Who Will Buy?

Christina Lewellen
July 28, 2009
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

Survey Results for 07/29/2009:

Are changing demographics affecting your business?

I don't see it producing any major changes.

  

 

60%

Yes, we're seeing a significant impact on all aspects of our business.

  

 

24%

It's impacting our marketing efforts, but not much else.

  

 

16%

 

Ok, so I agree that changing demographics may not have a noticable impact on your revenue streams right now, but we may all be singing a different tune in the not-too-distant future. Increasing homeownership among minorities and the entrance of the so-called Millennial generation into the marketplace will, mark my words, have a noticable impact on your business. The Gen Y, or Millennial generation, is barely out of college, let alone thinking about making improvements to their primary residences, but this generation is slated to have far more purchasing power than me and my fellow Gen Xers. They're not buying windows right now, but they're already forming their buying habits.

A customer experience blog points to, conveniently enough, three C's as the primary drivers of Millennials' purchases: Community, Convenience and Cool. They're willing to pay more for convenience, they rely on community feedback and referrals to make purchases, and they'll always bite for the cool factor. Can this translate to windows? That's up to you, I guess. I think it would behoove you to give it a shot.

Forbes Magazine believes these young hipsters are here to stay and points out in an article that their spending power, while not significant yet, is likely to translate to big bucks in the future. The article notes that "...it's not that companies are definitely profiting from hipsters in the here and now, it's that the hipster demographic is currently more powerful than any previous counterculture, yet still has a lot of growing up and spending to do in the future. Millions of hipsters are too young to spend real money yet."

But repeat after me: spending power. "As children of Baby Boomers, the number of people ... born as Millennials is 70 million and growing," the article points out. "That's much larger than Generation X, which includes about 46 million Americans. Gen Xers' spending power—which amounts to about $125 billion annually—can't compare with that of the Boomers, who boast an estimated buying power of $2 trillion a year with a population of 79 million."

 

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.