Generational Connection


By Seth Barnett, VP of Operations, Think Promo Now

One of the most discussed subjects in the past few years has been in reference to business being able to reach a new market, specifically a younger market. Those in this group of younger buyers, specifically those born after 1985, make up more than half of the consumer market today. This means that if you are not working to build new customers from this group, you are missing out. The younger buyers are also beginning to take active buying roles within the business market. What we often see is that business buying habits of this group reflect that of their general consumer habits. This includes, but is not limited to, the preference to shop small, using technology to consume, and the value of relationships in long-term consumption. Now think about these characteristics as part of your present business model and your potential for growth. Are you meeting the demand of a younger market?

Those of us in the promotional product marketplace have been following theories of a younger generation’s consumption with careful consideration in recent years. We know, as most of you do, that this group can make or break the future of our businesses. Early on there was skepticism associated with this younger group of buyers and if the promotional products industry could sustain among a younger, more educated, more plugged in group. What we found is that not only can the industry sustain, it can thrive among this group if careful consideration is paid in adapting to the specific needs.  

Focusing primarily on the main three components listed here, the promotional product market had to adapt to the demand of this consumer group. First, the preference to shop small. Many of you are small businesses or at least operate as such. Much of the promotional products market is small and micro size businesses that operate with limited staff and do business almost exclusively with local companies. To the younger buying group, this is ideal. This group is weary of chain suppliers. They understand the difference in the outcome of working with smaller businesses. Often time this comes with an increased cost that this group is more than happy to pay. Next, technology and the power of digital interfacing cannot be overlooked. Social media and e-commerce drives business today especially among this group. So, having a place that is familiar and has a significant digital presence is a must. Finally, relationships are critical to this group. They often feel dismissed which would stand to reason why they do not want to do business with corporations. They want to be heard and especially in reference to repeat business, they want to understand who they are doing business with. This is an easy fact to dismiss, but is critical to a successful outcome.

Today, technology is the catalyst to all of these asks of the younger generation. At Think Promo Now, we give you access to the promotional products market with these assumptions in mind. We want you to be able to supplement your printing business with an eye toward growth, and especially, the ability to reach the younger market. What we have found is that the younger buyers love promotional products. Most notably, they love them because the industry meets the consumer demands unique to the group. Products themselves are fun and engaging but, more importantly, the marketplace where they consume is friendly to these specific wants and needs.

We encourage you to reach out to us and learn more by visiting


Sam Beurthe