As a parent you begin to realise that your sons and daughters will not see life the way you do.
This morning my wife, love her, offered me my latest discovery, protein chocolate Weetabix. Now, for years, I’ve eaten my Weetabix with a sprinkling of sugar and some cold milk and I have not deviated from crunching my way through it. I didn’t even know there might be other ways to enjoy this rather plain cereal. Clare my wife, ever the instructor, (we homeschool our children), delegated breakfast making to my eldest daughter, Bella. As I was on the computer, she asked ‘If I have sugar on my Weetabix?’ and I said, ‘Only a sprinkling’.
Then she brought it to me, love her. To my surprise the bowl of cereal was warm… it had been microwaved. I asked Bella, ‘Why is this warm?’ She looked at me with the disapproval only a teenager can muster, ‘What, you have it cold?’ Self righteously, we stared each other down. Then the penny dropped. Neither of us were right, this was about preference.
Now, I could go on a customer discovery journey and ask her how she came to that conclusion, (for those interested it was Clare’s father that showed her) and dig down to the merits of why and find a very valid reason.
You know you can create anything you want, but its usage will vary. People will use what you have created differently, according to their situation. The customer ultimately determines the success of your product or service.
So, as of today, I know there is another way to eat Weetabix, and as I reflected at this new found phenomena, I remembered vaguely that my mother, love her, sometimes warmed our Weetabix for us in winter.
I think that one key to being innovative is bucking the norm and another is taking inspiration from the past. For example, glass bottles making a comeback in milk delivery as they are more sustainable, a throwback to yesteryear.
You know that generations really do think differently. From schooling to politics, purchasing habits to brands they love, each generation sees life somewhat differently and knowing the differences makes all the difference. Generational psychology helps us to understand the way people see the world and when we work together we can be even more innovative.
Just to recap…
Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)
This is a nod to the baby boom that happened after the war where the economy grew and prosperity increased following dark times of conflict. People realised that life was to be lived and, with the freedom that was being experienced for the first time in a long time, along came the babies. Having been bought up by the war generation who had taught them discipline, Baby Boomers began to test traditional values and push boundaries. Rock and Roll was the voice of the new generation.
Generation X (1965 – 1976)
With a shift from one to both parents working to get by, and children returning to an empty home, the ‘Latchkey Generation’ came along. Generation X found their value in brands and stuff as a reward for successes which has led to them being known as materialists. The birth of MTV, music videos and blockbusters set the tone for their culture and helped them to break free further.
Generation Y (1977 – 1995)
Quite simply, the vast majority of millennials were born close to the millennium. They grew up in the age of tech and social media. A concert for them is a crowd full of a million camera phones. Living life through a lens, they want to major on experiences more than the preceding generation who bought stuff. This generation began to question working for money, as they wanted to make an impact on the world around them.
Generation Z (1995 – 2010)
These are the children of generation X, ‘Zoomers’. In essence, they are even MORE tech-led than the millennials. While millennials got used to new tech, from desktops to tablets, Gen Z lived online. The internet was their right, forever connected, always on, and with Generation X pursuing success, the online world became a more influential voice to the Zoomers than that of their parents. As we understand more about them, and how they have been scarred by the excesses of the past, the divorce battles and work life balance of their parents, we have seen this generation becoming more conservative and more spiritual.
Generation Alpha (2010 – today)
No, this is not a world full of Andrew Tates and alphas fighting for supremacy. These are the children of the millennials. While the picture of this generation is far from clear, the outlook formed by their education is wildly different to the world I grew up in. Diversity and inclusion are already core tenets and technology is an absolute divine right.
This all leads me to my point…Building brands is more than just creating graphics, it is about understanding the audience you serve. That’s why our brand building process incorporates Belief, Belong, Best and Beyond. People still want to believe in something greater than themselves, such as fighting for a country or the environment. People still want to belong, whether it is to a football club or political party, and they do want to be the best, whether it is rebuilding a family name or disrupting a sector. Lastly, they still want to leave a legacy, whether it is to make Britain great, write songs to celebrate life with or give their children a future brighter than their own.
The generational conversation continues to unfold, presenting an opportunity to collaborate and celebrate our differences. We can learn from each other and embrace the challenge of the human race for this moment in time.
At Cre8ion, we build brands that communicate to the generations. Our workshop will instil Belief, create Belonging, using the best Best methods and go Beyond to stand the test of multiple generations. We’ll help you to maximise your company’s potential and create something to be proud of.
As I sat digesting the new taste of my morning cereal, I was reminded that life may look and taste different as new generations emerge but sometimes it can be the step into something new and provoke a positive change of direction.
Embracing a new brand direction may be uncomfortable but I can assure you it will be the difference between being forgotten or being remembered in this fast-paced world. Attention can be won quickly but an authentic brand takes that attention, holds it and ultimately creates the traction you need to scale your business with both impact and income.
It takes all generations to shape a nation and understanding them is where Cre8ion will help you connect, collaborate and create a lasting impression.