9 years to go…
By 2020, they will make up 40% of the population in the U.S., Europe, and the BRIC countries, (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and 10% of the rest of the world — and by then, they will constitute the largest single cohort of consumers worldwide.
Who are they? Generation C — connected, communicating, content-centric, computerised, community-oriented, always clicking. As a rule, they were born after 1990 and lived their adolescent years after 2000. In the developed world, Generation C encompasses everyone in this age group; in the BRIC countries they are primarily urban and suburban.
Generation C individuals are typically realists and materialists. They are culturally liberal, though not necessarily politically progressive. They are upwardly mobile, yet they live with their parents longer than earlier generations ever did. Many of their social interactions take place on the Internet, where they feel free to express their opinions and attitudes. They’ve grown up under the influence of iEverything — iPods, iTunes, iPhones.
The way in which this generation operate will transform many major industries. The most affected sector will obviously be telecommunications. Other sectors likely to greatly change include healthcare, retail, and travel.
There is already evidence of some of the changes that will be brought about by the coming generation of workers and consumers, and increasing speculation about the path of future change. Few businesspeople, however, have fully grasped the implications for every industry. The arrival of Generation C will have an impact comparable to that of the Industrial Revolution, but it will take place much faster. For business owners, it is no longer sufficient to plan for the next few quarters, or even the next few years. Companies that aren’t willing to determine their strategies for the longer term — 10 to 15 years out — are putting their businesses at risk.
The world of 2020 will be set and governed by the members of Generation C, as they mature and grow in numbers and power. How businesses choose to cater to them will determine their success — and even their ability to survive — in the coming decades.
Are you ready for Generation C?