From the Publisher
"Ignore the title, designed to keep the contents herein a secret, and grab this book right away. It's a revelation. You'll quickly get up to speed on what's been going on behind your back...an entire generation is playing by new rules, and they're prepared to live their entire lives without you unless you get with the program." Seth Godin, author of Small Is the New Big
"Want to reach the most connected generation of consumers in history? First you need to understand what makes them different and what makes them tick. With keen analysis and smart case studies, Lisa Johnson has cracked the code of this elusive group of consumers. No matter what industry you're in, you'll gain lots of insight and tons of great ideas from this book." Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
"Mind Your X's and Y's is a captivating read from start to end. This fascinating book reads like a novel, and is hard to put down once you start reading. The case studies are informative and interesting, covering some of the best-known companies in the world, large and small. Any corporation marketing toward the X and Y generations will greatly benefit from Johnson's book." Martin Lindstrom, brand futurist and author of BRANDchild and BRAND sense
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The Power Of The Younger Generations
Not long ago, companies made and marketed products and consumers decided whether or not to buy them. It was that simple. Then, according to Lisa Johnson, author of Mind Your X's and Y's: Satisfying the 10 Cravings of a New Generation of Customers, Generations X and Y gained market prominence. This shift necessitated an entirely new means of connecting with these hard-to-reach but coveted consumers. Gen Xers (those born between 1965 and 1979) are reaching peak buying power, and Gen Yers (those born between 1980 and 1997) already have more buying power than any previous generation of teens and twentysomethings.
Both groups have grown up amid rapid technological growth, which has changed the way they think, and what and how they buy. Many companies are too dependent on conventional product development and marketing methodologies to understand how to reach these multitasking, constantly upgrading, "connected" generations.
According to Johnson, these two Gen groups - together comprised of consumers ages 9 to 41 - constitute a newfangled market with extremely diverse needs and motivations that is changing the rules of engagement between companies and consumers, creating what Johnson calls the "New Market Code."
To kick off the book, Johnson details the five essential criteria (experience, transparency, reinvention, connection and expression) of the New Market Code. The first criterion is experience: Today's consumers want to try new activities, explore, test personal limits, feel truly alive and shake up routines. Experience is currency; it sparks conversation and connection and helps people understand each other.
Transparency is the second factor. The new market is an anti-spin zone. Nothing slick, overpackaged or fake will work. Both companies and consumers need to get comfortable with full disclosure. Accountability is key.
Reinvention also plays a large role in the new market. Once something new or a new way to buy it clicks, that item or procedure will rule. The pace is lightning fast and the old market hierarchies will crumble.
Connection is the fourth criterion. In Johnson's new market, people blend their talents and share information to improve the experience for everyone. Consumers want to interact with brands and companies and make suggestions for the products they like. Connections equal power.
Lastly, in the new market, there's a desire to express oneself, to customize everything. The result can be raw or amateurish, as long as it's real; nonetheless, it's all about expressing individualism. The anything-is-possible credo that drives people to seek their fame on reality shows and Web sites rules.
The 10 Consumer Cravings
According to Johnson, marketers can win over Gen X and Gen Y if they approach the following 10 consumer cravings - and demands - of this demographic.
- Shine the spotlight: Extreme personalization gives marketing a new face.
- Raise my pulse: In a cubicle-focused world, consumers need you to shake their routines and remedy their boredom.
- Make loose connections: It's about the new shape of "families" and social networks. The Internet allows people to connect due to their interests, not their geography.
- Give me brand candy: Customers want to be part of the intuitive design process.
- Sift through the clutter: Editors and filters gain new prominence. When there's too much information, we need tools to discover what's essential.
- Keep it underground: These generations rejected push advertising and created peer-to-peer networks.
- Build it together: Connected citizens want to explore their collaborative creative power and influence change.
- Bring it to life: Orchestrate everyday activities to deliver a sense of theater.
- Go inward: With these groups, spiritual hunger and modern media find common ground.
- Give back: Volunteerism and community contributions are redefined.
Why We Like This Book
Johnson devotes a highly detailed chapter to each of the 10 cravings, along with brief case studies that look at how companies have successfully responded to them. Each chapter contains a workbook section with questions and exercises on how to implement ways of meeting these cravings, an addition that facilitates both personal study and group discussions and gives marketers the understanding and tools they need to reach Gen X and Gen Y. Copyright © 2007 Soundview Executive Book Summaries