The Olympic swimming trials ended last weekend with 35 rookies and 15 veterans making the team. Similar to other sports, the new team members far outnumber the more experienced athletes. While it was certainly sad that champions Missy Franklin and Sanya Richards-Ross did not do well in events that they once dominated, younger stars are rising to the top. While the changing of the guard has always been a part of the sports world, it is happening at a faster rate than in the past.
Renato Scaff, leader of Accenture’s Retail NA Digital business, recently reported on the rate of transformation in retail: “Whereas radio took more than 30 years to earn a 50% consumer adoption rate, mobile phones took only 15 years to reach the same level, and social media, a mere 3.5 years.” So, what does Scaff say about the next sweeping transformation in consumer retail?
Scaff observed that tech-savvy consumers want “digitally enhanced, personalized retail experiences that anticipate their wants and needs. At the same time, merchants must rethink their executive ranks to reflect the fluid, technology-driven changes altering how these consumers shop. And they must also address a multi-ethnic demographic that values peer input more than traditional advertising messages when making purchasing decisions.”
Scaff further noted that for retailers, time is of the essence: “While the aging Baby Boomers are working their way into retirement, Millennials are hitting their peak years of spending more and earning more.”
Les Berglass, CEO of executive retail search firm Berglass + Associates, asks its high-profile clients, “How would you change your store and messaging if no one over 35 came through your doors?”
Mortgage banking is at a crossroads similar to that of many consumer businesses and some soul-searching is needed on many issues including, “Are we asking the right questions on how to improve the customer experience? Is our industry stuck in old thinking?” and “Are we making excuses about why we can’t progress?” These are tough questions that need to be discussed by every senior leadership management team.
This is an excellent time to ask whether the company’s executives and leaders understand new customers’ demands and how to reach them in a fast-moving environment?