Start Betting on Generation X in Marketing Plans
A name is everything. It signifies stature, value, and legitimacy. But when we find Generation X in marketing materials, the name denotes anything but a sense of worth.
The letter X often denotes a lack of something. The latchkey generation was without supervision. The new lost generation was without moral standing. Kids were lazy, uninspired and Grunge was ruining music. Since those born between 1965 and the early 1980s weren’t idealistic like their parents they could not, therefore, run the world when it was their time.
Figuring out a place for Generation X in marketing strategies shouldn’t be too complicated, and yet it is. Too often we focus on Millennials’ trend influence and Baby Boomers’ disposable income. Despite the slacker labels, perhaps the most defining characteristic of Xers is their tenacity.
While Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation in US history, by 2030 the share of wealth in the smallest generation – by population – will double. Ten years ago this scenario would have been pure fantasy. The 2008 housing and financial crisis ruined many homeowners’ portfolios. The vast majority of those affected were new home buyers in their mid to late 20s and suburban families.
Generation X got over it.
After this type of monetary loss en masse, the drive for many in this generation to reclaim their lost wealth is unprecedented. Boomers and Millennials are in a constant search for experiences. But as time continues, Xers will want to spend their income on consumer goods. Namely, things that improve their standard of living.
Generation X is not the generation to spend thousands of dollars on vacations and road trips. Generation X wants to redo the bathroom and update the kitchen. Add a deck and expand the landscaping.
Xers depend on others, which is useful for skilled professionals, contractors, and service industries. Members of this generation rely on skilled labor rather than having a Do-It-Yourself attitude. They are researchers who use all of their tools at their disposal and once their mind is made up are fiercely loyal.
Smartphones are the preferred method of accessing the internet. As a result, Xers watch network and online television, read newspapers and digital news, listen to the radio both via their vehicles and podcasts and iTunes. If Millennials are intuitive and Boomers are wise, then Xers may very well be the most informed generation.
Generation Xers are leaders, loyal, and listening. And about to receive a massive financial windfall over the next decade.