To live with the masses sell to the classes!

This is an expression I first heard years ago when I started my first company. It was at a business seminar presentation where the main speaker was a well known marketing guru. I still believe the basic premise of his comment still holds true, except it’s become more complicated in today’s digital marketplace. Back then we typically shopped where our family shopped. If they favored a certain clothing store we shopped there. Retailer understood if they did a good job they would do business with each succeeding generation. Gut instinct and intuition were strong factors of successful retailers. Unfortunately today it’s about understanding how to sell to the different market segments, Boomers, GenX and Millennial. Here’s how the market breaks down: Boomers were born between 1946 -1964 are 80 million. GenX between were born between 1964-1980 represent 35 million and Millennial between 1980 and 2000 equal 80 million. The key for the future growth of most retailers is how to relate to the Millennial, who is a mobile enabled shopper seeking affirmation from their peers on social media. About three years ago I was in a meeting with very traditional men’s clothing store. We were discussing how they could leverage their customer data to attract new customers. After much back and forth their marketing person who was becoming very frustrated said, “Look every time a hearse passes the store we lose a customer and we aren’t replacing them”. This is the stark reality for any retailer who isn’t figuring out how to attract millennial customers. In my next blog we begin discussing the traits of the several segments of the market and how to attract them.