So I finally got the chance to go through my book list and read a few books I’ve been eying for months. Most of the books I read I'm attracted to by the cover. Then, when time is available, I sneak over to Barnes and Noble or some other book retailer and read the gist of the book until I get becomes bland and predictable. It had been a while since I read a book that really sparked my interest enough that I could not put it down. One book in particular caught my eye because of the title The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm by Ken Gronbach. I grabbed the book with skepticism, but was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
I was worried that it would be another book that addressed generational differences from a surface level approach that dabbled in generalities, broad conclusions and snarky commentary about millennial behavior. Instead, I read an entertaining book filled with statistics and demographics, but clothed in stories and anecdotes that compel you to continue reading.
Gronbach is not afraid to call out certain industries and companies for their failed and failing approach to answering the generation question. He surprised me by spending significant time explaining the impact of the generation dip that is Gen X and the impact that will have in the business world. Finally, someone else sees this issue and is not overlooking them to focus purely on Millennials or Boomers. Gronbach shows how the dwindling number of Generation X and certain marketers failure to focus on generation demographic shifts caused a devastating drop in profit margin. Just look at Honda's motorcycle and Levi jeans as examples.
Gronbach explains how, and more importantly why, Millennials are beginning to affect the market in significant ways. He goes on to answer the question that many generation critics have about the study and explains, through compelling case studies, why certain businesses and industries are doing well and others are not depending on how they've responded the change in generational size and taste.
Why not completely absolved of problems, for instance the book can be repetitive at times, Gronbach goes beyond what most similar books on generational issue miss and that’s explain not only the “what” but also the “why."
Kudos to The Age Curve for taking what can be a dry subject and injecting lively anecdotes in with interesting facts. Yes I did eventually buy this book.