Ryan Campbell

Posted on April 28, 2011 by Ryan Campbell 1

The Gen C Meteor has landed. Now what’s the impact?

Nielsen wire recently posted a very interesting article on the Generation C (Gen C) segment (teens and 20-somethings).  The article provides further psychographic details and some interesting perspectives for creating content that will resonate best for this connected audience.

As a Marketing firm, segmentation perspectives such as these are very interesting as we engage different clients at varying levels from product innovation to marketing campaigns.

This Generation C article got us looking at some of our clients’ strategic planning through the filter of Gen C to better predict the introduction phase of a launch.

In many instances over the past 20 years, technology has clearly been the major catalyst for shortening the product life cycle curve (introduction, growth, maturity, decline).   But what segmentation queues and historical examples might help us better predict dynamics around the introduction and growth phases?

RIP Webvan

The category of online grocery delivery (Webvan, peapod, etc.) has gone down in history as one of the biggest flops on record.   And perhaps its time may never come, but the impact of Generation C can be seen pretty clearly in recent category success stories. Do you launch and become Facebook or a GeoCities (an original community site, now gone, that launched in 1994).   A Groupon or a coupons.com (the market share leader in coupons, in business since 1998, but without the meteoric rise of Groupon)?

The examples above certainly exert a level of innovation that explain their success. In each of these cases, a very useful dynamic from the planning perspective is lifecycle timing predictions – for either its success or failure – in audience adoption.  The timing for an innovative product or even marketing campaign is a strategic variable that makes or breaks its degree of success.

Our research is currently looking at what studies are being done around the influence and predictive power of Generation C.  Is the Generation C segment simply the best leading indicator for early adoption, or are their behaviors strongly influencing-up generations (Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers).  If confirmed, the latter could help lead us into new weighting attributes for predictive modeling and scenario planning with our clients.

We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions and if you think Generation C is an important element for informing strategic planning.

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  • http://www.innerscope.com Bill Stephenson

    Ryan, interesting thoughts. I had not heard of Gen C. However, at the recent ARF conference in NYC, Joe Tripodi, CMO, Coke, said that one of the things that keeps him up at night is relevance to the younger demographic. Many of our own clients express similar fears and rightfully so.

    Innerscope is using neuroscience-based technology to help brands measure & optimize messaging/package design/websites, etc that connect emotionally. Our emotional brain drives as much as 95% of all behavior and is the gatekeeper by which ALL stimuli must pass. In today’s hyper-cluttered world, and given the media consumption habits of Gen C, brands must work smarter, and harder, to gain attention.

    Bill S.
    SVP, Innerscope