The defining years of Generation X – early 1960s to early 1980s – weren’t necessarily home to any catastrophic world events, but were instead characterized by skyrocketing divorce rates and the rise of the computer as a new and universally available form of technology. Members of this generation – as with others – are diverse, but they share some common characteristics. Among these are the universal need to be independent and self sufficient, as well as a level of consumer skepticism unrivaled by other generations. Bearing these characteristics in mind, we can better identify how to tailor marketing messages specifically to this unique generation.
Given the fact that Gen Xers grew up in a time when divorce rates began to rise and overall loyalties shifted at a much more rapid rate, the marketing techniques and messages that Gen Xers crave are significantly different from those of both their predecessors and successors.
Gen Xers are typically cynical, but tend to respond to clever, unorthodox messaging that is also family-friendly. The majority of Gen Xers are now parents or part of a larger family structure, so the emphasis they place on family values should be reflected in messaging. Moving images with minimal copy and emotive, clever presentation frequently elicits a response from this crowd.
Due to their emphasis on self-reliance, Gen Xers are among the most skeptical of generations, questioning the advice and opinions of authority figures on a variety of levels – from parents to politicians. They take nothing at face value, demanding facts to substantiate any claims made by companies and brands alike. This makes it increasingly important for companies to provide product or service reviews, extended warranties, or other guarantees that the customers are indeed getting something worthwhile and ultimately what they were promised.
Focus on Quality
Due to age, those falling into the Gen X category are typically at more stable points in life than their Millennial successors. They tend to be a bit more “settled” with regards to career, relationships and other facets of daily life. This stability is also reflected in the financial lives of this generation, as they tend to make more money than their parents did when they were at the same points in life. Gen Xers wield a substantial amount of spending power among today’s consumer base, and are very aware that they have that control. They desire quality over quantity, and are willing to pay the price difference in order to get it.
While Gen Xers share some common characteristics, they are about as diverse as they come in terms of interests and purchasing preferences. For that reason, providing options is vital. If it’s services that you’re selling, provide service “levels” that allow the individuals to feel as though they are in control of the buying decision. This will put them in charge of determining which product or service best suits their lifestyle and ultimately increase the likelihood that they will make a purchase. Gen Xers are people that love to be in control, and when you forfeit your right to act as decision maker for them, they tend to respond positively.
Let Holland Help
If your company is in need of a full-service ad agency that brings unsurpassed expertise marketing to a variety of generations – including Generation X – Holland Advertising: Interactive is here to help. We have decades of experience tailoring our clients’ messages and marketing campaigns to more successfully reach the target demographics. We bring creative solutions and experienced execution to the marketing realm, with an emphasis on results. For more information about how Holland can help your business better align with its audience, meet sales goals and see greater marketing ROI, contact Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001.