Generation x – the MTV generation, the xers. Born between 1965 and 1980, they’re sometimes called the “middle child generation” because they’re sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials. Smaller in numbers compared with their bookended generations, they’re also called the “forgotten generation” and have been overlooked as a result.
Recently, a news story started trending that a certain American clothing brand retailer had admitted that they too had forgotten the gen xers opting to focus on the trendier millennials and gen z consumers but turns out they were wrong in their assessment. Sales plummeted when they realized the “forgotten generation” had been the backbone of their customer base. A misstep on many levels.
Small in size…big in spending power
Gen x may be small in size but they’re mighty in spending power. In this brand’s attempt to grab the attention of younger consumers, their sales tumbled as their core demographic (the xers) weren’t having it and they spoke through their wallets. Although retailers are tripping over themselves to please and entice the younger generations, more mature and older generations account for a significant part of retail spending, especially brand loyalty, and that can’t be overlooked.
A growing trend of catering to those age 50+ is called the silver economy and it’s not to be ignored. Maybe less trendy to retailers, members of gen x and older age groups are more established in their careers, tend to have higher incomes and have higher purchasing power. They also have the following four characteristics:
- They’re typically affluent spending time doing things they’ve been putting off in life like traveling, enjoying new experiences, participating in cultural and leisure activities, indulging in fashion, etc.
- They tend toward healthy habits like exercise and eating a balanced diet.
- They are loyal to brands and are often more consumerist than young people and require more specific and personalized products and services.
This retailer is learning the hard way that tossing aside older generations can be a misstep on many levels.
So what can be learned from this? Don’t ignore the older generations or generations that may not appear to be the trendiest. The loyalty and financial power wielded by gen xers and boomers lends itself to those companies who provide not only quality products but services too including working with an insurance agent.
Being aware of the needs of different generations is important if you own a business. And if you’re a member of these older generations, know that you wield control and can change the trajectory of an entire brand.
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Think that the generation you’re in doesn’t impact your financial literacy? Think again! Read here for more.
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