Which brings me to the takeaway here. Right now there are companies that have no appeal at all to the younger generation. We saw it with Coach (COH) and Tiffany (TIF), two older, out-of-touch brands that my two kids aren't the least bit interested in, not more interested than they would be shopping at JC Penney (JCP) or using Microsoft (MSFT) software or driving a GM (GM) car.
Yet if you are going to win the younger generation, the generation that will soon have the purchasing power, a generation that is much smarter than we are, you need to talk to kids like my kids. They now think that Apple's old. Not repulsive like a Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
or a Dell (DELL)
, just old. But that could change on a dime. All Apple would have to do is go buy Twitter, or Netflix, or even an outfit like LinkedIn (LNKD)
, which is developing quite a following among younger people joining the workforce. Heck, it could buy all three and really get its business back in touch with what younger people want.
Netflix knows the younger generation better than most think. Apple used to. That's one of the main reasons why Netflix can soar 40% on a 13 cent profit and Apple can plummet $60 on a $13 gain. It's a lesson that Apple better heed if it ever wants to get back in touch with what the next generation wants, even as it is more sure than ever that it does.
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