New love generation from Baby Boomers to Alpha
Depending on the year you were born, you will belong to a generational “tribe” or group of people who have a similar view and behavior, share values and have similar consumption habits.
Historically, people have undergone social and cultural transformations, which defined characteristics and impacts on the way of living and thinking. But after all, where did this theory of generations come from, what does it mean and how can it interfere in consumer relations?
The purchasing power of generations
Considering the marketing aspects to understand generations, their values and consumption habits, it is essential to create strategies to properly position brands, products and services to target consumers.
Today several different generations live together, these generations are identified by letters X, Y, Z and are very different. But which generation do you belong to? Which generations are your target customers? Do you know what each consumer expects from brands and how to better communicate with them? Anyway let’s dive into the concept of generations, understand their characteristics and main differences and know how each one is acting at this moment.
How did the theory of generations come about ?
The theory of social generations is relatively modern, but its roots and principles were developed by European intellectuals in the 19th century, and improved in the early 20th century.
Before the 19th century, the understanding of generations was related to the family biological concept – grandparents, children and grandchildren. From the mid-1800s onwards, the concept of generation began to mean, people living in the same era, according to the definition of the French lexicographer Émile Littré in 1863 that said “all men living more or less in the same time”.
But the idea of generations in today’s society, became particularly interesting for young European intellectuals in the early 20th century. This concept inspired and propelled philosophers and scientists to evolve, taking society forward; for a new chapter, encouraging each generation to leave its cultural and behavioral legacy.
What is your generation anyway? X, Y, Z… Boomers
We live together today, with about 6 different generations, varying approximately every 20 years. There are more or less 90 years separating the Silent Generation (born before 1946) from the Alpha generation (born from 2010). In this space of time we have evolved as a society and each generation has influenced and has been influenced. We experienced a lot of history events and transformations such as wars, epidemics, scientific, cultural and technological revolutions.
Some generations stood out more than others, but all of them had and have their value. The most popular ones were undoubtedly the Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) and the Millennials or Generation Y (born between 1980-2000), but we will know a little more about each one of them and their consumption behaviors.
Silent GENERATION, the Great Generation (GI) and Alpha Generation
The least talked about generations are the oldest that today have little representation in the adult population and also the youngest of them formed by children. Even with little expression today, it is certain that each generation influences the next and teaches values and lessons that are perpetuated through time.
The Silent Generation is a term used to refer to the population born between 1925 and 1942, during the Great Depression (1929-1939) and World War II (1939-1945). In adulthood they witnessed the Korean War, the birth of rock in the 50s and civil rights movements in the 60s.
In short, this generation was born too late to be heroes of second World War but unfortunately led the divorce revolution and coined the term “midlife crisis” in adulthood.
The generation that preceded the Silent was The Greatest generation – The great generation or GI, and refers to people born before 1925. They are the almost centenarians of today, a very small group in the current adult population, but certainly with a lot of history to count. The influence of one generation is striking for the next as its transformations and achievements guide the new times.
The Alpha generation is still too young to be understood or deciphered. They are children who have not even reached puberty. We can say that this generation is still being designed and is expected to be the best educated generation of all, the richest and most technological. We hope that they will be happier than previous generations and that they will find tools to relate with more simplicity and respect for the future
Baby Boomer GENERATION
This generation refers to those born between 1945 and 1964, they receive this name because they arrived in the world during the baby boom, in other words, period in which the birth rate boom in several countries, mainly in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, after the end of second World War.
The Baby Boomers experienced incredible events in their youth such as the rise of the Beatles in 1962. They also experienced the arrival of man on the Moon in 1969 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. They experienced technological evolution, the rise and growth of the media. like television. They created the hippie movement and are less dependent on smartphones than the next generations.
The purchasing power of the Baby Boomer generation is irrefutable. This generation has accumulated wealth at a time of great economic prosperity, and today it is transforming the very notion of generational marketing with active and powerful spending. Baby boomers are more disciplined, obedient, organized and trustworthy than younger generations.
Boomers are further divided into two groups, “younger baby boomers” (age 54 to 63) versus “older baby boomers” (age 64 to 72). The main differences between younger and older boomers is in the choice of products. Younger people want products that are easier to use and older people prefer basic and practical products. This generation does not fear old age and believes in proactive aging with approaches focused on health and well-being.
Young and old boomers, agree and point to the brand as the main buying influence, want reliable and energy efficient products. Both groups also choose where to buy based on familiarity, rather than price and convenience. This generation likes stability and is loyal to brands.
According to research, about 40% of baby boomers spend 20 to 40 hours online each week. Even though most Baby Boomers are retired, or close, their main social media network is LinkedIn, followed by Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube, according to data from Resonate platform.
The Boomers helped to perpetuate historic brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s and also stimulated changes and revolutionary food diets such as low-calorie and fat, improving the quality of life and health of this generation and the following.
GENERATION X – The forgotten generation
This generation is also known as post-boomers or MTV generation. In the United Kingdom they are called “the children of Margaret Thatcher” because they were born or raised during her goverment and in Russia they are called “the last Soviet children” because they were the last generation to live with communism.
Generation X was forgotten among baby boomers and millennials. Today they are great silent influencers of purchases, because they are the ones who take care of the elderly – the boomers and support the youngest – the millennials.
Its behavior is characterized, or labeled by 4 main characteristic points as follows;
1 – Cynical and suspicious of authorities, governments and companies
2 – Computerists because they were the first to use computers are considered leaders in coding and programming.
3 – Individualist divorce experiences made them more self sufficient and autonomous
4 – Entrepreneurs the lack of jobs after college led to entrepreneurship
According to market analysts, campaigns targeting generation X can reach the three related generations in a single marketing effort. This is justified, because this generation has great influence over the others; since they support the generations before and after.
Most adults aged 40-50 years usually have parents over 65 – the baby boomers and also support young adults or their children – the millennials, which is a very interesting generation to study. Generation X, in addition to having great power of decision, has strong purchasing power and will still inherit a significant part of the wealth of their parents, the boomers. In addition, most of them have disposable income and can afford to pay.
GENERATION Y – Millennials
Generation Y was born between 1980 and 2000 and developed at a time of great technological advances and economic prosperity; with several electronic innovations such as internet, cable television and video games. The idea of turning things on and off is very strong for millennials, which also bring environmental concerns and fight for social causes.
This generation is more urban and immediate, and has redefined forms of consumption. This behavior is easily justified by the favorable economic moment that was born and by the fast communication relationships developed through the internet.
Often, Millennials have been labeled as pampered, individualistic and lazy. However, generalizing and labeling is inappropriate and unfair, since the generational concept is subjective; serving only to help understand the values of a generation, without diminishing their social contribution.
This generation, brought as a major social contribution, the change in consumer relations and solidified the concept of globalized and connected civilization. Millennials believe that advertisements are not authentic and are less influenced by them. Their perception of value in consumption is strengthened more by the source that generates the information than by the message.
Generation Y seeks information about the shopping experience of other consumers, and they like to give feedback on their personal experiences. When they admire a brand, they want to participate in the creation and development of their products and make this relationship more personal.
Millennials also want to engage with brands even before purchasing their products, and seek good consumer and entertainment experiences when shopping; after all consuming is a kind of leisure for this generation.
Generation Y grew up surrounded by the internet and represents a large slice of the world population and since it is still very young it will be in the market for a long time. Thus, knowing and understanding the purchasing and consumption patterns can be fundamental to continue relating to them in the future.
GENERATION Z – Digital natives
This Generation Z or post millennials was born between 1990 and 2010, they are mostly young people and teenagers. They are known as the centennial generation and are in fact digital natives, are familiar with any electronic devices and were born at a time of intense expansion of the internet, online connections and headphones.
Despite so much digital connection and all the modernities, it is a generation that speaks little and listens even less. This is the generation of bloggers and youtubers, who were born surrounded by environmental causes. They seek more sustainable consumption and are less consumerist than the generations that preceded them.
Generation Z is more neglectful of personal relationships; due to the great mastery of technologies. However, they use the internet to give voice to their social causes. They don’t want to wait too long to get what they want and their lifestyle is greatly influenced by digital influencers.
They are independent consumers, do several tasks at the same time but have limited attention and possibly the youngest will have jobs that do not yet exist in the world today.
Considering that our theme is generations, I want to conclude by wishing that the next generation can be called LOVE; that it is light, structured and intense with good virtues and that it is also a symbol of the best in the world. I hope that the song “Love Generation” sung by Bob Sinclar, an illustrious representative of Generation X, recorded in 2005 times of Generation Z, can inspire future generations – NEW LOVE GENERATION for all.
And what do you expect your generation to leave as a legacy? What do you want for new generations?
Let us know your answer in the comments below!