A New Kind of Normal

Boy Helping Girl Use ComputerI think it’s finally happening; I’m becoming my mother.  That’s not a bad thing mind you, my mom rocks.  But every once in a while I catch myself saying things about “kids” I know, kids in their thirties.  Then I got one of those emails about what it’s like to be in the youngest generation—where they don’t know what it’s like to only have three TV stations, what “Rabbit Ears” are, etc.  That got me to thinking about our business and how expectations have changed.

If you look back a decade or so, you’d see the hospitality industry beginning to make changes toward more sustainable practices.  We began recycling things, changing our light bulbs to fluorescent, and instituting laundry policies to save water and energy.  Now if someone tells you they are recycling, it’s not such a big deal; we expect that.  It’s kind of like the old signs that used to advertise air conditioning and cable TV.  The public is moving on.

So what are these new consumers expecting from businesses then?  Well, our research tells us it has morphed beyond the traditional “green” practices.  They are looking for community involvement, social responsibility, and a spirit of volunteerism in the companies with whom they do business.  Purchasers want to associate with people who live and work like they do.  If an establishment’s values (real or perceived) do not align with these shoppers, they’ll find somewhere else to spend their money.

And it’s not enough to do these things and advertise about it.  Gone are the days of shameless self-promotion and tooting your own horn.  Today’s skeptical buyers are looking for peer verification and approval before they make any commitments.  People have no problem putting their experiences and opinions all over social media.  Those comments are passed along faster than an old-fashioned game of telephone.

The upside of all of this?  Everybody can win here.  Through more local involvement and volunteering we can have stronger communities.  With the increase of social media usage and decrease of delayed gratification, we are destined to reach higher levels of customer service.  Maybe it’s not so bad to have this new kind of normal.

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rosanne Perala on December 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    It might start with getting a recycle bin and see how fast that thing fills up. So many just want to fill up the garbage dumps.

    Reply

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