Tapping the Generation C Market

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of quirky names for demographic groups -- like Generation X, Generation i, and Echo Boomers -- along comes Generation C.

But Generation C is a little different. It has nothing to do with when you were born. Instead, it's defined by an activity: the people of Generation C are content generators.

At least that's the take of Trendwatching.com, a monthly publication that scans the globe for the latest and hottest trends. It coined the phrase Generation C in early 2004 and has been following the phenomenon ever since.

The people of Gen C are consumers who produce and share content. They mix their own music, edit their own videos, post their photography to the Internet, or publish a blog or a book.

They are a big group, and one that's constantly growing. More than 53 million adults in the US have created online content, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Although Trendwatching.com doesn't specifically say so, it appears the difference between Gen C and information producers like you and me is the profit motive.

My view is that Gen C is more interested in expressing themselves, getting their 15 minutes of fame, or sharing with friends or family than really making a buck. They post poetry to their web site for the fun of it, or put together a slideshow of photos to email to family members.

So what does the Gen C trend mean for information producers? Smart companies are already tapping into this huge market. Fido offers mobile phones that can capture video. Apple includes free audio and video editing software on all their new computers.

What can you do to cater to, or capitalize on, Generation C?

With their Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield have brilliantly (although perhaps unwittingly) tapped Generation C. Their books are written entirely by contributors, who get to share their story and experience the satisfaction that comes from being internationally published. Can you solicit content from avid Gen C'ers to compile into a book or other product?

Subscription-Based Web Sites
The Internet is the easiest and cheapest publishing medium around. Think about ways you can help others publish their content online. For example, TrekShare.com lets travelers post their stories and photos, create maps and use a message board to keep those back home apprised of their trip progress. Of course, you have to be a paying member to use their services.

How-to Guides
As people jump into activities they may not have a lot of experience with -- such as photography, music composition, video editing or blogging -- they'll need help. Can you provide direction by way of how-to guides for novices? Can you review and track the latest consumer gadgets as they're released to the market, and help people pick and choose what's right for them?

Use your creativity (Gen C always does) to think of other ways to reach this dynamic market.

For a free copy of the report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project go to http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=113

For more information on Generation C and other trends that Trendwatching.com has identified -- such as Feeder Businesses, Massclusivity, and Daily Lubricants -- visit www.trendwatching.com.

2004 Juiced Consulting—Turn your expertise into money-making information products like books, audio tapes and teleclasses! Juiced Consulting shows you how. For a free e-zine and other resources, visit www.juicedconsulting.com

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