So many times I meet folks who cannot or choose not to know their customers. You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, many times it is broken and business owners choose not to fix it. And, better yet, complain about slow business, slow days, low sales, and in some cases, no real enthusiasm about your product or service.

We all know the value of working with the younger generation.  Just look around when churches or organizations don’t engage young people; they run the risk of closing. Engaging is the easy part, changing to meet their needs is very, very hard for most.

Every generation has unique characteristics.

Baby Boomers- born between 1946 -1964. This generation is gradually leaving the workforce and income may be dropping for many, so buying trends change for them.

Gen X- born between 1965-1980. These folks are independent, ambitious, flexible and family-centric. This is a financially powerful generation.

Gen Y or the Millennials- born between 1981-2000. They are the largest generation in the work force. They are also the fastest growing generation of customers in the marketplace.

Gen Z- born between 1994-2010. Generation Z is beginning to graduate from college and enter the workforce as we speak.  Generation Z represents the 23 million Americans born between 1994 and 2010, ages six to 22 years old. They have their own set of values, preferences and abilities that companies simply cannot ignore if they want to remain competitive in today’s business landscape.

1. They like working in the corporate environment. They enjoy working with others and especially like learning from their peers.

2. They need flexibility, they like working for a company that embraces their family issues.

3. They prefer in-person communication at work but also believe in a strong social media presence.

4. They prefer regular feedback as opposed to an annual review.

This is a trend that we are seeing at some of the biggest companies in the world, including GE and Adobe, where they have exchanged their annual performance reviews for regular feedback programs. As a result, they have increased both the retention and productivity of their employees.

Here’s what we know…. a happy employee who is understood and valued makes for many happy customers. Why not try marketing to Gen X; you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Carol is a Motivational Speaker, Executive Coach, Fundraising Strategist, Social Media Quarterback and Small Business Advisor. She is Lehigh Valley’s sought after consultant who assists organizations with results driven growth. Her strategies can be easily adapted to a for profit or non-profit environment. Carol specializes in high impact leadership, million dollar fundraising, smash the box marketing, and creating word of mouth epidemics for her clients.  Visit Carol’s website at and “LIKE” Carol at Caroltalks on Facebook. Carol S. Ritter, Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia and past board chair for St. Luke’s University Hospital Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice. 


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