I was standing outside my Mexico City hotel waiting to meet up with my client when a young couple and their 4 year old kid emerged from the lobby.
The dad was staring at his phone when his son asked “how many more minutes Dad?” And no sooner had the words left the young boy’s mouth then their Uber driver pulled up.
For that little boy, and many more quite a bit older than he is, this sort of experience is completely normal and typical, not “disruptive” or even new. In fact, there is a whole generation that, for all intents and purposes, only knows a digital first world.
A whole generation that doesn’t go online, they live online.
A whole generation that has come to expect that just about anything is available anytime, anywhere, anyway–on demand and on command.
An entire (soon to be high-spending cohort) that assesses performances in minutes or even nano-seconds, not hours or days; not tomorrow, but now.
These are emerging consumers that tend to value experiences over things. And, more and more, many of the things they want, they’d rather share than own.
My generation: of course we’re buying the house, the car, the bike, the wedding dress. This younger generation: why would you want to own any of that stuff?
When the whole notion of fast or convenient gets redefined that is–as Bernie or the Donald would say–“yooge.”
When renting becomes cooler than buying, if you’re in the business of selling stuff that’s more than a little bit scary.
When the power shifts from the brand to the individual and/or the collective “we”, that fundamentally changes how brands go to market, the insight they must possess and the capabilities they need to deploy.
The future is coming at us faster and faster all the time. Demographics are our destiny and time is not our friend.
Will we be more like Uber?
Or will we be the guys in the traditional taxi line watching this all play out and wondering what the hell happened?