Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Generation-C: How do you know if you are part of it?

Generation-C is a term used by the authors of Communities Dominate Brands. Not surprisingly the C (in their use of Generation-C) stands for community.

The important difference between this new Gen-C and previous ones (where C may have stood for connected) is that Generation-C has its community in its pocket with it at all times - its virtual network of friends is permanently available to them - essentially through sms and or mms messages.

But it's a mistake to think the mobile phone is the only important element in the creation of this generation. It's more their use of it, and other connections, to maintain relationships that is new. Here is a generation who don't knock on doors to ask their friends out to play - they text.

This is a generation that spends up to 90% of its available resource on their mobiles (cigarette and sweet sales are tumbling in these sectors). They buy their music as downloads to their phones, they buy their games this way too (or pay for upgrades to their more traditional games this way). They send sms rather than pass a message across the room.

They start relationships - and end them - through sms.

They need loads more discussion (and Communities Dominate Brands is a great starting point) but how do you know you are part of it? If you can answer yes to the vast majority of the following questions, you're Gen-C. So please add to the list!

1. Do you return home to get your mobile if you forget it.
2. Can you happily ignore the ringing of a mobile (because you know if its important, they'll text you, or you'll answer when you feel like it).
3. In order to maintain a relationship you feel you need to text at least once a day
4. You think predictive text is for old people
5. You've grown up playing online multi-player interactive games
6. You know how to share digital stuff easily - and do so regularly
7. You are almost certainly under 27
8. You regularly rate content, products, services and firms via systems like those found on eBay, Amazon, YouTube etc
9. You are happy to use your phone like a credit card - and aren't surprised to learn that mobile users in Korea can pay for petrol with their phone.

er, that's all I've got off the top of my head. If you have any other definers, your input could really help us all understand how best to reach Generation-C.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?