Many people today claim that the Millennial generation is killing industries, and that businesses are disappearing because Millennials are not visiting those businesses like they used to. But there is much more to the issue than just what Millennials are doing, and businesses that believe the Millennial generation is to blame are likely missing the mark. Instead, there are other circumstances that need to be considered in an effort to make businesses more viable and keep customers of all ages and generations coming through the doors. With the way the internet has changed things, businesses have to make adjustments or they risk being left behind. But is that all the fault of Millennials, or just the changing times?
Businesses Are Not Adapting
While Millennials are certainly doing things differently, businesses are also not adapting the way they should be. Instead of insisting that people in a certain generation or age group do things the way other groups have done, companies should be open to making changes that help them succeed and address the needs of their customers and the times they live in. When businesses fail to adapt and then blame it on Millennials, it does not solve the problem or even really address the issue. Oftentimes, when we see the next business that Millennials are “killing”, we see a company that has not innovated in years– a company that has coasted on its previous successes only to run into a brick wall that had been coming for a while.
A Frantic Desire to Enter the Present Day
As businesses see that Millennials are moving away from them, they look to enter the present day in a quick and easy manner. As they do that they make choices that might not be the most cost effective or the most successful. Quick fixes often seem too good to be true because they usually are. So they try to do something else, and pretty soon they are frantically trying to attract the attention of Millennials and other groups with disjointed flavor-of-the-month strategies. These same businesses get frustrated and claim that Millennials are harming their bottom line. In reality, though, it is the businesses that are hurting themselves by not focusing on how things are changing early on and not sticking to long-term strategies based on real data and insights. A measured approach is typically the better choice, but that is something businesses have to realize as or before things start to change, not far later.
What Can Companies Do to Adjust?
To properly adjust to changes in technology and preferences, companies need to focus on subtle changes as they occur. When they see differences in how customers are buying things from them, they need to study those differences and determine why they are taking place. Then they can make the requisite changes to their business model so that customers get what they want and need when they want and need it. If customers are not receiving what matters to them at a particular business, they are going to start looking elsewhere. As that happens, the business will suffer and its profits will shrink.
Blaming Millennials for what can be described as the free market eliminating stragglers isn’t productive. Many companies must acknowledge that they are simply not doing enough to adjust to how things are changing in the business world today. When businesses admit there are problems or inefficiencies with how they serve their customers —and look for ways to correct these shortcomings—they can continue to benefit from this symbiotic relationship. Kicking this can down the road can only go so far.