Family businesses are the backbone of economies worldwide, bringing together tradition, history, and a shared sense of purpose. However, as new generations come of age and join the business, they often face a multitude of challenges. These challenges often include differences of opinion regarding vision, finances, and technology. In this blog, we will explore the invaluable roles played by Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Family Business and Slick Marketers in helping family businesses bridge the gap between generations, particularly when it comes to marketing.
Understanding the Gap
The essence of family business in America lies in its rich tapestry of tradition, dedication, and resilience. These businesses carry an emotional connection that sets them apart from their corporate counterparts. Although there are 5.5 million family businesses in America, only 30% of family businesses survive the transition between first to second generation ownership and a mere 12% survive the transition from second to third generation.
The crux of the issue lies in the generation gap, where traditional family business owners might be hesitant to embrace modern marketing techniques, while younger members might push for digitalization and innovation. Bridging this gap requires a delicate balance between respecting the values and history of the business, while simultaneously adapting to contemporary marketing strategies.
The Cal State Fullerton Center for Family Business
The Cal State Fullerton Center for Family Business is a driving force when it comes to closing the generation gap in family businesses. Established in 1995, it’s the third largest business school in the nation and offers a variety of programs and resources to help family businesses succeed across generations. This institution serves as a catalyst for the success of family businesses by providing resources, workshops, and a platform for networking and knowledge exchange. Through educational programs and mentorship opportunities, the Center equips family businesses with the necessary tools to overcome challenges, including modern marketing.
The Role of Slick Marketers
The Cal State Fullerton Center for Family Business isn’t the only resource that provides modern marketing. As a specialized marketing agency catering to family businesses, Slick Marketers understands the delicate balance required in catering to multi-generational audiences. They also have a unique ability to blend traditional values with contemporary marketing approaches, ensuring that the brand essence remains intact, while appealing to a broader customer base.
Understanding Divergent Views on Marketing Spending
Within family businesses, opposing opinions on marketing spend can be a common occurrence. Traditionalists may advocate for conservative spending, relying on word-of-mouth and traditional advertising. In contrast, younger members may emphasize the importance of digital marketing, social media, and influencer partnerships. Slick Marketers acts as a mediator, working closely with family business owners to understand their values and financial constraints. They develop tailored marketing strategies that align with the company’s vision, while demonstrating the potential return on investment from adopting new marketing avenues.
The key to success is to create synergy between the old and the new, blending traditional values with innovative marketing methods. This may involve incorporating storytelling to highlight the rich history of the family business, while also utilizing social media platforms to engage with a wider audience. Slick Marketers can devise creative campaigns that tug at heartstrings, while additionally appealing to the evolving preferences of modern consumers.
Family businesses are more than just commercial entities; they are the keepers of traditions and legacies. To remain relevant and prosperous, these businesses must embrace modern marketing strategies, while staying true to their roots. The Cal State Fullerton Center for Family Business, along with the expertise of Slick Marketers, plays a vital role in bridging the generation gap in family businesses, allowing them to thrive in an ever-changing marketplace. By striking a balance between tradition and innovation, family businesses can ensure a bright and prosperous future for generations to come.
Check out CSUF Center for Family Business at: https://business.fullerton.edu/engagement/family-business
Contact Tim Schultz to learn more about the center: