The California Self Storage Association (CSSA) has announced that Kim Yarrow, the author of Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail, will be the keynote speaker for its upcoming marketing symposium, the 4th Annual Northern California Self Storage Owners’ Symposium. The symposium will take place on April 29th, from noon to 6 p.m., at the Lesher Theater in Walnut Creek, California.
When Yarrow and her coauthor, USA Today reporter Jayne O’Donnell, published Gen BuY in 2009, the book instantly drew the attention of retail marketers across the nation – and of Generation Y itself. The book focuses on the spending habits of young adults, teens, and tweens, noting their unique shopping patterns and explaining how marketers can harness the buying power of this demographic.
In the opening pages of Gen BuY, Yarrow explains that even using email and watching television is old hat for this generation. Young people now prefer to communicate more via texts, instant messages, and “tweets” (Twitter postings), and they use their computers more than their televisions for entertainment. Yarrow also points out that teens and young adults often have more spending money than their parents, because they are working, but are not yet saddled with adult fiscal responsibilities such as mortgage payments. They also have tremendous influence over the buying choices of the older adults in their lives. Finally, she says, Generation Y has grown up with more parental attention than any previous group of young people. All these characteristics make Gen Y a unique group that needs its own marketing approach, if retailers and providers of services (such as self storage) want to make the most of this particular market. At the April 29 symposium, Yarrow will discuss marketing tools that can be used to attract young people’s interest.
Shortly after Gen BuY was published, Yarrow told an interviewer at YPulse that successful marketing strategies for this generation will: “blend more entertainment and surprise into the shopping experience.” She continued, “They refresh their merchandise and promotions more frequently, their online and mobile presence is on-brand and robust, and they listen to their customers….Social media, advisory boards, sponsorships and tie-ins, for example, offer opportunities for Gen Y to connect and for retailers to listen.” The recession, Yarrow says, has been good for Gen Y. Pre-recession, many young people were struggling with much more debt, but since the recession, this demographic has been educating itself and becoming more financially literate.
In addition to Yarrow’s keynote address, the symposium will include three other sessions and speakers:
· Session 1: Lender Underwriting Changes, Market Valuations, and the Market Outlook, with speaker Jeff Shouse from PGP Valuation
· Session 2: Are You in Compliance with California Labor Law?, presented by speaker Jessica Christensen of California Employer Advisory Publications
· Session 3: Terrorist Activities Related to Self Storage Facilities, presented by Agent David Strange
The Lesher Theater is located at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA, and interested participants can register online at the CSSA website.