Echo Boomers, Buzz and Brands
Anita Sharpe on Culture
If Baby Boomers' offspring -- otherwise known as 'echo boomers' -- have as much impact on the world as their parents, how will they shape society?
Last night, 60 Minutes took a look at this group, which was born between the early '80s and the mid-90s and now accounts for a third of the U.S. population. They may well have as great an influence on Western culture as any generation in history. Here are a few conclusions:
* They prefer the Internet to television.
* Mass marketing doesn't reach them. 'Buzz is more important than it has ever been.'
* They are tolerant of diversity. (In a 60 Minutes focus group, all said they were OK with gay marriage, for instance.)
* 'They want to build up, not tear down.'
And this philosophy extends to the products they buy. When Steve Croft asked the focus group to name their favorite brands, two that were prominently mentioned were 'Patagonia' and 'Aveda.' Both of these companies are known for their strong environmental and social values; neither sells their products through mass advertising, relying instead on select niche marketing and word of mouth.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes traditional big business to see that a new world is emerging and along with it, new priorities and a completely new way of reaching an audience.