Is The Sky Falling?
I am writing this Blog post the afternoon before I speak again to business leadership tomorrow.
As some of the readers know, I speak to business leadership a lot about market changes along with updates on the local market where the leadership gathers together.
We are now entering the third month of the first quarter of 2023 and from Wall Street to Washington and Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley, leadership is still scratching their heads trying to figure out if a recession is on the horizon or worse.
The presentation I am making tomorrow compares the first quarter 2023 population and demographics tracked in real time by the U.S. Census Bureau along with retail spending and retail sales track in real time by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
My message tomorrow is not really all that different from the message I shared the last several years.
Yes… the Pandemic and how it was handled by Washington and Wall Street affected the marketplace, but those effects are limited.
And Yes… high tech sales are flat because nearly all of high tech — from lap tops to smart phones to apps and social media sties — has reached market maturity.
That marketplace is saturated on one level and many are tired of texting and have clicked out.
The stream of layoffs taking place among the digital icons and the dot.coms is a regular on news sites and front pages.
Just this past week, an article ran that Wayfair is the latest of the dot.coms to collapse. The headline reads, “Wayfair Sheds Customers, Posts a 1.34 Billion 2022 Loss.”
More on Wayfair shortly…
Just two days ago, Amazon announced that its second corporate headquarters in Alexandria VA dubbed Crystal City is “on-hold.”
Another stream of news stories surfaced about how restaurants are going through a crisis next.
Some are scaling back the diversity of their menus — something that should have taken place many moons ago!
Some are closing down dine-ins and only delivering food through the drive throughs — also something that many should have scaled down many moons ago!
Others are merging together and co-marketing under the same roof — something that malls and their food courts birthed back in the 1990s and are actually very out-of-date.
What amazes me is that the news media, the trend forecasters, the hypothetic academics, the Wall Street magnets, the political front-runners… very, very few if any cite the mass impact of the Millennials making babies and establishing family homesteads.
But it really does not take a genius to see it and an award-winning futurist to declare it.
In this calendar year of 2023, there are now 80 million Millennials out there and thus far, they have birthed 39 million Alpha Generation babies, tots and new first graders.
The average — note again “average” — household income of a Millennial in 2023 posts at just over $120K.
Part of that is driven by lifestage. Part of that is driven by dual-wage earners. Part is driven by the most college-educated generation to hit the U.S.
There is no question… Millennials are driving the U.S. economy now and for at least the next 10–15 years.
Real estate is not hot because of the Pandemic.
Real estate is hot because new families are forming that seek a homestead to own and make the monies to afford one.
From groceries to clothes to home goods to furniture to food to toys and games.
About six weeks from now, I am one of the featured speakers at a State-wide business forum hosted by a State University System.
My presentation is about market change and the trends driving the change.
If the content of commercials is any indicator, there are a lot of ad agencies and digital marketing firms who don’t get it.
I don’t share this in this blog post to positioning EXPERIENCE as the all-knowing futurist.
To be honest, I do not believe you even need a college degree to figure out that a recession is unlikely and the sky is not falling.
Yes… the Millennials did help launch texting and and they did drive the growth of social media.
BUT… those 20-somethings and young adults who live attached 24/7 to their smart phones and laptops 24/7 are GenZers who have limited human interaction with others because of parents who will not let go.
There are some sources I network with who believe that GenZers will have socialization problems as they attempt to couple and make families.
I am not in full agreement with that future claim because part of the dependency on digital platforms is more life-stage and something that they might shed as they age and couple and make babies.
There are many who think that Millennials are just getting out of college.
A Wayfair commercial aired on USA Network as I am writing this blog featuring a guidance to young, just-out-of-college adults on how to furnish their first apartment.
It positions the audience as relatively senseless when it comes to interior design.
In some ways, Wayfair is smack on target with GenZers who are more tech-smart than design-savvy.
Unfortunately Wayfair is supposed to be championing the Millennials as they purchase their larger home space and, in turn, have a sparse hodge-podge of furniture used to furnish the one bedroom, intown, $3,000+ apartment.
My bet it is that the ad soon will be taken off the air and all talent and use fees terminated as Wayfair figures out how it lost the $1.34 Billion last year.
My advise is to Wayfair is to sever the relationship with the ad agency producing the spots and go down to the local fitness gym and talk to the women participating in the New Mom Yoga classes.
It really does not take a huge budget to glean market insight!
This morning’s Wall Street Journal is running a headline story about how the Fed is going to jack up interest rates to “cool down the economy.” It cites in the article how many cannot figure out what is causing the demand for goods to continue to escalate.
When you turn to the inside page to read the rest of the story, there is a half page ad for the “WSJ Future of Everything Festival” featuring “trend gurus” Eric Adams, Mayor of NYC and Jim Farley, CEO of Ford.
Not too sure that either inter-relates much with Millennials… or even understands that they are soon to be 60% of the American Workforce and are now driving — no Ford pun intended — the American marketplace.
To answer the question posed on this blog post… No, the sky is not falling.
Instead the marketplace continues to explode as the American Family transitions with the largest generational group to every exist in the U.S. — one that will continue to grow as more from across the borders come into America!
And yes, there is a bunch of business, government and social leadership who have no idea of the impact of the Millennials and that what is evolving right in front of their eyes.
If you read this and you ask yourself how can you capitalize on it… give me a call at 404.245.9378.