I began my discussion of generational marketing with Talking ’bout My Generation:
In short, generational marketing recognizes that the different generations make purchasing decisions in different ways from one another.
The different life phases we are in presently, coupled with our upbringing and societal norms, provide us with different perspective than those we follow, or those who follow us.
In short, the book discusses how Prince, a Baby Boomer, became such a huge icon for Generation X.
No icon is so talented that they don’t need the right generation to receive their message. Of course, some icons transcend their time, but that’s nearly impossible without first connecting deeply with the generation that’s consuming culture when you’re at your peak. The difference between being famous and becoming an icon is, in part, having the good fortune to have a generation that’s interested in your message. Pg. 17
It’s the Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, theory of 10,000 hours of experience to achieve mastery, plus the luck of timing when that knowledge/skill is needed, the audience is ready, as in the case of Prince.
The author goes on to discuss Prince’s less than welcoming response when he opened for the Rolling Stones on October 9 & 11, 1981, here in Los Angeles. He was pelted with garbage and drinks, and literally booed off the stage. Twice. (FYI. The Sports Dude and I were at that concert. He even saved the ticket stubs).
Controversy was just too controversial for the crowd of hippies and boomers. We up and coming Gen Xers got it, though … we were waiting and ready for the Purple Revolution that was about to come out with “1999.” And we were really confused why the adults in the crowd didn’t get it.
So what does Prince have to do with legal marketing and generational marketing? It’s all in how we interpret his experience to our industry.