- Kevin Smith
In the past month or so, there has been a flurry of articles about the various industries that Millennials are killing. To name a few:
- Dining / Chain Restaurants
- Department Stores
- Wine Corks
- and the list goes on…
Though it may be convenient to pin an industry’s decline on an entire generation (especially one as thoroughly discussed, yet incredibly misunderstood, as Millennials), the trend is a symptom and not the root problem.
It’s important not to fall into the trap of looking at a generational group and focusing on the people within that group instead of what that group signifies in terms of the larger environment.
For example, it’s not that Millennials dislike going to movies.
It’s just that there are now many more options.
It’s not that Millennials are too lazy to eat cereal.
It’s that everyone feels pressured to be more productive and on-the-go.
It’s not that Millennials aren’t choosing to buy diamonds.
Instead of pointing to a generation – or any bulk number – throwing your hands up and exclaiming, “well, I guess there’s nothing we can do about it,” look past the initial numbers toward the larger trends:
- Are competitors making shifts to adapt?
- Are retailers – old or new – doing any interesting things that you could learn from and apply to your business?
- What measured risks could you take to identify a trend and leapfrog your competition?
Because when you see an article about how Millennials, or any demographic, are “killing an industry”, maybe it really means that industry wasn’t prepared for the inevitable.