Three key consumer groups with over $10 Trillion of annual buying power will determine your company’s sales success in 2014. Financially pressed by our slow growth economy they are keenly focused upon value. But informed through social media, they have a growing awareness that there are costs tied to their product choices that impact them and their loved ones beyond the price sticker. The following are proven best practices for winning their business based upon marketing both value and values:
The cool with a purpose millennial generation
The millennial generation was born into climate change and they have begun their careers (and families) during the Great Recession. They are also early-adopters of all things digital and mobile. MTV, Google and Facebook were just some of the pioneering digital products launched during their teenage years. They are now the largest population group in the U.S. and they are also the most racially diverse. By 2017 they will exceed the boomer generation in annual buying power.
The millennial generation seeks to do business with companies that are cool with a purpose. If you have to ask what is “cool” then you are not. But examples of businesses that are cool include Zipcar, Chipotle and Patagonia. What these companies have in common is their product innovations in sustainability.
Zipcar provides millennials with a cost-effective alternative to owning a car that also has aligns with their search for ways to lower their environmental impacts. Driven by the millennial generation view that digital technology is cool electric cars are projected to represent 25% of ridesharing vehicles in 2014!
Chipotle does not have a value menu. Their sales strategy built around affordable good food has won the millennial generation as loyal customers. They connect with the millennial generation by posting high quality YouTube videos on the company’s sustainable sourcing of food that have drawn millions of views.
Patagonia blazed a new advertising trail by asking their millennial generation customers to “don’t buy this jacket.” Their millennial generation customers loved this message and are the driver behind this retailer’s achievement of $600 million in annual revenues.
Concerned Caregivers are moms and dads that shape their purchases around the wellness of their loved ones. Led by women, this consumer group has $8 trillion of annual buying power. Michele Obama is a classic example of a Concerned Caregiver. She is representative of the Concerned Caregiver’s leadership in promoting healthy diets and exercise as solutions to our national obesity and diabetes epidemic. The following Michele Obama’s statement should be at the forefront of the business and marketing plans of every company seeking to sell to the Concern Caregiver market segment:
“We have to remember, we’re the ones that set the demand, so if we ask the food producers, the restaurant chains, and the companies that sell us food and market to us, if we’re changing that demand curve, they’re going to follow us.” Michele Obama
The wellness focus of Concerned Caregivers is not just on food. They are activist consumers across a range of health issues and products. Two websites I follow that provide real insights on their concerns and issues are Care2 and MomsCleanAirForce. When I first met Randy Paynter, President of Care2, a couple of years ago they had 16.5 million members. Today they have almost 24 million members. They are growing members at an average rate of approximately 300,000 per month. That is the customer acquisition potential from successfully connecting with Concerned Caregivers.
Sustainable business leaders
Sustainability is a rapidly growing B2B business sales opportunity. Most of America’s major corporations have adopted the greening of their supply chain. Sample companies including Ford, Dupont, General Motors and Walmart.
About the author
Bill Roth is an economist and the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marketing and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues. Follow him on Twitter: @earth2017