《The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm》

2017.01.30 08:23

There are sick empty feelings in your stomach, and then there are really big sick empty feelings. I had the latter. Our signature account of eight years, American Honda Motorcycle, had shipped the year's allotment of new 1986 bikes to the dealers two months earlier and a unique thing happened: nothing.

Our history with Honda had been nothing but successful up to this point. The formula was simple: Honda sent the bikes from Japan to a New Jersey warehouse, where they were distributed to the Northeast regional dealers, who prepped them and displayed them on showroom floors. As soon as they were displayed at the dealerships, the marketing and advertising kicked in and the customers bought them-all of them. Life was good.

But this was 1986 and the bikes did not sell. It wasn't that traffic was slow. There was no traffic. The folks at Honda asked, "Did you run the ads?"

This is when the really big sick empty feeling kicked in. The bad news was that sales volume was dropping like a stone. The really bad news was that sales would continue to drop for the next six years until the decline amounted to an 80 percent free fall. Gulp. By 1992 most of the dealerships were ready to close, and we lost the account. No surprise there. The only consolation was that exactly the same thing happened to Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. Someone had turned off the faucet and we didn't know who or why.

In mid-October 1996 I was reading the Hartford Courant's editorial section. The Hartford Courant is America's oldest newspaper in continuous publication. It devoted a full page to a sweeping indictment of Generation X and its noninvolvement in the political process. Bill Clinton was about to trounce Bob Dole. It seemed that the Xers (born between 1965 and 1984) did not vote or donate its resources at the same level the Boomers did (born between 1945 and 1964) when they first got involved in politics.

The implied laziness part bothered me. We had thirty Xers working at our agency at the time, and none were lazy. I asked our research department to review the voting habits of Generation X. Our research department checked. All the factors seemed equal on a per capita basis. Xers did vote. They did contribute to their political parties and they did participate in government. There were just fewer of them. In other words, the young Generation X voters actually cast fewer votes than the young Boomers when they were the same age not because they were lazy but because they were simply a smaller group.

Was this simple difference in the size of the Boomer generation and Generation X the answer to the motorcycle mystery? I reviewed U.S. Census Bureau data to find out, and indeed there were a lot fewer of them-11 percent fewer. There were 78 million Boomers and only 69 million Xers.

That moment of recognition changed my thinking from that point forward. Large and small generations, alternately moving and aging through the marketplace, determine many a company's success or failure. That moment changed the way I counsel my client companies. It spawned the shape of my public presentations. It gave birth to this book.

The core idea of this book is quite simple: Smaller generations buy less stuff; larger generations buy more stuff. When a large generation, such as the Boomers, leaves the market and is replaced by a smaller generation, such as Gen Xers, sales are going to drop. Please excuse the fact that I repeat this premise throughout my book, but I have found that people (executives, entrepreneurs, salespeople, marketers, advertisers, etc.) just don't accept this clear-cut concept until you beat them over the head with it. My intention is to show how the simple idea of generational size applies to an ever-widening variety of areas and convince readers to recognize it, believe it, and, most important, put it to use.

-Kenneth W Gronbach



Opinions differ on the birth dates and age ranges of the various generations. Here's why I use the ranges found in this book:

A traditional view of a generation is roughly twenty years, the time between the birth of the parents and the birth of their offspring. The end of one generation and the start of another can be fuzzy, marked by an amorphous group of "tweeners," who get to choose the generation they want to be in, based on the one that best represents how they think. Remember, demography is akin to macroeconomics, not micro.

When I selected what I considered to be the most accurate generational chronology, I started with what I felt was the best definition of the Baby Boomers and worked out. Boomers, or War Babies as they were once called, began being born in 1945even as some forces were still fighting-because many soldiers had already returned home. So the Boomer years were 1945 to 1964, or twenty years. This being established, it was easy to align the GI Generation, The Silent Generation, and Generation X into twenty-year segments. The exception is Generation Y, which I believe will end about 2010 at twenty-five years.

Generations share more than chronology. They share lifechanging experiences and events that cause them to bond, like the GI Generation. Sometimes, the sheer size of the cohort shapes its personality, like the huge Baby Boomer generation. Even mammoth Generation Y is said to owe its personality to technology and the Internet. Is demography an exact science? No. Can you use demography to make accurate forecasts about commerce, culture, and economics? Absolutely!


이 글이 속한 카테고리는 일상Lifestyle/책Book 입니다.


14.04.29 서울대학교, 웰에이징시니어산업 최고위과정 [고령화 사회의 '연령 경영']

2014.04.29 07:30

본 프레지는 2014년 4월 29일(화) 서울대학교 웰에이징시니어산업 최고위과정에서 발표하기 위해 준비된 자료입니다. 본 강의자료에 대한 문의는 김형래에게 직접 하시기 바랍니다. 

AWASB 강의앙청공문(김형래 상무님).pdf


이 글이 속한 카테고리는 사업Business/강의Lecture 입니다.


13.07.19 KDB산업은행, 특강 [연령경영 (Age Management)]

2013.07.19 17:00

7월 19일, KDB산업은행에서 두 시간동안 '연령경영(Age Management)'에 대해서 강의했습니다.

정년연장이 법안으로 통과되었습니다. 노하우를 가진 경력직원의 가치는 근속해야만 유효합니다. 지식산업시대에 어떻게 신입사원이 경력직원의 경험을 이어받고, 경력직원은 새로운 지식을 습득해서 부가 가치를 높이느냐가 기업의 수명을 결정하는 요인이 될 것입니다.

입사 때부터 생애설계를 준비하고 실행하는 성공적인 기업 사례를 통해 현실적인 은퇴준비, 미래설계의 대안을 제시하는 내용입니다.

신선한 전환점이 필요한 기업에 본 강좌를 추천드립니다. ⓒ 김형래


이 글이 속한 카테고리는 사업Business/강의Lecture 입니다.