The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 38

CONVENTION
DEMOGRAPHICS

SPEAKER
Upside, Profiting from the Profound
Demographic Shifts Ahead

I

BY KENNETH W. GRONBACH

went to school at California State University at Long Beach.
With 35,000 students, it was a great place to remain anonymous. Ironically, I was recruited out of the graduate program
by Volkswagen of America, Inc. This was my first real taste

of marketing and the automobile business. I loved it, but I didn't
love Southern California, so I moved back to my home state of
Connecticut and opened a retail advertising agency.

Twenty two years ago I sent our
advertising agency's one man research
department on an assignment to find
out why Generation X, born in the U.S.
between 1965 to 1984, was so maligned
by the United States press. They were
in the media's cross-hairs because they
simply did not measure up to the performance levels of the Baby-Boomers,
born 1945 to 1964, that preceded them.
The tipping point for me was a full page
editorial in a major Connecticut newspaper late in October of 1996 during
the Clinton/Dole presidential election
battle. Generation X was indicted for
deficiencies in voting, giving, volunteering and running for office. A bunch of
lazy slacker couch potatoes! How could
they possibly be the future of the United
States? I wanted to know. I wanted facts.
My researcher was ready with his
report at the end of the week. He was
armed with Census data, Bureau of
Labor Statistics research, CIA Fact Book
information and a menacing U.S. Live
Birth Chart from The National Center
for Health Statistics.
38

MHEDA | themhedajournal.org

So, what is the bottom line? The net,
net? Will Generation X ever perform at
the level of the Boomers? His answer
was clear. "No." So there you have
it, a generation of under achievers. I
concluded, "So they are lazy." I said.
Again his answer was unassuming,
"No, there are simply fewer of them.
Nine million to be exact, 78 million
Boomers compared to 69 million Gen
Xers born over comparable 20 year
periods." It took a few minutes for this
profoundly modest information to sink
in and then explode in my brain.
I imagined two NFL teams in a playoff game. One was allowed to have the
standard 11 players on the field and
the other was limited to 9 players. The
team of 11 player trounced the team
of 9 and the play by play announcers
were criticizing the team of 9 for their
poor athleticism.
This information, a revelation really,
solved a decade long mystery at our
Middletown, Connecticut based advertising agency, KGA. During the early
1980's KGA Advertising enjoyed a very

profitable relationship with a signature
client, American Honda Motorcycles.
We represented 140 Honda Motorcycle
dealers in Honda's Northeast U.S.
Region. We sold thousands of Honda
motorcycles using really cool radio and
television ads. However a strange thing
happened in 1986. We ran the ads in
April and no one responded. It was like
someone or something had turned a faucet off. We panicked and so did Honda.
What was going on? Kawasaki, Suzuki
and Yamaha motorcycle dealers were
experiencing the same issue. In sharp
contrast the anachronistic dinosaur of
a motorcycle, Harley Davidson, was
experiencing a sales spike. Go figure. By
1992 sales for the Japanese motorcycle
brands had fallen 80%, yes, really. And
95% of the Japanese motorcycle dealers closed, including Honda dealers.
Our 1996 calculations showed that our
very narrow Japanese motorcycle market, men 16 to 24, had been exited by
the Baby Boomers and then populated
by the diminutive Generation X. The
demographic kiss of death.
Where else did this information lead?
Did the diminutive Generation X close
public schools in the U.S.? Yes! Did Gen
X commit less crime because there were
fewer crime committers in their generation? Yes! Did consumer products
suffer softer sales because there were
fewer consumers in Generation X? Yes!
Did immigrants seeking opportunity
pour into the United States because
Generation X could not supply the
critical mass of workers to meet the
needs of the Boomers? Yes! Is the small
Gen X population creating issues for


http://www.themhedajournal.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018

Chairman’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
Ask Your MHEDA Board
2018 MHEDA Calendar
MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
@ WORK
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY
INDUSTRY PULSE
Exhibitors Showcase Guide and Floor Plan
Exhibitor Summaries
DESIGNING YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
UPSIDE, PROFITING FROM THE PROFOUND DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS AHEAD
9 QUESTIONS FOR LEADERS
WHEN PROCESSES ARE NO LONGER OPTIONAL
CAN YOU STILL COMPELETE ON YOUR VALUE ADDED?
KEEPING PACE WITH CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
WHY CULTURE?
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE NEW GUY/GIRL?
DATA-DRIVEN TECHNIQUES TO TRANSFORM YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING
NEW DISC DASHBOARD
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
Index of Advertisers Alphabetically
The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Intro
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - cover1
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - cover2
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 3
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 4
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 5
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 6
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 7
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 8
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 9
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 10
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Chairman’s Perspective
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 12
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - From the Desk of Liz Richards
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 14
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Editor’s Note
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 16
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Ask Your MHEDA Board
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 18
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 19
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 2018 MHEDA Calendar
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 21
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 23
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 24
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 25
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 26
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - @ WORK
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 28
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - WOMEN IN INDUSTRY
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - INDUSTRY PULSE
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 31
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 32
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E1
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Exhibitors Showcase Guide and Floor Plan
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E3
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Exhibitor Summaries
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E5
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E6
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E7
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E8
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E9
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E10
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E11
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E12
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E13
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E14
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E15
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E16
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E17
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E18
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E19
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E20
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E21
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E22
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E23
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E24
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E25
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E26
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E27
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E28
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E29
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E30
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E31
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E32
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E33
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E34
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E35
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - E36
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - DESIGNING YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 34
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 35
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 36
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 37
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - UPSIDE, PROFITING FROM THE PROFOUND DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS AHEAD
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 39
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 40
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 9 QUESTIONS FOR LEADERS
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 42
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - WHEN PROCESSES ARE NO LONGER OPTIONAL
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 44
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 45
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - CAN YOU STILL COMPELETE ON YOUR VALUE ADDED?
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 47
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - KEEPING PACE WITH CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 49
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 50
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 51
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - WHY CULTURE?
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 53
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 54
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE NEW GUY/GIRL?
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 56
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 57
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - DATA-DRIVEN TECHNIQUES TO TRANSFORM YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 59
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 60
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - NEW DISC DASHBOARD
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 62
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 63
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - New Members
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Spotlight on Association News
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - 66
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - MHEDA Milestones
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - Index of Advertisers Alphabetically
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - cover3
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - cover4
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - outsert1
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - outsert2
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - outsert3
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - outsert4
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - outsert5
The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2018 - outsert6
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/DISQ/DISQ0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/DISQ0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/DISQ0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/DISQ0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/DISQ0212
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com