In The Age Curve, market analyst Kenneth Gronbach illustrates the importance of recognizing and adjusting to the changing times.1 Before 1986, American Honda Motorcycle thrived as Gronbach’s premier advertising account. Honda had grown using a fairly simple model: Ship bikes from the warehouse to the dealers, run ads, and make sales. But in 1986, two months after shipping, nothing happened. No sales.
In fact, sales continued to drop for the next six years. By 1992, most Honda dealerships were ready to close. What had gone wrong?
It took Gronbach several years to figure out what was really a simple answer: The market demographics had shifted and no one noticed. Before 1986, the majority of motorcycle sales came from the Boomer generation. But by 1986, most Boomers had reached age twenty-seven. At age twenty-seven they were married and had their first child. The baby won, and the motorcycle got the boot.
Fast-forward to the present day, and we find the fundraising world in a similar industry-altering shift. While giving has come back, to a degree, from the depths of the 2008 recession, the rebound has not by any means been a “return to normal.” But as with American Honda Motorcycle, few nonprofits have recognized this shift, and they’re starting to pay dearly for it.
That’s why we are writing this book.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish