It has always been a huge struggle for marketers to crack the code to communicate with each generation of audiences, even more so in this age of digital marketing that we live in. TCDC forecasted each generation’s lifestyle and consumer behaviour to facilitate brands and marketers to reach their audience better.
Baby Boomer (Born 1946-1964)
Staying at home has made Baby Boomers fully adopt the digital lifestyle no less than the younger generations.
Since 2019, most Baby Boomers have been in retirement. Staying at home has made them fully adopt the digital lifestyle no less than the younger generations. According to the report Future-Proofing Your Brand, they have become the primary target for the smartphone and smart home market with more than 1.2 billion global monthly application downloads. Many brands decided to invest in advertising via applications that boomers love, 82% of those are video games and esports applications. Online series and films are also their favourite service. Netflix values this info and curates a lot of old films to please them.
Boomers have Facebook as their primary social media, especially among women aged 50 and up. MediaPost stated that Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to be persuaded by online marketing than the younger generations, which corresponds to the 2020 Brand Intimacy Survey that said Boomers aged 55-64 used information that brands communicate with them on Facebook or application prizes to help make a purchase decision.
The digital demands among Boomers had much influence on the wearable healthcare device market, such as pulse watch, exercising smartwatches, step counter, etc. Deloitte expected this category to grow among Boomers and Generation X with a forecasted revenue of $150 Billion.
Generation X (Born 1965-1980)
Gen X prefers outdoor activities due to experiencing digital burnout.
Online shopping spreads 42% among Gen X, with most of them aged 45-54. This group usually choose a store with a minimum delivery distance. They are more affected by discounts, regardless of the product being for children, adults, or seniors, as they have to care for the family. They prefer products that provide value, are eco-friendly, and saves the most.
‘Hobbies’ is the most mentioned topic among Gen X. Having quality ‘Me Time’ for themselves is what Gen X craves. WGSN reported 49% of Gen X looks for a hobby to give themselves some quality time on their own. 55% of Gen X in the UK find hobby a kind of relaxation from stressful work and family life.
Cooking is popular among Gen X men. Statistics from Inkling found that 60% of Gen X men like to cook more compared to 2017. This data will have an impact on the cookware market that grows with this target, who are willing to pay 30% more for the best cookware product.
40% of Gen X women aim to maintain their younger beauty. 1 of 3 American Gen X women are willing to spend $50 every month for cosmetic services and more likely to try out new skincare products or beauty techniques, which spreads like wildfire on the internet and social media. Skincare and protein drink brands invest more in women aged 40+, especially in promoting products on IGTV. This platform provides more intimacy than Facebook or Youtube, making the audience feel that the product is used on the daily basis.
Gen X prefers outdoor activities due to experiencing digital burnout. Some of those activities are influenced by their Gen Z predecessors, like listening to podcasts, for example.
Millennials (Born 1981-1996)
Millennials are social media addicts, but the more they connect, the more lonesome they feel.
Millennials widely adopt Direct-to-consumer businesses (D2C). Many brands utilize platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok to promote their products and services to reach this target group.
73% of Millennials are social media addicts, but the more they connect, the more lonesome they feel. So they find ways to spend their weekends outside, travelling somewhere, chilling out at their favourite cafes, or showing off luxurious lifestyles on Instagram. Stats found that 77% of Millennials tend to buy drinks and post on social media every week, resulting in growth for cafes, bubble tea shops, or any drink stalls that are popular at the time.
Homes and habitations have become the top choice to invest in for Millennials. Home products have gained popularity among them accordingly, and they like to decorate their habitats based upon the slow-life philosophy; solid coloured or Nordic styled furniture is in high demand compared to luxurious decoration.
Millennials prioritise their wellness the most and have become the group of consumers that drive this market segment, leading to the emergence of fitness courses and the clean food market that gained $4.2 trillion in revenue in the past five years. Furthermore, they tend to look for activities that bring about their work-life balance, such as ASMR relaxation or Slow Travel trends to get away from all worldly stress.
The effort to escape the digital world to reside in the real one makes them the target for the pet economy. A report from Grand View Research expected this segment to grow up to $202.6 billion in 2025. Asia continues to be the biggest pet economy market.
Millennials abide by equality. The responsibility to care for a child does not fall upon any one parent. The image of a mother can become strong and sleek with apparel matching that of their child. This kind of fashion has gained popularity among single moms, leading to the rise of the one-size-fits-all fashion segment in both luxury and niche markets.
Gen Z (Born 1997-2012)
For Gen Z, the feeling of going back in time is a way to escape the harsh reality.
Gen Z has been amidst the concerns of uncertainty for all their lifetimes. They expect businesses and the government to come up with a procedure to ease environmental problems, with a solid proof of commitment and not just merely talk about it.
An April 2020 survey by Prosper Insights and Analytics found 32.7% of Gen Z are anxious about being locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than the rest with only 22%. Among all those limitations, they still find the solution by sticking to the group. For example, the platform Intern from Home by Brown University students had been the common space for interns during the pandemic. Or the crowd-sourcing website Is My Internship Cancelled that invites students to update employment posts from various companies to enhance the opportunity for future application.
For Gen Z, the feeling of going back in time is a way to escape the harsh reality. Many business categories, especially entertainment and media, have adopted the concept of the Nostalgia Effect to be the theme for this generation. Films, series, analogue products like vinyl records, cassette tapes, film cameras, etc. have been brought back into production.
Alpha (Born 2010-Present)
Millennial parents tend to search for the best for their children, provide them with organic products or luxurious extravagance.
The Alpha Generation was born and raised in a drastically different environment from the former generations. Businesses have to crack the code to understand these differences, be it about gender, expressing emotions, entertainment, and technology in real life.
Retail and mall businesses should integrate the learning experience technology to stand out among competitors because this is the reason for parents to benefit their children with technology that connects consumers to information and learning. The latest Microsoft branch in London was designed as a community where people and learn to code.
A study by Mintel stated that 3% of 2,000 families surveyed consider shopping as the time to connect with their children. So the space that encourages family members of different generations to interact has become a crucial tool to build brand loyalty and a pleasant experience for everyone.
Seeing their parents anxious and burnout all their life, the Alphas can manage their emotions and stress well early on. They develop a set of connected roles for different settings (Multi Hyphenate), which could affect their career decisions when they grow up.
Some have predicted that Millennial parents have spending power and time for them. While the education system emphasises emotional intelligence development and better wellness, so they tend to grow up with a better quality of life. Millennial parents tend to search for the best for their children, provide them with organic products or luxurious extravagance. This idea has become the mental framework for their younglings, making the Alphas more decisive in purchasing and judge the world based on their POV and personal values. New creations will emerge from young demand, led by young creatives. In other words, a movement of kids with the mentalities of adults.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the generations explained?
The generational cohort is defined by birth year, not age because generations grow older in groups.
Who is the wealthiest generation?
The Baby Boomer is America's most powerful and wealthy generation. But millions of Boomers leave the workforce every year, and even the youngest Boomer is already close to retirement.
Which generation is the most educated?
Despite being the most educated generation in U.S. history, Millenials are rethinking the value of a traditional four-year degree due to student debt and new models of education.
What is the biggest generation?
An estimated 72.1 million people in the United States are under the age of 30 years old, making Millenials the largest generation group in 2019. Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the biggest group, and they will continue to be a major part of the population for many years.
What is the loneliest generation?
According to a survey of US adults, Millennials are the loneliest generation. The poll found 30% of millennials said they always or often feel lonely, compared to 20% of Generation X and just 15% of baby boomers.
How much of Gen Z is depressed?
According to a survey, more than nine in 10 Gen Z adults have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom due to stress, such as feeling depressed or sad or lacking interest, motivation or energy. Only half of Gen Zs feel they can manage their stress.
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