Henry Ford was a visionary in terms of developing a work force that was diverse. His goal was to give anyone from any walk of life the chance to develop the skills needed to created their own success. More than a century later, the Ford demographics are finally being embraced by others in the business world.
In 2013, about 27% of the US workforce were members of a minority group. 22% of the workforce were women.
Women also make up 17% of the management positions for Ford around the world, defined as being in middle management or above. They have 2 women serving on their board of directors and two minorities serving as well. Out of 42 corporate officers, four are women and eight identify themselves as minorities.
Generation Z Is The New Target for Ford
- 52% of Ford’s new targeted demographic use YouTube or social media for research assignments they may be given.
- 1 in 3 will watch educational lessons online.
- 20% of this targeted demographic will read their required textbooks or other school materials with a tablet, smartphone, or similar mobile device.
- 32% of them say that they prefer to work with others online than working with people in a face-to-face manner.
- 55% of those in Generation Z say that they want to start their own business so they can hire others.
- Although Millennials [71%] are more likely to consider an advanced college degree than Generation Z [64%], it is Generation Z that is 54% more likely to say that they want to have an impact on the world.
Most of the members of Generation Z, which are those who were born in 1993 or later, say that they want to make a positive impact on the world today. You’ll find teens in this generation are already making profound scientific discoveries, such as the bacteria called Diazotroph, which can help to increase the yields of certain crops. Ford is targeting this generation now because even though most of them aren’t going to be able to afford a vehicle yet, they can begin to establish a level of brand loyalty which will help this American staple of the automotive industry to continue its pattern of growth in the years to come.
Why The Youth Demographics Is So Important To Ford
- 58% of adults who are above the age of 35 say that kids today have more in common with their global peers than they do the adults in their own communities.
- 75% of adults under the age of 35 say that there is too much pressure on today’s kids to choose a career early on in life.
- 46% of US adults under the age of 35 say that they are drawn to a brand that they consider to be “rebellious.” The only nation with a higher response rate in this demographic China at 57%.
- 82% of worldwide adults agree that they admire unconventional solutions to problems.
- In the US, 57% of Ford’s targeted demographics state that people today brag more about their past failures than ever before. In Brazil, 73% of adults agree with this sentiment.
- 37% of US adults above the age of 35 say that even the stigma of failure is starting to disappear.
- 59% of internet users today do not believed it is possible to be completed anonymous. 73% of US adults believe that as a society, Americans have given up on the concept of privacy.
- 55% of younger adults feel like companies today are spying on them regularly.
- The percentage of internet users who have taken steps to mask or delete their online presence: 86%.
Why is there less of a fear of failure today? Maybe it’s because 90% of all tech startups, which are generally the creative effort of the targeted generation of Ford, are destined to fail. Yet what’s remarkable about that statistic is that the success rates are better than the average business startup success rate of 5% that Generation Z’s parents have enjoyed. The younger generations are therefore seeing more success, quite possibly because they are less afraid of failure, and that’s why Ford is focusing on an authentic message to this core group of potential customers.
Here Is Why Ford Is Making a Move Now
- By 2017, there is expected to be 450 million mobile payment users. In 2013, there were just 61 million active mobile money accounts.
- 45% of Millennials say that they would be fine with connecting payment information to a wearable device so that payments are faster and have fewer hassles.
- In the last 12 months, just 7% of adults in the 35+ age demographic used a mobile payment app. For Millennials or younger, they were 3.5x more likely to do so.
- Africa accounts for more than half of the world’s mobile money usage.
- More than 1 million people activated Apple Pay within the first 72 hours after its initial debut.
- 41% of adults who are purchasing a new vehicle today expect it to have a similar technology, keyless entry, for the amount they are paying for the vehicle.
- 76% of US citizens think sharing things helps them to save money and 64% believe that sharing lowers their overall environmental impact.
- 73% of the younger generations say that they would rather have a few very useful possessions than many possessions.
- 1 in 3 US adults in the 18-25 age demographic say that they prefer to rent products they need instead of purchasing it.
- 48% of US adults believe it is easier to get their taxes done than it is to figure out how to eat in a healthy way.
- The percentage of Americans who believe it is more important to enjoy their food rather than worry what may be in it: 54%.
Why is Ford making a move toward the younger generations now? Because they see the writing on the wall. An automobile isn’t a purchase that many are going to want to make. They see more value in being able to lease a vehicle or even just rent one on a part-time basis when they must go somewhere. As the freelancer economy continues to expand, many in the younger generations and even some older adults are discovering they don’t have the same needs for a vehicle as they once did. By positioning itself now to take advantage of the changes being seen in these demographics, Ford is setting up its brand to be at the top of the mind of consumers when they do have a need for a vehicle in some way.
The Danger of Being Seen As An Old-Fashioned Brand
- 40% of US adults under the age of 35 say that they have trouble making long-term commitments. In some top vehicle markets like Japan, that percentage is as high as 64%.
- Another 40% of US adults under the age of 35 say that changing one’s name just because of marriage is an old-fashioned concept.
- Adults under the age of 35 are 63% more likely to agree that a sharing economy allows them to take more risks than adults over the age of 35.
- 76% of younger adults today say that their definition of family includes people who are not blood-related.
- The percentage of US adults who embrace non-traditional methods of companionship: 58%.
- In Japan, about 90% of the people who are adopted are adult males in their 20s or 30s.
- Only 1 in 5 households today in the US fit the definition of the “traditional nuclear family.”
- 41% of US children are now born to unmarried mothers.
- The percentage of pet owners in the US who consider themselves to be pet parents: 54%.
- 1 in 4 social media users today posts fake information to their profile as a way to protect their identity.
- 78% of Millennials say that they want more privacy compared to 59% of older internet users.
- 56% of Millennials say that they are willing to share their current location online to receive coupons or some other type of value offer.
Ian Miller, who is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, describes the attitude of the younger generations perfectly: “Adolescents considered different things to be private than adults. They don’t care if Facebook knows their religion, but they do care about their parents finding out about their sex life.” The younger generations have different priorities, ideas, and preferences. For an automotive brand like Ford, the transition must happen now. Certainly the Baby Boomers in today’s population are going to purchase a car or two, but Millennials will use Uber or some other sharing service to save money. By adapting their approach, both generational demographics are able to have their needs met and that keeps Ford current in the minds of everyone.
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