Showing posts with label services. Show all posts
Showing posts with label services. Show all posts

Monday, May 19, 2014

How Millennials Will Change The Market?

Millennials may just change the nature of business and what type of products and services are likely to be rewarded in the market. Millennials are significantly different than Baby Boomers and have been one of the hardest hit by the recession making them more focused on different aspects of life. This different focus impacts their perception of what they are looking for in the market and what they are likely to spend their money on. 

Millennials communicate differently than previous generations and use technology to talk to each other (1). This means that information spreads quickly among this population and they stay in touch with each other through posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other methods. They are fairly transparent in their communication patterns and how they view particular issues. 

According to a study conducted by Harstad Strategic Research, inc. Millenials want things like affordable college, retirement, social equality, healthcare, environmental policy, and helping the poor (2).  They are focused more on the necessities of life and developing a better society that is inclusive of different types of people. 

Millennials have also been hardest hit by the recession, less likely to focus exclusively on careers, have less spending money than previous generations, and are more educated (3).  They are a generation of people that come to a more global market with lots of education but have learned that opportunities are not always available. They have turned to other pursuits and needs in life. 

They also view family life differently than previous generations. Millennials are focused on establishing themselves first, marrying later, and avoid the devastating divorces of older generations (4). They are more interested in the quality of life and are much less interested in choosing a career over family. 

This is not a physically inactive generation. They seek to create healthier lifestyles, eat better, exercise more and engage in more physical activities (5). They purchase organic food, go to yoga classes, and seek a balance with other activities. They view life in a more holistic manner than other generations. 

What does all this mean for business and investment? Those industries that are likely to do well include online education, vitamins, social media, online retailers, sporting equipment, family products, health food stores, recreational goods, and fitness companies. The Millennials represent a different way of looking at the world and are likely going to change purchasing patterns as they move into their peak earning and spending years. Companies that find their core base retiring or passing away will need to find new ways of reaching this soon to be powerful new demographic.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bonding in Online Communities

Group attachment is an important aspect of retaining and maintaining customers. As groups begin to identify and interact with new members, they build additional identities with the service or product. Research by Yuquing Ren, et. al (2012), focuses on communication and the understanding of identity, bond, and community identity in online forums. Their study helps highlight how different types of attachment strengthen online interaction and customer retention. 

The far majority of business that seeks to build online communities fail to attract a critical mass of customers even when over a million dollars have been spent (Worthen, 2008).  The primary problem is that they have not been able to create and develop a level of attachment among members. Customers simply come and disappear after a few posts. 

Understanding that there is identity attachment, bond attachment and community attachment can help in fostering the right type of activities that create positive identity with the service. People must feel connected to other members of the group if they are to return to the site on a regular basis. 

Identity attachment can be seen as attachment to members who are similar in appearance or other difference that separates them. It is a primarily visual and surface type identity. Bond based attachments are focused more on connection to group members and seeing similarity in belief, interests or values. Group based attachment is focused on connecting to an entire community of online users. 

The researchers found that identity based attachment is much easier to foster in online communities. One generally must provide an identity, familiarity around products, and in and out-group type dynamics to encourage retention (i.e. you’re different because you use our service). Bond based and community based attachment requires the ability to have personal communications. This is much more akin to social networking than it is other types of online communities. 

Online communities act in the same manner as real life communities. Communication is the key component that allows people to feel connected to others and form an identify around particular aspects of interest. In the online world identity groups and community groups are easier to establish based upon the specific and genera interest in products or identity. Social bonding is more difficult and takes considerable amount of time and energy. It is difficult to determine precisely when and how long bond identity can be formed. However, the use of profiles and communication around topics can encourage this knowledge of other members.

Worthen, B. (July 16,2008). Why most online communities fail. Wall Street Journal.

Yuqing Ren, et. al. (2012). Building member attachment in online communities: applying theories of group identity and interpersonal bonds. MIS Quarterly, 36 (3).