As a new academic year begins for me, I find it useful to take a closer look at my "customers" to gain better perspective of the world as they see it. One way I do this is to review the annual Mindset List, a collection of facts and characteristics of the year's incoming college freshman class. This year marks the 15th edition of the Mindset List. Among the 75 items on the Class of 2016 Mindset List are:
The Mindset List evokes feelings of nostalgia, surprise, regret, and excitement, depending on your age. For me, the Mindset List is a reminder that the world around us is a dynamic place in which people are constantly adapting their behavior. When people change, their needs and wants change. Yet, the rate of change for businesses often fails to to keep pace with shifts in customers' lives. The main reason is that we are slow to observe significant changes in customers' mindsets.
- Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles
- History has always had its own channel
- They have never seen an airplane “ticket”
- They watch television everywhere but on a television.
Take a few moments to look at the Mindset List for the Class of 2016. Although the list describes today's 18-year-olds, apply the idea of a mindset list to consider how your customers see the world. Is that view markedly different from past years? Has your business responded to changes in customer mindset? Customers expect you to meet them where they are today. Knowing their mindset is essential.