I had some marketing folks in my store yesterday; a bunch of forty something guys who were looking for information on what magazines attract teen to early twenty athletic males. They’re standing there, puzzled as all hell (one of them even mentioned that his daughter might know this better than he), when one of them reaches for the Rolling Stone. “Rolling Stone, of course,” he said. And they all nodded.
Rolling Stone. Of course…not.
See, I don’t know about the rest of the country, or even in other bookstores, but the majority of my Rolling Stone is sold to people in their thirties or above. Especially when they do retrospective covers like they did not too long ago with the Zepplin/Robert Plant cover. (Oddly enough, this was also one I sold a lot to teens, but only those who fell into the classic rock profile.) My store’s teens and twenty-somethings are much more likely to just flip through RS, until something (a compelling political article, etc) makes them buy it, but the days where we ran out of stock before the new issue arrived are long gone.
At the store we joke that one of my coworkers is going to create the “new” Rolling Stone: a magazine that does for her generations what RS did for its. There’s a general feeling that it doesn’t have the connection, the appeal, to the younger audience anymore (after that first blush, where the kids pick it up because their folks have talked it up so much). I don’t know if this is represented in their sales, or if this is regional, but the generation gap (and lack of generation saviness in this marketing department on this issue) was interesting.
Well, interesting to me, at least.
Can y’all think of anything where you’ve witnessed a generation gap like this? Either the marketing department somewhere failing to appeal to their target base by making assumptions based on out-moded data or where something has fallen out of favor from one group to the next? Are there items (books specifically if you can think of any) that bridge this gap, and if they do, why? Do they have some common themes?