If customers stop buying it’s their fault? Nope; it’s time to fix your business and make it relevant to a new generation of consumers.
3 Ways to Fix Your Business to Make It Relevant to Millennials – or Any Generation – of Consumers
As seen on LinkedIn: “Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebees,” by cooking at home (how dare they!) and ordering delivery or eating quickly in other types of restaurants (the nerve!!); on a related note, they’re also killing the idea that dinner dates are a good way to get to know someone new. They are killing movies by binge-watching shows on Netflix. They are killing organized religion. They are killing workplace staples like the 9-5 workday (thank goodness!) by demanding more flexibility and autonomy. Also on the list of things Millennials are threatening to make extinct:
- napkins (yes, you read that right, they using paper towels – how uncouth!)
- soap bars (it’s about time…)
- face-to-face interaction, sex, relationships AND marriage
- wine corks
- diamonds and
- department stores
Where do those violent Millennials find time for all that carnage?
Look, a new generation of consumers is nothing new. Saying that Millennials are killing any industry or industry segment is like saying baby boomers killed the outhouse or Gen X killed the vinyl record (and record store, for that matter).
Change or die has ever been the mandate for successful companies in any industry. Here are three steps you need to take to fix your business and stop blaming Millennials.
1 ADMIT YOUR AGE
If customers or leaving or prospects are opting for competitors, it’s because they are more relevant. It’s time for you to take a good, hard look in the mirror and admit that the signs of aging are there, making your business less attractive to younger consumers.
2 REDISCOVER YOUR RELEVANCE
Your customer’s needs of a few years ago aren’t their needs now. Their lives have changed. If they came to you as young adults now they’re older with households and families. If they came to you as 30 somethings now they’re 40, or 50, or 60. If they came to you as working professionals now they’re nearing (or have already retired).
If you find that your customer base is dwindling and younger consumers aren’t stepping in where those who have evolved have stepped off, you need to rediscover your relevance. If your marketing, products, services or some other aspect of your brand isn’t getting the job done, it’s time for a face lift or some serious body work.
3 REJUVENATE YOUR BUSINESS
This isn’t even about making your business relevant to Millennials or younger consumers. It’s about making your business relevant to its ideal client types. If it’s been a while since you defined your ideal buyer type, do it again. Modify your previous profiles or throw them out and start all over again.
Find out what makes your ideal buyer types tick.
- What gets them excited?
- What type of messaging do they respond to?
- What do they look for in brands they do business with?
- Where else are they shopping?
Study the competition, especially the competitors that are succeeding with your ideal buyer types because they’re doing something that is working.
- What are they doing differently than you?
- What do they offer that you don’t?
- What is their customer experience like?
- What are their sales people like?
- What additional value do they provide?
Study non-competing companies that are winning with the people that represent your ideal clients. What are they doing that’s working so well with the same type of customers you want to attract?
It might be that nothing is wrong with your business per se, but your branding is off. If so, a brand facelift might be the right approach to take. Remove signs of “aging” and smooth out the “wrinkles” in the customer experience. Change your style. Remodel with a fresh coat of makeup.
If the problem goes deeper, more serious body work might be required. Your organizational culture could need an overhaul. Maybe you have a leadership problem. Maybe front line employees need more support, training or the wrong people are in place.
You might also like: Are you really treating employees like your best customers?
Your product and service line up might need to be worked out and worked through. “Lose weight” by modifying, replacing or getting rid of no-longer-relevant products, services or menu items. “Tone up” by evaluating and improving the customer experience at every touch point, based on what you learned truly matters to your ideal client types.
If business is falling off it’s not the customer’s fault. Stop blaming Millennials or anyone else and fix your business. The only one that can make your company continually relevant is you, and the only way to do that is to continually make sure your business truly matters to its ideal buyer types.
We would love to be part of your story.
From helping you define ideal buyer types to discovering what makes them tick and writing a marketing plan that will make your business relevant again, we can help. Reach out to us for a free information-discovery consultation.