When I think about the “core values” of the Silent Generation or, Traditionalists, I think about a few key terms: discipline, dedication, duty, hard work, loyalty, and respect. Silents are exceptionally hard working and they always have been. While almost all are out of the workforce (I would be interested to hear if any organizations still have Silent Generation members working for them…) Silents are still purchasers, voters, and consumers of media. How, then, can “brands” or organizations continue to engage the Silent Generation?
When I think about Silents vs Millennials, one of the most pressing differences I see is loyalty. Millennials are a desirable consumer base for many reasons. There are so many of them and they have the next great consumer potential (like Boomers did before them) but millennials typically we move on to the next “thing” if it is either more efficient or better suits their needs. Silents are loyal. They watch NBC, CBS and ABC because, well, why wouldn’t they? They drink Folgers and not Starbucks because, well, they always have. They are not swayed by what is next and what is new. Instead, they are loyal to the products and people that have stood the test of time.
How does this impact your message? I believe it does so in a couple different ways: Consider how you can establish brand loyalty. For instance, do you separate yourself from the competition by going above and beyond in customer service? Are your prices competitive? When engaging Silents, you can remind them that your product is still worth their time and money and yet this same product, for millennials, is useful and necessary to “survive” in a fast-paced 21st century world.
If you do sell a product or a brand, ask yourself:
Are “Silents” my target audience?
How do I encourage loyalty with a younger consumer base?
What’s your legacy?
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