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    Generation N: The Novel COVID-19 Shaped Customer Segment

    If you’ve followed our publications on Gen Z and the Millennials, it’s time you met Generation Novel – the digital-first consumers galvanized by the disruptive effects of COVID-19. According to futurist, digital analyst and author Brian Solis, with the impact of the novel coronavirus likely to endure, companies must prioritize the study of Gen N.

    Curious to know how? Check their specifics to develop a winning strategy:

    • From Generation C (Connected) to Generation N (Novel): Before COVID-19 and the rise of Generation Novel, mobile, social, and real-time web trends were shaping a new, less analogue kind of customer, ever-growing, always-on customer segment called “Generation C (Connected),” and it was at the core of customer experience innovation over the past decade.
    • Gen N is an evolved next phase of consumerism – a developing psychographic group comprised of those customers who were previously hyperconnected (Gen C) as well as those who are now fast becoming digital-first because of COVID-19 shutdowns.
    • Not just digital-centric but also emotionally charged: Pandemic-fuelled fear, anxiety, and worry take their toll on this customer segment.  Being connected consumers, by choice or by default, their decisions are now also driven by the stressors, feelings, and consequences of a global pandemic.
    • New consumer habit-forming behaviour: McKinsey discovered that 75% of US consumers have tried different stores, websites, or brands during this crisis. Of those consumers, 60% reported that they expect to integrate new brands and stores in their post-pandemic lives.
    • Everyone is a connected customer, e-commerce is thrust into the spotlight: According to the Salesforce Q2 Global Shopping Index, as of July 16, 2020, 42 % of customers were reportedly shopping online as usual with another 39% digitally shopping more than usual.
    • Digital is the new normal: Between April and June, global digital revenue increased in the US by an unprecedented 71% compared to the previous year. Take this opportunity to reimagine the customer experience for a digital-first consumer instead of adapting legacy journeys for digital platforms.
    • Measure more than just ROI: Do more than just attempt to track traditional KPIs. Consider customer-facing metrics that capture sentiment, satisfaction, customer experiences, and resulting performance in digital realms.

    As harsh as the pandemic reality currently is, according to Solis, this is the time for companies to relearn who their customer is: their intentions and aspirations, what it is they value and why, in order to source the insights necessary to transform and enhance operational and business models, products and services, and customer experiences. Keep following our Marketing Bites for further insights on the subject.