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meet Gen C

Welcome to “Gen C” — a new global generation of families defined by their focus on consensus, harmony, family unity and, most of all, collaborative decision making. Generation C is unlike the stereotype image you may have in our head with decision-making styles characterized by a binary kid ask/mom yield, and consumer buying patterns that show a propensity to purchase different solutions to fit the needs of each family member.

  • Take a look in their refrigerator and you will likely find far more foods and beverages that the entire family will eat vs. separate solutions for each family member.

  • Follow them to a restaurant and you will likely find yourself in a place which, while no one's favorite, works for everyone.

  • Go shopping for computers and you will likely witness a new gatekeeper and authority in the family guiding the family to a final choice — not the 45 year old parent but the family's eleven year old chief technology officer.

  • Follow the mom into a grocery store and you will witness her playing a whole new role…not that of gatekeeper making the final call based on her needs and opinions, but that of ambassador making choices that best represent the multiple voices of her entire family whispering in her ear at point-of-purchase.

  • Take a look at what they do with their spare time and you will be as likely to find everyone in the same place enjoying time and bonding as a family as scattered separately pursuing solitary pleasures.

  • Explore their attitudes toward volunteerism and community service and you will find both a remarkable level of engagement and awareness in community and world issues, and an even more remarkable shift in KIDS leading the way in a family's engagement in these issues.

  • Eavesdrop on a family meeting and you can expect parents asking their kids “are you OK with that” far more frequently than the “because I said so” you may recall from your childhood.
Where did this tectonic shift come from? Our research suggests a number of places. From parental guilt at leaving their kids at home alone while both are out working to make ends meet and wanting to compensate by giving their children more power when they are together. From the tremendous increase in young people's knowledge and expertise on a range of issues with importance to the family making them the go-to expert or the arbiters of cool. From the broad societal trend of seeking multiple opinions and perspectives prior to making a decision. But most of all, we think the emergence of Gen C comes from a fundamental shift in parenting and family values focused like a laser beam on nurturing a sense of independence, self-sufficiency, and self-identity in children.

Regardless of it origin, Gen C changes everything for corporations, cause-based organizations, government agencies who concern themselves with children and families. Gone are the days of speaking to parents about health and kids about fun. Gone are the days of assuming that to convince mom was to make a sale. And gone are the days of thinking of families as late adapters of broad cultural trends from more cutting edge cohorts of the population. In its place is a newly defined and constructed demographic with unrivaled commercial power, generating their own trends which other segments of society are adopting, and marching to the beat of very different drummer from past generations… a relentless search for Highest Common Ground solutions that work for everybody. Welcome to Generation C.