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Why Your Customer’s Life Is Your Business’s Life

Business Trigger #5: a change in your customers’ lives

Some of you reading this have a specific customer base. A very particular niche demographic for a product or service that’s perhaps not quite as ubiquitous as a cup of coffee. (Even though I don’t drink coffee, I do take business tips from Howard Schultz!) If you’re part of a company that acutely targets the ideal customer, can a change in your customers’ lives trigger crisis in your business? To answer that question, consider the example of Harley Davidson. Not just motorcycles, Harleys.

For years baby boomers bought Harleys because they grew up watching Hollywood bad boys riding these beautiful bikes. For that customer base, most sales happened between the ages of 35 and 55, that’s the prime purchaser. (You don’t see too many 65 or 70-year-olds buying Harleys.) The biggest sales sweet spot is about 40 to 45 years old. Somebody has midlife crisis and they run out and buy a Harley, right?

So there’s only one problem if you’re Harley Davidson. The generation behind me and my fellow Baby Boomers is much smaller. So much smaller that even if every Gen Xer turned 40 and bought a Harley, sales would hardly put wind in your hair.

So Harley Davidson continues their massive production and then what happens is those baby boomers who once bought bikes age out of the market. They’re not buying Harleys anymore. Now they’re taking pictures of them in their garage, and posting them on Craigslist, and selling them real cheap because it was cool and fun for a few thousand miles, and now they’re 65 and they want to get some cash in their khakis for this thing that’s in near mint condition.

And that’s how a change in your customers’ lives can cripple your business if you don’t anticipate it.

Ask yourself right now: Who is the next generation and how will we market to them?

As people change — as they have children, as they age through different stages of life — they’ll make decisions differently. And the same goes not just for your customers but for you and your employees, too.

Header image © Lukas Gojda/shutterstock

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. Author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller UNSHAKEABLE, Mr. Robbins has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. He created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time, and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.

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