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Serving the “NEXT!” Generation

After only 17 months in power, there was an internal party challenge to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday. No big deal you might say; politics can be bruising. Brutality and survival of the fittest is what you can expect on a quiet day.

Had the malcontents had their way – which they didn’t – we could have had our 6th Prime Minister in 7 years. In an inherently conservative and politically stable country, this would have been unheard of not very long ago.

This type of dynamic, however is something we’re going to be hearing much more of in the future.

While ‘change is the only constant’ is an old quote, its manifestation has never been more obvious than it is today.

Our expectations and in turn our behaviour has changed dramatically in the past decade.

Consider this: we can now make more decisions and select from more options than we did previously. We are in charge of so much now that was out of our control before.

Instead of maybe half a dozen radio or TV stations available to us, we can choose from literally thousands from around the world. Instead of focussing all your energies on the girl next door or the guy in your 11am uni lecture you can choose from hundreds of single people who are in a 1 kilometre radius right now!

Want to buy a diamond ring? Try searching on Google and you’ll find hundreds that look like the perfect one.

The internet has changed the way we think and act forever. If what you currently have isn’t perfect, there’s no end of alternatives just a few clicks away.

Isn’t that fantastic! The world is now a wide, open and accessible place. No longer do I have to put up with ‘good enough’! After all, I deserve the very best.

You do.

There’s only one problem: how do you know that you actually have the best when there are so many alternatives?

It’s now easier to say “NEXT!” when there are troubles in paradise rather than work it out with your current choice. The end result is that relationships with partners, brands, services, products etc. are more disposable than they’ve ever been before.

A female friend was once told me that men are like buses; if you miss out on this one there’ll be another one coming along soon enough.

work-toshiba-libretto-premium-netbook-bus-stop-girl-holding-netbook

How can we establish deep, meaningful foundations that allow us to recognise true quality if we’re all too ready to move on when we hit the first hurdle?

It’s difficult but not impossible.

It doesn’t mean that you need to be loyal if your hairdresser gives you a bad cut or your accountant’s mistake sees you being audited by the tax department.

What it does mean is that if you’re establishing or building a brand, context is more important than it has ever been. Comparisons can be confronting but if what you’re offering stacks up favourably to your competitors it’s the best foundation to have.

Then it comes down to good old fashioned marketing. Giving plausible and relevant reasons as to why consumers should buy what you’re selling. As with most elegant solutions, it’s not easy but it’s simple.

If there’s one thing that the “NEXT!” generation has a hunger for it’s information. Walk down any city street and see how many people you almost bowl over while they’re absorbed in their mobile phone.

Rather than slashing your prices or upping your ad budget, try giving your market what they want: more information to read, watch and listen to.

Of course, it’s unlikely that the mobile zombies are absorbed in your video on the latest washing machine or hamburger. But remember how the internet offers lots of alternatives to what you’re marketing? The other side of that is that it also offers you even more potential new customers and influencers.

You need to know how to find, woo and win them of course but they’re there. And many are saying “NEXT!” to your competitors and are looking for what you have to offer.

 

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