Generation consumption behavior
Consumer relations refer to the market and consumers, so they are influenced both by external market factors – macro environment, and by consumer behavior factors – micro environment. Thus, external factors such as social, economic, political and technological changes directly interfere in market dynamics and consequently in consumption.
According to Philip Kotler, social factors such as cultural, personal and psychological factors are the main influencers of purchasing behavior. It is from these factors that marketing strategies must emerge, which need to be constantly adapted.
The time factor is essential in the study of consumer relations because societies change and transform their demands for products and services. The production relations change; as well as consumer concerns and desires. So, these multiple behavioral, cultural and age factors led to the construction of the generational concept for the study of consumer behavior on the marketing perspective.
Understanding the main characteristics of each generation and its interrelation with the emergence of innovations and technologies is very important to approach consumers and produce solutions that add value. It is essential to be attentive to your target audience and follow changes to adapt marketing strategies and planning to demands.
CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOR OF EACH GENERATION
Baby Boomers – are a very conservative generation that seeks stability. They are idealistic, collective and more revolutionary. It has high consumption power and values products that improve the quality of life and healthy aging. They appreciate more ideological consumption.
Generation X – they are a less conservative generation and more interested in facing challenges. They are looking for a career that is balanced with their personal lives and has a great influence on the generations that precede it and that comes after it. They lived at the height of capitalism and believe in meritocracy. They helped to build the luxury industry and enhance brand consumption. They are individualists, but they enjoy socializing in groups, freedom and security.
Generation Y or Millennials – born in the technological age, they experienced a lot of prosperity and great technological advances. They are always connected, more questioning and globalized. They are less attached to brands and possessions, and enjoy leisure and travel.
Generation Z – are digital natives and are very familiar with the internet, cell phones and the digital world. They are ethical, they value the truth and transparency of the brands. They are multitasking and care about the planet and social causes.
Alpha – they are children born around 2010, they don’t have an active consumption behavior yet, but they are learning from living with other generations and will revolutionize the future.
HOW DO GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES AFFECT PURCHASING BEHAVIOR
Each generation has its own characteristics and values, relative to the moment they lived and therefore have different perceptions of consumption. A report by the National Retail Federation revealed differences between consumers from four different generations in their consumption relationships, showing interesting data about what each generation looks for in products and what they expect from the companies they buy from.
All generations are shopping by smartphones and tablets however 75% of all generations of the survey still want to see the product in the store. Generation X and Y have less time and value quick checkouts in stores.
Loyalty with different perceptions
While the Baby boomers and the Silent generation tend to buy products in the same place. Generation X and Y look for specific brands. However, both groups value loyalty and reward programs.
What influence your buying decisions.
Millennials want to feel emotionally connected to the shopping experience and Generation X has shown that they need more direct information about what they need to buy and what is being sold.
The younger X and Y generations are pressed for time and need faster experiences; quick checkouts are important in purchasing decisions. Older generations such as the Silent and the Boomers are looking for quality and value their money, looking for reliable, economical products with fair prices.
Great service is important.
Regardless of the generation, everyone agrees that good service is paramount. Despite the differences between generations, they all highlighted important factors in choosing where to buy: 89% agreed that payment security is important, 76% value easy interaction with brands and 71% value transparent promotions.
AND WHEN MILLENNIALS GET OLDER ?
The generations will surely age, and will have the same name they have today because that is what defines them. As this concept is relatively new and we are now experiencing interaction with the generations, it may seem confusing to think of a generation today conceptually young as old in the future.
This way of understanding may seem strange, but we will not have boomellenials. People in the future will never see millennials become baby boomers because this generation and all others are unique. The way that each generation has to survive or perpetuate itself; if this is possible, it is interfering with other generations and permeating the following generations with their values, culture and way of acting.
EUROPE THE BABY BOOMER CONTINENT WITH A HUGE PURCHASING POWER
Currently, 19% of the European population is over 65 years old and the forecast is that in 2100 this percentage will reach 31%. It is estimated that there are about 108 million women to 79 million men on the European continent. The purchasing power of Europe’s silver generation reached $ 3,728,238 million in 2019 and is set to grow.
Search Article: Silver Economy Spending Power Trends in Europe by Baldwin Tong
DIALOGUING WITH DIFFERENT GENERATIONS
Even considering the marketing aspects, you can adapt your company and products, correctly positioning your values to the target generation; yet it is very important to understand that these concepts are not rigid and the relationships between generations are fluid and undergo constant change.
To relate to different generations is common and natural for everyone. In our personal lives, we dialogue with younger and older members and this exchange enriches and helps to reflect on how we will grow old and how we can improve our future through new attitudes in our present.
Keeping communication open between different generations is very important to perpetuate knowledge and for that we must pay attention to some values to achieve a better dialogue.
Empathy – always remember that we were children and be sure that we will be elderly. Nobody is born an adult, we need to grow up carrying with us the innocence of a child and the wisdom of an elderly person.
Humility – try to be available to listen to the youngest and the oldest. To dedicate a little time for this exchange, we must be aware that it is from this dialogue that future generations are built.
Find similarity in differences – valuing points that bring us closer than things that distances us; different generations perceive the world in different ways but it is still the same world.
The best treasure that one generation can give to another is dialogue and tolerance. Dialogue is born out of wisdom and tolerance is born out of love. Despite all the knowledge and technology we have in the world today, and even considering all the evolution and progress that is yet to come, we have a single certainty, that all generations are looking for simple things like happiness, peace and security.
And what have you learned positive from other generations and what do you want to teach?
Let us know your answer in the comments below!