Is your business ready for the next generation of consumers?

May 2, 2013


Recently, a friend shared an article on Facebook about how kids these days (aka Generation Z or digital natives) are determining their social rank, popularity and even self worth by the number of followers, friends, and likes they have compared to their peers on various social media sites such as Facebook & Instagram. As a mother of a tween who is caught up in the throws of social media, the article totally hit home and is something that has been on the back of my mind ever since. (Click here to read article.) While the article didn't really have a concrete solution for parents, it encouraged having meaningful discussions with your children regarding the true valuations of self worth.


As logical thinking adults, you and I both know that no amount of friends, likes or followers establishes who you are or determines your self worth over another person. But, like it or not, our children are growing up with this subconscious mindset and it made me start thinking about how it applies in a business context. When these children grow up, graduate college, get a job, buy their first home and become consumers of my service, are they going to determine my worth as a business using these same social media principles? It only seems logical that they will "go with what they know." If that is the case, am I preparing my business now for that new generation of consumers?


As a roofing company, I wrestle with what is truly needed in regards to my online and social media presence. I am bombarded daily with offers by companies trying to sell me their service to make sure I am number one on the Internet and in social media. I am not selling an article of clothing that can be easily returned, nor am I trying to get you to come buy a cup of $5 coffee. I am selling a roof. A roof that will protect you, your home and belongings. Even more than that, I am selling you a service. Call me old school, but I do not think the roofing business will ever be totally reduced to online sales. This is a service that relies on me coming face to face with my customers, developing a good relationship, and then  consummating it with a handshake, as antiquated as those have become. As I slowly move into the social media generation (kicking and screaming at times, albeit!), I have come to accept the fact that you have to keep up with the times or you will get left behind. 

So... I sit, read, watch and update. I look at each Facebook like and celebrate over the total amount of likes and follows and lament when there is a lull.  I twit and tweet and pin. I even look at my competitors and colleagues who jumped on the social media bandwagon before me and, despite knowing better, my inner child takes over and questions my self worth against our number of respective likes and followers. Despite all this, I am not too worried. I figure I have a little bit of time before this new Generation Z of digital natives comes knocking on my door needing a roof. In the meantime, I will work on getting those numbers up so I will be ready for them when they do! 


Oh, and one more thing before I forget, can you help a mother out and go like my Facebook page!


- Jennifer Crutcher



Jennifer is a licensed insurance adjuster in the state of Texas, a Haag Engineering Certified Residential Roof Inspector and is passionate about consumer protection and education. She works at Outback Roofing, a family owned and locally operated company, where she is responsible for daily office operations. Jennifer resides with her family and two German shepherds in the Dallas area. A little known fact is that she secretly aspires to be an ice dancer!




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