Remaining Relevant: What do Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Remaining Relevant have in common?
Remaining relevant to multiple generations has become increasingly challenging for every brand. Every generation has its own “Greatest Hits” list, and even legendary sports figures face the challenge of remaining relevant in the minds of younger fans. Competition for attention spans nowadays is fierce. Just ask former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Sr.
Our paths recently crossed in the Las Vegas airport. While we were chatting he asked a young lady passing by, who looked to be about 20, to snap our pic. This is where things got interesting.
When I asked our young photog if she knew who this legend was, she timidly shook her head ‘No”.
So I tried to prompt her by encouraging her to think of one of the most accomplished professional boxers of all time.
I then pointed to the grey t-shirt on the gentleman next to me, thinking it would be a HUGE clue.
And then it dawned on her.
Not Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya or Floyd Mayweather Jr….
I couldn’t stop laughing as she took the pic, while Floyd Mayweather Sr. said “WHAT did she just say?!?! What. Did. She. Just. SAY?!?!?!”
“Rocky, Floyd…She said Rocky…”
Clearly the challenge of remaining relevant to today’s youth does not just vex major brands and small businesses, but also world-class sports figures as well. Ensuring a loyal fan base as attention spans shorten and the landscape for alternative products and services continues to grow is a problem that must be overcome. Whether you are a retailer, an IT salesperson or a world class athlete, to remain relevant you must be engaged.
It is possible to remain relevant across generations with just a little bit of effort:
1. Engage via social media. Among a younger generation this is a critical component of communication as well as a brand builder. If you are not posting via Instagram, Twitter, Google+ or leveraging Vine, you are missing out. That is where the conversations are taking place. But remember the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of your content should be relevant to your audience and a two way-conversation, i.e. sharing and commenting on others’ posts. Only 20% about you. Too many ‘selfies’ and too much self-promotion, and people flee.
2. Get connected. Understand your fan base and tailor your content appropriately. Whether you are a ‘brand fan’ or a ‘sports fan’, it is important to keep your fans for the long-haul, not just a one-off transactional relationship. Engagement is key; people want to feel as though they are part of the brand, not just a spectator. This requires you to understand exactly what products and services your customer wants. Zappos anyone?
3. Earn and KEEP your customer & fan’s Trust. No explanation required.
4. Be Authentic. Interact and engage on a personal level. Most savvy millennial’s today can sniff out a selfish 40 year old wolf in sheep’s clothing, so provide credible interactions, or they will run for the hills and not return.
5. Share. Do good, mentor others, make a positive difference in the world and fans will engage with you. Need proof? I direct you to Wine to Water, or Team Rubicon. They have this aspect down pat.
Remaining relevant in today’s rapidly changing, hyper-competitive world is not impossible, but it does require you to work diligently and not become complacent.
In aviation, complacency kills. Same is true in business: if you become complacent and fail to ignore the warning signs (shifts in culture, trends, customer demands, fan interest) you could be facing extinction.
And you may end up like the dinosaurs.
Or Floyd Mayweather Jr…
Carey Lohrenz is the author of the Wall Street Journal Best Seller “Fearless Leadership: High-Performance Lessons from the Flight Deck.”, a motivational speaker and leadership expert.
Carey has flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy F-14 Tomcat pilot. Her extensive experience operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments, an aircraft carrier, and her unique position as one of the first female combat pilots make her the perfect opening or closing inspirational keynote speaker for your corporate meeting or conference.
Carey graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she was a varsity rower, also training at the Pre-Olympic level. After graduation, she attended the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School before starting flight training and her naval career. She is the mother of four kids, and is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Leadership.