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Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation by Alan Trefler

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Chapter 1Customerpocalypse

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A lot of companies across the globe are going to die over the next few years, not because of macroeconomic stress but because there is an entire emerging generation of customers who hate doing business with them. These companies are going to die from some form of customer stress. Death may come as the result of self-inflicted wounds the company should have known to avoid, which means it is kind of like suicide. It may come from involuntary manslaughter by a new generation of customers. Or these new kinds of customers may just outright murder companies they decide should be put out of their misery. It is the customerpocalypse.

Who are these customers? They trace their ancestry first to the Millennials, also known as Generation Y. The latter term comes from an editorial in Ad Age in 1993, which attempted to describe the teenagers of that time and how they differed from Generation X, the name given to the generation born after the post-World War II baby boom popularized by the novelist Douglas Coupland.1 When Ad Age coined the Gen Y term, it applied to kids 12 and younger at the time, and was meant to refer to those kids who would become teenagers over the subsequent 10 years.

The Millennials term is widely credited to William Strauss and Neil Howe from work first published in 1991.2 You may also have heard of them referred to as Generation We, Generation ...

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