How many more minutes Dad?

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?



Author: stevenpdennis

Steven Dennis is a trusted advisor and thought-leader on customer-centric strategic growth and innovation. As President of SageBerry Consulting, he applies his C-level executive experience to drive growth and marketing strategy for multi-channel retail, e-commerce and luxury industry clients. He shares his ideas and wisdom regularly in the press, as an industry speaker and through his popular blog "Zen and the Art & Science of Customer-Centricity"( Prior to founding SageBerry, Steven was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he drove the company's major growth initiatives, multi-channel marketing programs and customer insight agenda. Before joining Neiman Marcus, Steven held leadership positions with Sears, including Acting Chief Strategy Officer, Lands' End acquisition integration team leader, Vice President-Multichannel Integration and General Manager-Commercial Sales. Earlier in his career he was with NutraSweet and the global management strategy consulting firm, Booz & Co. Steven received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University. In addition to his consulting work, Steven is an executive-in-residence at the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence at SMU’s Cox School of Business, President of the DFW Retail Executives Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of Invodo Inc. and Nectar Online Media. He is also active in the social innovation and education reform arena as a Partner and member of the Board of Directors of Dallas Social Venture Partners. He is currently co-leader of DSVP's investment and engagement with SMU's Center on Communities and Education "School Zone" initiative in West Dallas.

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