“The theory of generations” for the formation of the assortment of multi-brand
30.08.2011 14198

“The theory of generations” for the formation of the assortment of multi-brand

In the early 90s of the XX century. Economist Neil Howe and historian William Strauss, finding out why contradictions arise between people of different age groups, independently came to the same and unexpected conclusions. Using their conclusions, which were summarized in the “theory of generations”, the author proposes an approach to the formation of the assortment of a multi-brand shoe store.

Text: Alexander Erokhin, Executive Director of LLC "Business Center" Ermak ", Ph.D., p. n. from.

In 1991, their joint scientific work “Generations” was published. Research results have shown that among generations, four types are clearly traced, replacing each other. The authors conditionally divided these types into “prophets / idealists”, “nomads / activists”, “heroes / conciliators” and “artists / opportunists”. Since these generations replaced each other without failures, the authors of the book proposed to correlate these generations with the seasons: spring - "prophets", summer - "nomads", autumn - "heroes", winter - "artists". On the basis of these studies and the later published book The Fourth Transformation, a theory emerged, now known as the "theory of generations."

It is known that the change of generations takes about 80 years, each generation as a category is present in history for about 20 years.

Optimistic heroes

In Russia, among the people living today, the oldest are "heroes" who were born in 1901 - 1922. in the "autumn" period. Let's call this generation OPTIMISTS. The worldview of this generation was formed until the early 30s. This generation survived the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Civil War, epidemics, famine, NEP, the first five-year plans, collectivization of agriculture and other upheavals at the beginning of the century. People who are now over 85 years old firmly believe in a happy future for the Motherland and a just communist idea. These are people of duty, responsible, pedantic, hard-working and philanthropic.

Silent Artists

The generation born in the winter from 1923 to 1942 is the MILKERS. The generation that survived the Stalinist repressions and camps, the Great Patriotic War, the period of the restoration of the national economy was tacit, fulfilling, patient and law-abiding.

The prophets of victory

Generation 1943 - 1963 ("Spring") we will call the WINNERS. This generation grew up in a superpower, in the conditions of "confidence in the future." During this period, the country won the catastrophe war, brought the first man into space, actively expanded the housing stock - in the 60s, most citizens moved from basements and barracks to housing that was rather comfortable for those times - communal apartments, or even to separate apartments. For people of this generation, all tasks are within reach, for them there are no insurmountable obstacles. WINNERS overcome the difficulties of deprivation in a permanent mode, achieving the goals set for them is the goal of life, and its active image is the norm.

Individualist nomads

Generation 1963 - 1983 ("Summer") - this is the generation of the "cold war", a tough confrontation between systems, up to the overcoming Caribbean crisis. It grew and was brought up during the period of the "Iron Curtain", the absolute closeness of the country, the Brezhnev stagnation, a total shortage of both products and information. During the formation of this generation, "two plagues" arose - synthetic drugs and AIDS. The employment of workaholic parents with exhausting work in the name of the country's power made this generation more independent, a generation "with a key around its neck." The main qualities for them were a constant readiness for changes in the external environment, changes in all aspects of public and private life, a fatal reliance only on their own strength. Let's call this generation INDIVIDUALISTS.

New Optimists-Informatics

Generation "autumn" 1982 - 2000 has not yet fully entered into a meaningful independent life. This is the generation of the mirror image of OPTIMISTS (1901 - 1922). The collapse of the USSR, the terrorist attacks on Dubrovka and in Beslan, which shook the psyche of most people, new universal fears of the "bird flu" epidemics. This period of terrible transformations and tragedies was inharmoniously combined with the fantastic speed of development of information technologies and the introduction of computers into all spheres of human activity. The categories of "real" and "virtual" for this generation have no formal boundaries. This is the generation of the "BIG FINGER" who dials SMS on the keyboard of the "mobile phone". The standard of living of their parents has grown significantly, therefore, the "children" were protected in every possible way, deprived of independent choice, instilled in the Western values ​​of the "celebration" of the number of banknotes. This is a generation of "obedient and controlled" and at the same time very self-confident people, devoid of fundamental knowledge in any area. For these people, high and immediate remuneration for work will be important, although duty and morality are not abstract qualities for them. Let's call this generation the INFORMATIANS generation.

We list all generations in chronological order:

OPTIMISTS, SILENTS, WINNERS, INDIVIDUALISTS, INFORMATICS (they are OPTIMISTS on a new round of a generational spiral.)

The psychophysical reactions of generations to the historical conditions in which they grew, matured and formed, are quite stable and massive (as expected), so each generation has a very specific set of behavioral preferences.

These preferences are most vividly formulated by Russian scientists Evgenia Shamis and Alexey Antipov, members of the Personnel Touch consulting bureau.

How to apply the results of these studies to shoe subjects

Currently, the most active players in the consumer market are the generation of WINNERS, INDIVIDUALISTS and INFORMATICS.

For the WINNERS, the main criterion when choosing a product is its status. By purchasing a Mercedes car (BMW, Audi…), a Swiss watch (Vasheron Constantin, Patek Philippe…) and even a Lamborgini lawn mower, the WINNER is absolutely sure that such an acquisition will strongly push him up the social ladder. Of course, the WINNER will prefer shoes from Prada, Manolo Blanick, Dolche & Gabbana ..., in extreme cases - Baldinini, Pachiotti ..., that is, European shoes of a very high price range, mainly Italian. Seeing a Chinese couple in a shoe store, even if the WINNER really liked it, he is unlikely to buy it, because this would lower his status.

A trip to the store for the WINNERS is a pathological necessity. Being confident in his own importance and awareness, he will feel like an expert in the store, so the WINNER visits specialty stores more often. If he needs a pair of shoes, he will go to Crocus City Mall (if he lives or is located in Moscow), as a last resort to one of the shoe centers, where there are thousands of these shoe pairs. The WINNER will walk for a long time, study, compare models, select, measure ... and continue to compare. The choice for him is no less important than the fact of the acquisition. In relation to brands, the WINNERS are monogamous. Having learned once in childhood that Salamander is a status, the WINNER will carry this performance throughout his life. Brands may already lose their leading positions in the market or disappear altogether, but the WINNER will still be sure that Salamander is No. 1.

Thus, the choice of WINNERS is European (mainly Italian) shoes of a high price range of well-known (status) brands.

The preferences of INDIVIDUALISTS are unambiguously correlated with surprise. It is important for him to learn something new and unusual in a product. It is important for an INDIVIDUALIST to acquire a unique item. If he sees a pair of shoes with a removable sole or a spare set of colored laces in the store, he will definitely buy it. The purchased footwear may not have a well-known brand, the main thing is its uniqueness or some kind of “trick” in the footwear, it may be “marsh and“ superfrost-resistant ”TopMan shoes or a pair of the same brand with removable protectors.

INDIVIDUALISTS do not accept the imposition of help by the seller, tips, or even just attention to them as buyers. They love to turn everything in their hands, touch, try, check, without experiencing any kind of attention to themselves from the service personnel. But in search of the right footwear, an INDIVIDUALIST will not “wool” the whole city, he will go to a shoe store “within walking distance” and buy what he is looking for. He knows exactly what he needs, he does not think about the price, even being sure that he is overpaying.

The INDIVIDUALIST's attitude to the brand is rather neutral, more often indifferent. A loud, well-known brand may even be frightening for him - my friends have ADIDAS, RIEKER, ARA ... - this will not suit me.

Thus, the choice of INDIVIDUALISTS is both unique samples of shoes of an unusual design, regardless of brand and price range, and comfortable shoes.

In contrast, INFORMATICS INDIVIDUALISTS are committed to brand awareness. Fluent in fashion, INFORMATICS know the priorities in the modern hierarchy of brands. They are bought. Often INFORMATICS buy the mood, but not the product itself. It was INFORMATICS who coined the Western term "shopping". His favorite store is a huge shopping center (for example, MEGA for Moscow). He (the shopping center) is a cultural temple for them, where they like to spend time if they have money. Awareness of one's own importance and the illusion of exclusivity indirectly instilled in INFORMATICS a belief in the importance of ecology. INFORMATICS will not eat GMO products, and a pair of shoes they buy must have a label with information that it is an environmentally friendly product, or “relieves” stress, or “breathes”, or comfortable. In general, this circumstance may lead shoe manufacturers to certain marketing "moves".

Thus, the choice of INFORMATICS is modern, especially fashionable shoe brands that combine environmental friendliness and comfort.

Silencers, who prefer to store everything for future use, preferably in bulk, demand reliability, durability and blockiness from shoes, when a broken heel can be easily replaced in a workshop, and even better - with a spare one on your own. For this group, the brand is absolutely not important, something else is important - the price, because these are people whose main income is a pension, not often - the help of children. Therefore, for them there are two main landmarks - high-quality, solid and inexpensive shoes.

The group of OPTIMISTS, according to their preferences, is unlikely to differ from the SILENTS, so we will combine them into one group.

Having determined the preferences of the studied groups, it is easy, using the statistical data of demographic studies (table 1), to formulate requirements for the assortment of a multi-brand store.

Formed above "shoe preferences" of the studied age groups, combined with the data in Table 1 by the "mask" method, will easily formulate requirements for the quantitative proportions of the assortment of a multi-brand shoe store:

- modern, especially fashionable youth shoe brands that combine comfort and environmental friendliness - ~ 30% in a 50/50 ratio for men's and women's shoes. Average price range;

- Unique, special models of little-known brands of unusual design and comfortable shoes ~ 30% in the ratio of 50 / 50 for men's and women's shoes. Medium and high price range;

- European (mainly Italian) models of status brands of a high price range - ~ 30% in the ratio of 50 / 50 for men's and women's shoes;

- high-quality, solid, wear-resistant shoes of a low price range - ~ 15% in the ratio of 30 / 70 for men's and women's shoes.

The given recommendations on the ratio of men's and women's shoes do not contradict the results of demographic studies shown in the table, but reflect the numerical estimates of the statistical "mask" of sales - men's and women's shoes of a number of chain shoe companies.

The percentage ratio between men's and women's shoes does not mean at all that the absolute quantities of ordered models must strictly correspond to it. As practice shows, the ratio of absolute sales between men's and women's shoes ranges from 10/90 to 40/60.

As you can easily see, in accordance with the results presented in the table, the practical recommendations of the article will not differ depending on the location of the shoe store (see figures for the distribution of the "general population" and "urban population").

The author hopes that the owners of shoe stores and chains can easily transform the above recommendations on the assortment composition, taking into account the specific features of their business and their own ideas in solving the problem under study.


At the beginning of the 90 of the XX century. economist Neil Hove and historian William Strauss, figuring out why there are contradictions between people of different age groups, independently came to the same and ...
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