Innovation Inspiration: Meet Generation C

09 Oct 2013|jhall

You’re out for your morning run and you see a family of deer, a rare sight in your neighborhood. Your first thought is, “I need to Instagram this.” It’s lunchtime and you fancy somewhere new: you go to FourSquare, Yelp, Urbanspoon to see what restaurants your friends recommend.

You’re looking for a new car, so you ask your Facebook network for recommendations. You’re in a store and can’t decide between skinny jeans or straight: forget asking the sales associate for help, you’re busy taking photos of yourself and posting them to your networks for reactions.

This is what it means to be always connected, always having an audience. Every moment of your life is share-worthy and decisions never have to be made in isolation. This month we’re exploring Generation C – people who are highly Connected.

Who is Gen C?
According to Google research, “Gen C is a powerful new force in consumer culture.” Gen C are people who “care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community.” While 80% of Millennials are made up of Gen C, it’s more about a mindset than an age group. This group has been responsible for boosting YouTube views to a billion due to the fact that they “tune into YouTube throughout every part of their day” via multiple devices.

How to reach Gen C
Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, shares how mobile commerce, social networks, smartphones, tablets and always-on, real-time connections will change business as we know it. From mastering “multiplex marketing” to “hyper-personalization,” marketers will need to develop new ways to approach Gen C.

Transforming the Shopping Experience
It’s no surprise that mobile has impacted the retail experience. For the always-connected consumer it means a non-linear path to purchase and depending less on in-store sales associates.

A new influencer model
Gen C seeks to build communities and as a result, celebrity endorsements are being replaced by “a more authentic generation of Gen C transactional-media entrepreneurs.”

Always connected, even in the grocery store
CPG companies now have more opportunities to “walk alongside their shoppers in real time” and explore innovative ways to sell. NatureBox is successfully targeting the always connected shopper and bypassing traditional store distribution.

Revolutionizing Education
Many Gen C-ers have never known an ‘unconnected’ life – which means we are seeing dramatic changes in Education. From submitting video essays with their college applications to collaborating with classmates on Facebook, Generation C is forcing Education to transform.

Widespread influence
From travel, to healthcare to fashion, Generation C digital prowess and connectedness will breathe new life into established industries.

Targeting the young Generation C
In order to reverse declining sales, Build-A-Bear is leveraging technology to enhance the experience for connected kids.

The shape of things to come
Read Booz & Company’s “The Rise of Generation C” report on the implications for the World of 2020.

IBM’s Gen C Infographic
Discover how marketers connect with the connected customer.

Get in touch if you’d like to hear how Added Value can help you with disruptive innovation.


Written by Jonathan Hall, Managing Director, Cheskin Added Value.

Image credit: Anatoliy Samara/Shutterstock

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