As students all over the country were being dismissed from school during the Spring of 2009, many of their parents were also being, or already were, dismissed from their jobs as well. And after a long hard summer, the job market is slowly starting to level off and many of the unemployed are slowly heading Back to Work just as their kids are heading Back to School.
Will brands and marketers reach out to this ever increasing consumer segment just like they target high school and college students? Just like students who want to fit in and mesh with peers and classmates, new employees want to make a lasting first impression with senior management and co-workers at a new place of employment. I would argue that the pressure is even greater as you are talking about individuals who legitimately understand the pressures of professional success/growth, especially in tough economic times.
Social networking has become more and more important to these individuals as communication/networking has become one of most important lifelines to the modern employee. What is going on in the marketplace, who is laying off folks now, who got hired when and by whom'?¦these are all questions that 25 to 45 year olds are asking hourly to friends, families, associates, neighbors, and strangers alike every day. Have an interview at a new company'?¦who do you know that works there or has worked there and can give you some insight, or by the grace of god'?¦a recommendation! Starting a new job'?¦who can you talk to for the skinny on your new boss, office environment, co-workers, etc.
BTW consumers are exhibiting many of the same purchase behaviors as those of students going back to school, and for many of the same reasons. They want to look good and set a tone for who they are and what they will become at their new jobs. In many cases these are people that have been at the same job for many years prior to becoming out of work'?¦their wardrobe slowly having gone to far in the direction of business casual, and beyond. They will need to refresh/upgrade their wardrobe to fit a new corporate culture'?¦thoughts of 'dress for success'? coming back to their minds.
They want to have, and need to have, the latest technology devices to keep up. Gone are their company provided gadgets. Additionally, many companies are no longer providing company owned and paid devices to new employees'?¦monthly allocations for reimbursement are becoming more and more the norm. Consumers need to truly understand technology now and figure out what works best for them at the most effective costs.
I say we would be remiss to ignore this ever-increasing consumer segment. This is a group who has been unable to consume for months worrying about an unsure future. With new employment comes relief and excitement about living again'?¦who could blame this individual if they wanted to celebrate with a new outfit, cell phone/PDA, laptop, etc. We as marketers should understand this and give them reason to buy our products and brands.
I can see it now'?¦ 'bring confirmation of new employment to a Macy's near you and receive 40% off clothing/shoes/accessories now through November 15th!!!!'?