“If you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

– Steve Jobs

Changing Consumers

Baby-boomers would very soon become passé. Millennials have taken over like an early morning sun clearing the mist, and are here to drive the businesses and its sustainability, and ultimate success. They are technically literate, and are growing up with computational thinking mindset. For them online is normal and their life depends on number of clicks/touches/swipes. They are your consumers. They would decide how they would like to do business with you. For that matter, they would like to do business with whom they’re comfortable with.

It’s only fair that the business/service provider should be able to meet their consumer’s standards and expectations, if not outsmart them, to survive. Being on the other side of the fence, businesses are expected to be more technically literate and innovative than their consumers, to guide them to use their products and services, and offer them awesome experience. Here starts the reality check for the businesses.

According to new analysis of UN Data by Bloomberg, Gen Z will account for about 36 per cent of the global population in 2022, and will outnumber the millennials.

Changing Landscape

A cultural change has been sweeping across the globe, and it’s to do with technology. Equal opportunity in absolute sense prevails. Same technology that is available for the high-strata consumers is available for everyone irrespective of the socio-economic-cultural-geo-political status. There’s no discrimination on any basis or of any kind as far as the technology goes. As earlier days not very far, if the businesses think that they can be equipped as they wish and expect the consumers to be with them with their legacy approaches, they would be dumped in no time and would become extinct.

Would become extinct. Nokia a classic example, and everyone is aware of Kodak moment. Recently, it’s Toys ‘R Us. And many more.

A new kind of consumers means new ways of doing business
If you can’t be where your consumers want to be tomorrow, atleast you need to be before them where they are now.

Transform, and Keep Transforming

It’s an era of always-on transformation. Businesses evolve rapidly, and need to keep transforming. If they stop transformation they would become obsolete. Any transformation initiative stares at two most challenging aspects.
Factors that are within the control of the businesses – people and processes, systems and technologies, organization mindset and culture, etc.,

Factors that are not in their control – consumers and their behaviors, markets and industries, compliance and regulations, etc.
They can define plan of actions and timelines, roadmap and targets to transform the organization as all these factors are within their control.

But they need to change and adapt to the factors that are not in their control. They need to adapt to changing market conditions, regulatory requirements to comply with. But most of all it’s very important to adapt to changing consumers and their behaviors. Millennial consumers do not look at long term association or loyalty. They expect instant gratification.

Stay Current. Stay Relevant.

Markets are driven by the consumers who are all set to adapt changes which they do it very happily, and they constantly change their behaviors. Most of these changes are influenced and driven by technology. Even the technology itself undergoes constant transformation that is driven by those consumers who are influenced by technology. And, this is not a vicious circle. It is reality, and it can be witnessed in almost every industry and geography.

There has to be a rational decision to transform businesses and businesses should respond quickly to changes for it to stay current and relevant in the changing times. Technology plays a very important role for businesses to navigate the transformation. However, implementing a technology for the sake of technology is Not the right approach. Right technology need to be identified to help transform the business to the next level, and on time. It should be supported by simple but efficient business processes. The whole of it should build trust amongst the consumers. It’s not a tall order.

Find True-North

It’s not the millennials or any other consumers who would effect the downslide of the businesses. It is the businesses themselves that are responsible for their failure as much as they are in their success. Businesses need to find their true-north, with their consumers as their guiding compass to help them. Accept you may not, but that’s the harsh reality. The rules have changed. It’s the consumer who wins. And those businesses who help their consumer win are the ones who ultimately wins.