Many in the promotional products industry not only worry about working with the “younger generation,” – also known as Millennials – but have cast a very negative light on the entire group. As readers of my blog likely know, I have been a very strong advocate of Millennials and the overall need to have their voice heard in industry conversations.
However, in October 2016, I wrote a blog titled “Hey Millennials…enough!” where I took the generation to task for casting older generations for being comfortable with the status quo, backward-thinking, and having the inability to adapt. I went on to write that “being part of the Millennial generation doesn’t automatically make you a disruptor, more adaptive, or quicker to embrace technology any more than being part of Generation X unquestionably makes me resistant to changing the status quo.”
This leads me to our guest today, Seth Barnett.
Seth Barnett is the Diversity Development Manager for Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). As an advocate for the industry's marketplace success, he develops new ways for business to meet the growing demand of a diverse workforce and a changing consumer market. Barnett spent his first three years in the industry as the association’s Government Relations Manager where he coordinated legislative and regulatory obligations for the industry.
When it comes to advocating on behalf of Millennials, Seth is a key player. Seth wrote a very thorough and thoughtful response to my blog post titled, “Hey Other Generations…ENOUGH!” In that response, Seth expressed his concerns that the industry not be so quick to dismiss Millennials and, rather, should seek to embrace them and their ideas.
In Seth’s words, “I believe that we are in a great place to have these sometimes difficult generational conversations. However, we are not the only ones. What we need to be mindful of is that we as an industry are unique. From the way we go to market to our very specific supply chain, we must adapt according to our methods. I want to ensure that we are having the right conversations for our industry and our changing times.”
Seth is a featured speaker at many industry events, a champion of Millennials in the promotional products industry, and all around good guy.
Seth, welcome to the PromoKitchen podcast.