All of a sudden the world of demographic profiling is focused on Generation C, the 18 to 34 year-olds who will soon rule the world. And the C can stand for connected, computerized, community-oriented and more. This generation was born mostly in the era of a plethora of digital devices that connect them to the Internet, to each other and to far flung places in the world at the click of a mouse, swipe of a finger and even at a command from their voices. These “digital natives” will transform the entire world of work, play and friendships by the year 2020 when they will make up 40 percent of the population. To them the concept of “early adopter” is meaningless because they’re all early adopters.
Information from Booz & Company, a management consulting firm, says that Generation C is a collection of realists and materialists – and those two are not necessarily exclusive of each other. This group is also culturally liberal but not politically progressive. They live with their parents longer while also being more upwardly mobile. This group knows almost no geographical boundaries due to its extensive, global, digital network. Increasingly, Generation C’s influence will rise up from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) which covers more than one-fourth of the world’s land mass.
A consumer in 2020 will likely be a “digital identity” who is constantly connected, stores data in the cloud, shops online and works in a “virtual team.” The consumer’s work life and personal life will merge. Employees will bring their own computing devices to the office – if they come to the office. In terms of healthcare, customers will shop online for diagnostic information as well as reviews of medical professionals. Business travel will decrease considerably due to better meeting technologies. Sensors in vehicles will improve safety on various fronts. And we could go on and on but 2020 is just eight years away and the passage of time has a way of surprising the predictors.