Marketing to Generation X, also known as Gen X, is becoming an increasingly large industry. Just as the Baby Boomers before them, youth, health, and an active lifestyle are of the utmost importance. Born between the years 1965 and 1980, Generation X is ambitious, educated, independent, happy, and family-centric, according to the 2011 publication “The Generation X Report,” which is based annual surveys used in the “Longitudinal Study of American Youth.” Since they are now entering into their 30s, 40s, and 50s, the word “retirement” is starting to sneak into their consciousness.
When compared with the previous generations, such as Baby Boomers and The Silent Generation of WWII, Generation X represents a much more heterogeneous generation. They are exhibiting a great variety of diversity in such aspects as class, ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation. This group has literally brought the entire world into the 21st Century, and marketing to Generation X is a whole new ball game. The Boomers, who grew up in the relatively wild and rebellious span of the ’60s and ’70s, greatly value spontaneity; the Gen Xers, on the other hand, are more apt to want things mapped out for them; they love success and achieving high incomes, but they want to have it be more of a copy/paste method, with proven results which they can easily trust and follow.
In addition, unlike the Boomers who value spontaneity in many things they do, the Gen X crowd wants things mapped out for them. They like hearing, “Do this and you’ll get that.” Therefore, when marketing to generation x, be sure the structure is concise, clearly stated in a logical order, and the steps succinct. Gen Xers are most certainly a very quality-conscious group; since they also tend to be somewhat cynical, anyone hoping to court them must do so with genuinely good quality products. In addition, the marketing approach must be consistent and genuine, for they can spot a phony a mile away.
According to the US Census Bureau, Generation X statistically holds the highest education level when looking at age group or bloc. This was sited in the 2009 Statistical Abstract of the US Census Bureau, which affirms their appreciation for good humor in marketing, and the love of “experiences” they savor. They are looking for activities which arouse their sense of adventure, mental stimulation, and passion.
Marketing to Generation X can be much more effective when one understands that this group seems to have an excellent balance when they view the roles of work and play in their lives. They definitely expect to have an abundance of quality time apart from their places of work. Even though making an excellent wage motivates them, and ”getting rich quick” appeals to them, they are more interested in developing strong skill sets which will enable them to obtain maximum efficiency at work. Gen Xers are looking for decent working hours which will allow them the freedom to pursue the many life interests they have developed over time.
One last point in effectively marketing to Generation X is this; they have the money to buy top-quality, expensive products, and they know the value of owning something which will last well into the future. We can only hope they are instilling these excellent traits into the lives of their children, which will make the future brighter for everyone.