In the book “how cool brands stay hot-Branding to Generation Y” Joeri Van Den Bergh and Mattias Behrer(2011) mentioned that there is an ancient saying that bears much truth: ‘people resemble their times more than they resemble their parents’. More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. Gen Y (those born between 1980 and 1996) is currently one of the largest demographic groups and will soon outnumber the Baby Boomers generation. Unlike previous generation, this youth generation has been bombard with commercial messages from their birth. However, they have learned to filter out all those loud messages and they have been empowered by their parents and teachers to have an opinion of their own and never merely believe whatever somebody is proclaiming. To survive in the current, cluttered and fragmented environment, today’s teens and adolescents use collective peer wisdom and social connections. Youngsters pick and mix individual parts of media to create their own personalized products and services that fit their individual needs. The Dell and Nike website gives freedom to their consumers to pick and mix the products to create their own computers or shoes.
This Gen Y is a generation of “givers” and ready to contribute to the “we” factor than remaining as “I”. There are an increasing number of forums, sites, movie uploading sites like youtube and torrents (ie. Piratebay) which offer free advices, do-it-yourself demos, movies and having enormous content of valuable material for “free use” which shows statics that though they are as competitive, commercial and ambitious as any other generation in history but they are abandoning the prevailing ethos of their parent’s generation of baby boomers and adhering more to the values of their grandparents, the war generation. In a 2006 USA Today poll, 61 percent of thirteen to twenty five year old felt personally responsible for making difference in the world; 81 percent have volunteered in the past year; 69 percent consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when deciding where to shop; and 83 percent trusted a company more if it was socially/ environmentally responsible.
In his lecture, Thomas W. Malone of MIT mentioned parallels between the emergence of democracies in political and business worlds, and technological advances in communications. He notes that in the age of the Internet, businesses are growing decentralized, markedly departing from “command and control” organizational models to newer environments where “workers seek advice instead of approval.” Empowered by new technologies, workers will exercise ever greater strength in important decisions -- even while corporations expand and sprawl across borders.
Unfortunately, India is still following the Top Down model and this model wont work in current scenario where collaborative initiatives are the only way to sustain in a new digitally democratic world.