The Executive Centre Newsletter Feb 2011, Asia Pasific

Welcome Generation “G”

28 January 2011 | Uncategorized | by Michael

Welcome To Generation “G” — The Arrival of a New (and Ageless) Generation.

We’ve all heard of Generation X, Y, the Millennials and the Baby Boomers. Each group has distinct characteristics — studied by academics, and embraced, graphed, and manipulated by marketers and advertisers. But now a new group has emerged. It’s been given the name  of ‘Generation G’. Most significantly, Generation G is ageless — it is, if you will, a group that embraces each one of us. It’s bred a new consumer, customer and client. It is, in fact, a movement; a movement unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a lifetime spent building great businesses and showing others how to do that the same. And as the trend-watching experts at trendwatching.com point out, the G in Generation G doesn’t stand for ‘Greed’ — it stands for ‘Generosity’.

It shows itself in several ways, most notably in a huge surge in people volunteering and a significant ‘wave’ of people re-connecting with a basic human happiness trait — giving. This is a generation in search of a sense of purpose.

As someone put it recently, “Members of Generation Y are the first people to be born with everything, only to discover that they actually have nothing.”

At the other end of the scale we have the Baby Boomers, who have worked and worked in what was the ‘greed’ generation only to find that the money they earned bought them ‘stuff’ — stuff which when they looked around, had little or no meaning. So they too have become members of Generation G. They too had something missing in their lives.

It’s not just that people are more giving though– it’s that they want to connect with companies whom they feel really ‘get it’ too — companies who make a difference, companies who give back.

Authors John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio put it wonderfully in their new book Spend Thrift published by Jossey-Bass. “…the future face of capitalism”, they say, “will be defined by delivering value and values.”

Studies in 2010 such as the Edelman Good Purpose study quote some fascinating numbers:

- Social purpose (at 47%) ranks higher as a purchase motivator than brand loyalty (27%) and design and innovation (26%).

- If a brand of similar quality supports a good cause, 75% of consumers claim they would buy it and 76% claim they would recommend and share positive experiences about such a brand.

- 62% of U.S. consumers say they would also switch brands if a brand of similar quality supported a good cause.

- U.S. consumers’ willingness to actually promote a brand that supports a good cause jumped from 47% in 2008 to 66% in 2010.

These aren’t just US trends either. Consider:

- The new British Government launched its ‘Big Society’ initiative and as recently as December 29th

- 2010, Ministers were suggesting that people could give to charity every time they use bankcards in shops or a t cash machines. The Government even is working on a new plan to prompt people to give money when they fill in tax returns, or apply for passports and driving licences, according to proposals.

- India’s Parliament introduced a Bill to require the largest companies to donate 2% of their net profits to CSR activities.

- 8 in 10 consumers in India, China, Mexico and Brazil expect brands to donate a portion of their profits to support a good cause.

- Globally, 71% of people polled said they believe brands and consumers could do more to support good causes by  working together.

- Globally 63% of people polled want brands to make it easier for them to make a positive difference.

The authors of the Edleman study were awed by the numbers. So much so that they have suggested that a new P should be added to the traditional 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). That new P is, of course, Purpose.

Once you get that right, everything falls into place. You connect not only with yourself, but also with your team and your marketplace — effectively you become part of Generation G. It’s knowing (and articulating) what gets you up in the morning. And we’ll talk more about that in the next issue. Stay tuned …