GenY Designer seeks likeminded clients: pls apply within.

Did you know that more than half of all homes sold in the U.S. were purchased by GenY nationally?

I had the great privilege to listen to Sarah Reep, CMKBD, ASID, IIDA, CMG, CAPS (@SarahReep, let's get her a profile pic) and Director of Design Relations at Masco Cabinetry talk about Trends and Insights at KBIS (@KitchenBathShow). She exclaimed "This is not your Mother's Kitchen" and then proceeded to push me off my chair (seriously, Sarah, that hurt.) I kid, but the message that Reep delivered was clear: the new Generation Y consumer is driving every industry and we need to know how to engage with them. Here's the gist of what she said:

Great, right? Eye opening? YES! But while listening (recorded the whole thing to play over and over again) to her I realized something very fundamental about who I am, not just about who I am as a designer but as a consumer. I am a Generation Y designer stuck in a Baby Boomer way of doing business, fighting my way to get out there, and even though my birth year technically falls into Generation X, I make product buying decisions just like a GenY'er: scan, engage, connect, decide. I guess that mean's I'm a 'Tweener.

Here's how it breaks down:

Scan

  • The new consumer (like me) searchings for products online. If the information is more than 3 clicks in, you've lost business.
  • The consumer look at the Twitter account of the business, read the Facebook page, read the reviews on Yelp. Google is no longer a verb, it's a platform again and using the term "Googled it" is passé.
  • If the consumer wants more info, they email but they don't call your toll-free number.

Engage

  • The consumer has narrowed down the selection process to a few items, they enter your showroom
  • The consumer touches, feels the product, they ask questions.
  • The consumer avoid a sales pitch because they know what they want, they've already decided it

Connect

  • The consumer avoid a sales pitch because they know what they don't want
  • The consumer looks for someone or something that they can identify with, someone who understands them and their needs, not the needs of their parents or their older siblings
  • The consumer looks for quick and easy information in the retail space to learn more about the product - like a QR code that links them on their iPhone to an article you wrote about marble in the kitchen (which isn't all that bad, you know)

Decide

  • Once the consumer has done the above there, they make their decision quickly.
  • The consumer feels confident in their decision and confident that their decision is supported by the retail location - this is about relationships and trust and I been proclaiming this one for a while.

Background on GenY

  • Born between 1977 - 1993 (approx.)
  • Also known as Millennial's, or Eco-boomers
  • They're purchasing homes as young as 26 years old, and they look to their parents for direction but not support
  • They're connected 24/7, good at finding better prices, and they'll purchase immediatly

There's way more on GenY, but if you are one, I'd absolutely love to design you a kitchen. Find me on Twitter @coreyklassen.