“You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.”
The attitude of marketing to Generation X is neatly summarized by Brian Johnson’s iconic closing lines from The Breakfast Club… ironically, one of the classic movies that defines Generation X.
You’ve probably heard those “convenient definitions” before. Gen Xers are “slackers”, or we’re “latchkey kids.” We’re the “forgotten middle child” that languishes between boomers and millennials; invisible, irrelevant, and oh-so-easy to ignore.
But ignoring us is a big mistake. Big. Huge. Especially if you happen to be a marketer.
If Your Brand Isn’t Targeting Generation X, You’re Losing Out
Our generation may be smaller than others. But what we lose in size, we gain in dollars.
For starters, we have more spending power than any other generation – $2.4 trillion, to be exact. Clearly, we also have expensive taste, since we represent one third of global luxury consumption.
We’re Way More Tech Savvy Than Marketers Realize
Gen Xers remember what the world was like before the internet (hey, it wasn’t that long ago!)
We can recall a time when Microsoft Windows was known as MS-DOS, and when Nokia reigned supreme as the king of the mobile phones.
But you know what that means? Since we witnessed the evolution of tech up-close, we understood its importance… and we embraced it. Generation X is the bridge between analog and digital so we get it.
Not only were we among the first to realize the benefits of online shopping (maybe that explains all those luxury purchases!) but 58.2 million Gen Xers use the internet every day.
In fact, we’re probably using it to research your brand right now.
Yes, Gen X Is On Social Media
Tamar Miller is a Gen X woman, veteran retail executive and the Founder and CEO of Bells & Becks. And she gets it. “Perhaps the most grievous mistake brands make here is failing to connect with women over 40 on social media. Digital marketing has evolved as one of the most effective forms of brand building. But here’s the issue, while it’s true that millennials grew up with technology, there’s an assumption that it’s predominantly this younger demographic that engages (and purchases) online, especially in the fashion space. This is simply not correct.”
Gen Xers are social media fans. 75% of the generation are on social media with 74% using Facebook.
And Gen X is unique, as the only generation who consumes marketing from every media channel – including on our cell phones and on television.
So, marketers are spoiled for choice… since there are so many different ways to reach us!
And Yes, We Are Brand Loyal
Generation X boasts the highest brand loyalty than any other generation. Many of us stay faithful to our favorite brands for life.
It’s because we care. Our generation values “sincerity, authenticity, and independence”, so when we find a brand that shares these values, we remain loyal. We crave meaningful and purposeful interactions, in person and online.
So, if we’re not sticking with your brand, then maybe you forgot about us, so we decided to spend our hard-earned dollars elsewhere.
Whatever the reason, we think it’s time marketers recognize that Generation X matters. Because we’re not going anywhere and we have money to spend. So, don’t “diss” us like that.
Because, just like our Breakfast Club counterparts, rather than being characterized by the common Gen X terms, we know who we are...entrepreneurs, innovators, executives, thought leaders, self-made millionaires. And also kick ass mothers, daughters, wives, partners, and fabulous, amazing single women.
…and underneath it all, switched-on consumers with immense buying power.
We have to go shopping now!