COO of GameStop, recently shared: “A new wave of consumers is quickly becoming the most powerful economic force in retail, and it is causing retailers to refine plans on how to meet the needs of this new generation. The New General Market consumer, influenced by the Millennial mindset, is not just a new consumer that must be understood, but the core influencer of tomorrow’s shopping experience.
The New General Market describes an accumulation of cultures, ethnicities and demographics aligned against common needs and lifestyles. This consumer requires being “talked with” – which is the heart of
co-creation – as opposed to “talked at.” They are also wary of companies that stereotype, lack purpose and fail to innovate.
A group of leading health and beauty brands and top retail executives have recently shared ideas on successfully appreciating the New General Market consumer. These are ideas that are not simply meant to elevate your business, but will help you win hearts and minds of the new consumer.
- Diversity is the default today, not the exception. Minorities are already the majority in most large cities. The New General Market is inherently social, mobile and disproportionately influential. They are diverse and urban; they value authenticity, creativity and community.
- Culturally competent organizations recognize their consumer’s values, attitudes and lifestyles, not just demographic profiles. Advertising stereotypes is cancerous for a brand. Failure to acknowledge social commentary and cultural norms appears insensitive. Listening to and emphasizing consumer needs and benefits is how you stay culturally competent.
- A committed group of brand advocates are your best brand influencers. What people buy is more and more indicative of whom they are, so it’s essential to create engaging content that incites action with your top brand enthusiasts. In other words, loosen your grip on your brands and let consumers help define and build the brand.
Great brands build loyalty through emotional connection and love. Being vulnerable is being exceptional, embracing the desires of the New General Market.
It is time to challenge our old norms about brand building and businesses in general. Do you dare?