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Generation Lance

If you’ve been around marketing long enough, you hear something about generational differences once every few seconds. Ditto for HR.

There’s all kinds of studies that generally seem to separate our current population into six big groups of generations:

  • Greatest generation
  • Silent generation
  • Baby boomers
  • Gen X
  • Gen Y (or Millennials)
  • Gen Z

Lots of people have heard about these.

Now, there’s even more precise micro-generations. There’s Generation Jones, a sort of in between group of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

There’s also now The Oregon Trail Generation, which is special because it covers when I was born, the cusp between Gen X and Y.

But you know, it’s not a perfect description of me. Yeah, it’s closer than Gen X or Gen Y but let’s really nail this.

I’m creating a micro-micro-generation that more accurately describes my qualities. I’m calling it Generation Lance. It’s a micro-generation of The Oregon Trail Generation which is a micro-generation on the cusps of Gen X and Gen Y.

How do you know if you’re in Generation Lance? It’s easy:

  • Born in late October in 1981 between 11:04 and 11:06 AM
  • Grew up in a small suburb and then moved to a bigger suburb of Portland, Oregon
  • Went to a state school that was about as far away from home as possible without leaving the state
  • Got married between 23 and 25, had a kid at 33
  • One cat
  • Homeowner with two TVs
  • Gym member but goes inconsistently
  • Works for a marketing agency after working in HR and writing
  • Most frequently reads Deadspin, Reddit, and Slate
  • Name is Lance Haun

I feel really confident in this profile I’ve built for my micro-micro-generation, but if you have more questions about it, I’m happy to do some consulting work for your organization for a few hundred dollars an hour. After identifying member(s) of this generation, I can help you build a more complete persona through surveys and personal interviews.

This is really the next big thing in marketing and HR. Get on this train now so you don’t miss it.

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Think You Should Launch Your Product At A Conference? Maybe… Or Maybe Not

After two days and seeing a lot of startups at TechCrunch Disrupt (the rows of startups, the startup competition, with more to come), I can probably prattle off the names to nearly a dozen of them off the top of my head out of the several dozens I saw. If you mention one to me, I’ll probably remember that I saw them there for a little while. Then, it will slowly fade from memory unless one of them does something else.

That’s not to take away anything from TechCrunch or the conference itself. It was fantastic aside from a few logistical hurdles that will probably be forgotten by almost everyone.

But, the apt comparison for me would be to watching NBA Summer League basketball. Now Kris Dunn and I brought a couple of our friends and watched 16 hours of hoops over two days in the middle of summer in Vegas. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience but you saw perhaps 10 teams and 150 players over that span of time (few of which are NBA starter caliber to begin with).

Do you know who we saw there in Las Vegas?

Jeremy Lin

An unknown at the time, Lin had a breakout season this year and earned himself a big payday with the Houston Rockets. You couldn’t miss the news. And he was in front of our eyes. We were sitting four rows up from the floor watching him.

You know what we could remember of his game? Jack squat. We saw so many guards play, they kind of all blurred together.

Now, I believe in conferences. I think they are important. And I think they can be a great marketing tool for companies. A high profile launch is great but it becomes less great the more companies that get involved. If I was going into a situation where 50+ companies were doing product launches or new versions of a product and were all planning on dropping it at a conference, I would take a divergent strategy unless you are a market leader that could dominate the conversation.

I’m not a marketer but I know how stories are written. The time during a conference is hectic and if you’re covering it, you’re trying to write a bunch about what you saw. And then it is over and you’re back to your regular beat. Quite honestly, I would tell companies to spend time securing press for a new release or product ahead of a large conference they were attending and then using that to build in-person conversations when you see potential customers.

Launching a product is a marathon, not a sprint. And success usually means not following the same strategy as everyone else.