Generation X: A Small but Mighty Generation
Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) is a powerful consumer segment. Members of this cohort are at the peak of their career and often the decision-maker in both companies and their extended families. They will also be the age groups with the highest average gross income globally by 2030. As such, despite being a smaller demographic compared to Millennials and Generation Z, Gen X consumers offer a lot of potential for consumer businesses.
Key traits of Gen X
Growing up during the 1970s and 1980s, Gen X enjoyed the achievements made by earlier generations (gender equality, higher living standards and life expectancy, and better access to higher education) but they also witnessed major changes, boom and bust. The global Gen Xers share some common traits:
- Industrious and self-reliant: Gen Xers are independent thinkers who are known for working hard and loving life-long learning. Earning enough money for life is highly important for Gen Xers, so they are ready and willing to take new ventures that might lead to higher income.
- Sceptic and pragmatic: Heavily impacted by the family instability in childhood and economic turmoil as they entered the workforce, Gen Xers are considered sceptical and pragmatic. This has resulted in a desire for security and stability among Gen Xers. They tend to be cautious with their spending and purchase things that add long-term value.
- Financially responsible: Gen Xers have major financial commitments, such as paying for children’s education, mortgages, or retirement saving. As such, Gen X is often made up of value-driven, practical budgeters.
- Technology-savvy: Generation X witnessed the digital transformation and is an early adopter of digital technology.
- Liberal and socially conscious: Gen Xers value freedom and have high awareness of social and environmental issues.
How businesses can capture Gen X consumers
While Gen Xers are influential consumers, capturing this market segment can be challenging to businesses, given their pragmatism, cautiousness and various responsibilities. Brands, therefore, need to focus on value and quality, while offering products and services that help Gen Xers to make their busy lives easier. For example, features such as convenience, time-saving or child-friendliness will catch Gen Xers’ attention. In addition, given their environmental awareness, Gen Xers are more likely to buy a service or product that benefits society or the environment. Generation X can be reached in various ways, as they use both online media and traditional channels, such as email and television.
The giant internet retailer Amazon is a good example of a company that has been successful in capturing Gen X consumers. By offering a mixture of wide product options, transparent reviews, special offers, convenience and a trustworthy service, Amazon is a direct appeal to time-starved and pragmatic Gen Xers.