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Each generation has unique expectations, experiences, generational history, lifestyles, values, and demographics that influence their buying behaviors. Accordingly, many companies are reaching out to multi-generational consumers and trying to understand and gain the attention of these diverse buyers. Multi-generational marketing is the practice of appealing to the unique needs and behaviors of individuals within more than one specific generational group, with a generation being a group of individuals born and living about the same time [1]. This means that marketers need to understand the six U.S. generations: Pre-Depression Generation, Depression Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z. When a marketer factors in the different characteristics and behaviors of the generations, it should be easier to build relationships, gain trust, and close business. [2, 3] As such, an understanding of multi-generational marketing is very important to the marketer. The purpose of this paper is to describe briefly the U.S. generations in terms of the times in which they grew up as well as the characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes of the group. However, the primary focus of the paper is to describe various marketing understandings and strategies appropriate to each generation’s characteristics and behaviors, particularly in terms of segmentation, products and services, and communication.
Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business
Marketing to the Generations, Page 1
Marketing to the Generations
Kaylene C. Williams
California State University, Stanislaus
Robert A. Page
Southern Connecticut State University
Each generation has unique expectations, experiences, generational history, lifestyles,
values, and demographics that influence their buying behaviors. Accordingly, many companies
are reaching out to multi-generational consumers and trying to understand and gain the attention
of these diverse buyers. Multi-generational marketing is the practice of appealing to the unique
needs and behaviors of individuals within more than one specific generational group, with a
generation being a group of individuals born and living about the same time [1]. This means that
marketers need to understand the six U.S. generations: Pre-Depression Generation, Depression
Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z. When a marketer
factors in the different characteristics and behaviors of the generations, it should be easier to
build relationships, gain trust, and close business. [2, 3] As such, an understanding of multi-
generational marketing is very important to the marketer. The purpose of this paper is to
describe briefly the U.S. generations in terms of the times in which they grew up as well as the
characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes of the group. However, the primary focus of the paper is
to describe various marketing understandings and strategies appropriate to each generation’s
characteristics and behaviors, particularly in terms of segmentation, products and services, and
Keywords: Multigenerational Marketing, Generations, Baby Boomers, Xers, Gen Y, Generation
Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business
Marketing to the Generations, Page 2
Not every generation is alike, nor should they be treated by marketers in the same way.
Multi-generational marketing is the practice of appealing to the unique needs and behaviors of
individuals within more than one specific generational group, with a generation being a group of
individuals born and living about the same time [1]. When a marketer factors in the different
characteristics and behaviors of the generations, it should be easier to build relationships, gain
trust, and close business [2]. In fact, creating ageless multi-generational brands is one of the top
ten marketing trends over the next 25 years [4]. As such, an understanding of multi-generational
marketing is very important to the marketer. [3]
The purpose of this paper is to describe briefly the various U.S. generations in terms of
the times in which they grew up as well as the characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes of the
group. However, the primary focus of the paper is to describe how to create various marketing
strategies appropriate to each generation’s characteristics and behaviors, particularly in terms of
segmentation, products and services, and communication.
A U.S. generation or age cohort is a group of persons who travel through life together and
experience similar events at a similar age. That is, they share a common social, political,
historical, and economic environment.
While there is some inconsistency with regard to detail, an examination of written
materials regarding the U.S. generations indicates that there are six American generations: Pre-
Depression, Depression, Baby Boom, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z. [5, 6, 7, 8,
9, 10, 11, 12] Table 1 lists information specific to each of these generations, i.e., date of birth,
number of individuals, and age as of 2010. Each of these generations is described in essence
below with regard to the times in which they grew up and to their characteristics, lifestyles, and
attitudes. Thereafter, each generation is described in terms of how to market to that specific
generation with a particular focus on segmentation, products and services, and communication.
The Pre-Depression Generation (a.k.a. G.I. Generation, Veteran Generation, and WWI
Generation) was born before 1930 and are 81 and above as of 2010. Most were children during
the Depression experiencing traumatic times, economic strife, and elevated unemployment rates.
As young adults during WWII, their lives began with high expectations, which were shattered
eventually by WWI and WWII. The Pre-Depression Generation has witnessed radical social and
technological changes including glistening new schools, miracle medicines, and launched
rockets. [7, 5] In terms of their characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes, members of the Pre-
Depression Generation are conservative, altruistic, and become less materialistic as they age.
They are concerned about health, aging, financial and personal security, and the disposition of
valued belongings. [13, 14, 15, 8, 16, 17, 18]
With regard to effective marketing strategies for the Pre-Depression generation, the most
important segmentation variables are health, activity level, discretionary time, engagement in
society, and gender. As much as possible, they have adopted young again lifestyles and
attitudes. While they are somewhat sedentary, they watch a lot of television and walking is their
main source of exercise. They are very concerned about the disposition of their valued
belongings. Security rules their thinking, for example, it is good to contact them through
professional advisors such as lawyers and financial managers. [19, 11]
Important products and services include vacations, health services, and single-serving
size prepared foods. Because they are concerned about their health and aging, important
products and services are nursing or retirement homes and assisted-living services. This is
increasingly important as men live to be an average of 79 and women 83, but half of those over
80 suffer from a long-term illness. [20, 10, 11, 12]
In terms of communication, the Pre-Depression Generation prefers print media for
information. They read newspapers, magazines, and ads more thoroughly than other generations.
For the mature market in general, communicating often requires alteration of messages and
materials, that is, larger type with clear, bright pictures, newspapers, AM radio, models they can
relate to, and simple language. It is very effective to use action to attract attention while keeping
the word count low and reducing extraneous stimuli. Rather than appealing to their
chronological age, it is important to communicate to their cognitive age or the age a person
perceives himself or herself to be. In particular, cognitive age can be used for targeting segments
within this group, developing more creative content, and selecting more effective media. In
addition, face-to-face communication and personal service are valued by this generation, few use
the Internet. Marketers can get in touch with this group through their children as well as talking
to them at formal social gatherings and recognition events. [21, 20, 22]
The Depression Generation (a.k.a. Silent Generation, Traditionalists, and Swing
Generation) was born during 1930-1945 and are in the 65-80 age range as of 2010. The
individuals of this generation were small children during the Depression or WWII. They value
rationing, saving, morals, and ethics. They were very patriotic and witnessed America’s
emergence as a superpower. Social tranquility and family togetherness are important to the
Depression Generation. Conformity seems to be the ticket to success. [7, 13, 5] In terms of
their characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes, they rely on tried, true, and tested ways of doing
things. They are slow to embrace anything new and distrust change. Many are still in excellent
health and quite active. [23, 8, 14] Many have substantial wealth in the form of home equity
and savings. [15, 16, 24, 17, 25, 26]
Given this description, here are some suggestions about how to market more successfully
to the Depression Generation segment. First of all, use themes that stress active lifestyle and that
break with stereotypical portrayals of older consumers and “seniors.” Do not depict them as
helpless or dependent on someone else. Emphasize traditional values such as discipline, self-
denial, hard work, obedience to authority, conformity, commitment, responsibility, celebration of
victory, and financial and social conservatism. A marketer must earn their trust as they believe
that a person’s word is his or her bond. Patriotism, teambuilding, and sacrifice for the common
good are appealing to this generation. They also appreciate romantic themes, candlelight
dinners, and soft music. As a group, they feel no need for the information age, but the younger
members of this generation are one of the fastest growing groups of Internet users. The
Depression Generation segment also responds to authority, celebrities, and respected institutions.
[19, 11]
In terms of products and services, this generation is a major market for upscale children’s
furniture, toys, strollers, car seats, and clothing. They also desire quality and “Made in the
U.S.A.” products. They are not price sensitive even though they are financially conservative
[27]. Other important product areas include low fat/sugar/salt/cholesterol foods, recreational
vehicles, second homes, new cars, travel services, and adult recreation education. Stress
simplicity, convenience, accessibility, ease of use, service, and support as key product and
service features. While this generation has a positive attitude toward shopping, marketers still
need to be aware of enhancing their shopping experience [27]. These traditionalists will be
customers for life if you provide a quality product and give them what they want [2]. [20, 11,
In terms of communication, use formal written and face-to-face language with this
generation. Use formal greetings and salutations such as Sir or Mr. and ask them how they
prefer to be addressed. A firm handshake, upright posture, and direct eye contact also work well.
The Depression Generation appreciates summary information so that they do not waste their
time. Show your appreciation to them with messages such as “We respect your experience” or
“We value your perseverance” or “You earned it.” They like to be treated as having a badge of
distinction and honor which in turn gives them permission to spend their money. Using terms
such as “we” and “us” can build a sense of trust. Information should be easily digestible, non-
confrontational, and non-controversial. Spend extra time listening to their needs. Reach them
through traditional media: radio, television, billboards, magazines, and direct mail. Use face-to-
face conversation, formal social events, recognition and tribute events, professional advisors,
direct mail, telephone, and the Internet to contact this generation. [21, 20]
This generation increasingly is becoming more tech savvy, e.g., they use eBay to
downsize. They attend computer classes in nursing homes and recreation centers. Be sure to
consider the following when designing websites for the Depression Generation (Source: Nielsen
Norman Group Report “Web Usability for Senior Citizens: 46 Design Guidelines Based on
Usability Studies with People Age 65 and Older) [28, 22]:
Make the text size at least 12 points by default and offer a button to increase text size
for the site.
Write for the users.
Present information clearly and in a way that is easy to scan.
Differentiate between text used for lining and text used for headings, that is, be
consistent throughout the site.
Use static navigational menus and avoid using moving menus.
Make search results visible on the page without scrolling and if you use pop-up
windows, make the default size big enough to fit all or most of the information so
users do not need to scroll.
When graphical elements appear close to a text link, make those elements part of the
working link.
In search results, always clearly repeat the user’s query.
The Baby Boomers (a.k.a. Boomers, Me Generation, Baboo, Love Generation,
Woodstock Generation, and Sandwich Generation) were born during 1946-1964 and are in the
46-64 age range as of 2010. They were born during the dramatic increase of births between the
end of WWII and 1964. They were indulged youth during an era of community spirited
progress. The Boomers value individualization, self-expression, optimism, and “Be Here Now.”
[5, 13] In terms of their characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes, Boomers have defined
themselves by their careers and many are workaholics. [29] While some have retired, many
plan to continue working and expand into “active retirement” by re-engineering life. Boomers
have increased discretionary income and time. [30] Family responsibilities are important to
Boomers. [7] This generation is more tech savvy than previous generations. [31] Health,
energy, and wellness are major goals for them. [32, 33] As a generation, they are considered
more self-centered and suspicious of authority. [34, 6, 35, 24, 36, 25, 26]
With regard to marketing to the Baby Boomer segment, they want quick fixes that require
little change and instant improvement. They do not like bureaucracy, but give them a cause to
fight for and they will give their all. In addition, focus on building value and they will be less
price sensitive if they believe they are getting a superior product and good value. Boomers like
options and flexibility. Health is a major concern for this generation. While the group may be
aging, they do not want to be reminded of that fact, that is, they are focused on anti-aging and
breaking the mold of what 50 looks like [37]. In accordance, marketers should not use these
seven words for Boomers: senior citizen, retiree, aging, Golden Years, Silver Years, mature, and
prime time of life [38]. Looking for the fountain of youth and slowing down weight gain are
increasingly important, as are natural and organic foods. They like things that are relevant to
them and appropriate to their life stage, not age. For example, family values are very important
to this generation. Many are becoming Empty Nesters in that children are leaving home,
marrying, and having grandchildren. As the Sandwich Generation, many are caregivers of their
aging parents and children. Marketers should let them know that they are in charge of their own
decisions. Their focus is on “Me” and they feel entitled to a good life. Having a sense of fun,
treating everyone differently, and understanding changing values are important to this
generation. [39, 19, 11, 40, 41]
Important products and services are plastic surgery, botox, baldness treatments, Viagra,
health clubs and spas, cosmetics (male and female), hair coloring, and health foods. For
example, Progresso has launched a new high-fiber soup line [42]. Another health-related
product area revolves around hearing loss due to natural aging and loud music [43, 44]. They are
very attracted to new products and technologies that will make their lives easier, save them time,
and will not rip them off. Baby Boomers are a good market for travel, adventure vacations,
expensive restaurant meals, second homes, recreational vehicles, maintenance-free homes,
personal chefs, personal trainers, motorcycles, and financial advisors. Another interesting
product area for Boomers is retro marketing and the marketing of music-based tourism and a
musician’s hometown roots [45]. Also, as Boomers retire, they seem to be moving from larger
cities to smaller towns for lower costs of living, less stress, and more living [46, 47]. Baby
Boomers are very price conscious and the least prestige sensitive. They value location, service,
and everyday-low-prices. [27] In general, however, it appears that Boomers may actually be
permanently altering their shopping behaviors as a consequence of the recent economic
downturn [48, 49, 20, 40, 41, 50, 51]
In terms of communication, Baby Boomers like information presented in terms of
categories and options, i.e., simple facts with which to make a decision. Personal gratification
and public recognition are important to this generation, that is, they respond to statements such
as “You’re important to our success”, “Your contribution is unique and important to us”, and
“We need you.” It is effective to use word-of-mouth communications from trusted advisors and
friends to sell this generation. In addition, a marketer could hold an open house or a local health
fair at their business or practice with food and drinks and give out health information. Social
gatherings and professional seminars can be used to create word-of-mouth advertising. Use
communication methods such as social and recognition events, professional advisors, direct mail,
face-to-face conversation, and e-mail. For example, target organizations with a high percentage
of Baby Boomers such as the AARP. TV is still a major media route. Boomers prefer open and
direct but not controlling body language and communication. Questions should be answered
thoroughly. It is good to take the time to explain how doing business with your organization can
give them a competitive or positive advantage. Realize that more information is better for Baby
Boomers. Use positive, emotionally meaningful concepts, words, and images, e.g., tell them a
story. They are increasingly environmentally conscious and supportive of the green movement
and green products and services. However, they want cost savings from green products first
followed by environmental benefits as a second payoff [52]. [21, 22, 41]
In terms of communicating to Baby Boomers, they like the convenience and
customization of the Internet, especially for health information, online job sites, and joining
social networking sites. Given that Internet usage by Boomers is over 70%, use the Internet as a
communication vehicle. For example, AOL is testing a social site dedicated to the 50+ audience
(i.e., that offers easy navigation and larger font sizes. In addition, Nintendo
donates Wii game consoles to retirement community recreation centers around the U.S. This
practice allows seniors to experience the games and make purchasing decisions for themselves
and their grandchildren. In addition, although Baby Boomers’ general uptake of mobile phone
technology is high, they have a limited use and understanding of functions beyond simple voice
calls and SMS [53]. Additionally, it is important for marketers to get the most from their web
initiatives. For example, they could install something like Google Analytics to measure how
many people come to the site, where they are from, how they found your site, and what pages
they found to be most useful. This initial tracking then can serve as a benchmark to compare
with future metrics. For Boomers, the site needs to be rich with relevant information, easy to
navigate, and uses text rather than images. On the Internet, social networks can be effective as
well as blogs. [54, 28, 10, 11, 12]
Generation X (a.k.a. Baby Bust, Slackers, Why Me Generation, and the Latchkey
Generation) was born during 1965-1977 and are in the 34-45 age range as of 2010. They
reached adulthood during difficult economic times [55]. Success for this generation has been
less certain. They are likely to be self-employed professionals who embrace free agency over
company loyalty. They value family first. These latch-key children grew up quickly,
experiencing rising divorce rates and violence. They have taken greater responsibility for raising
themselves and tend to be less traditional than any other generation. They date and marry
cautiously. [7, 5, 24] To the less-traditional Generation X, nothing is permanent. With
Generation X, multiculturalism and thinking globally have become the norm. They have
experienced the increasing impact of personal computers and produced the 1990’s stars.
They are highly educated even though they are pessimistic, skeptical, disillusioned with almost
everything, and are very questioning of conventionality. [27] The characteristics, lifestyles, and
attitudes of Generation X include balancing family, life, and work. [56] They do not believe in
sacrificing time, energy, and relationships for advancement like the Boomers did. Xers generally
are free agents, not team players. [6, 57, 58, 59, 25, 26]
Here are some ideas about how to market to the Generation X segment more
successfully. They are moving into the middle and latter stages of the coveted 18-49 year old
marketing demographic. Their tastes are “not Baby Boom,” often blaming the “Me Generation”
and the materialism of the Baby Boomers for their difficult times. Because they have many
needs and greater financial restraints, they often shop at value-oriented retailers. They can be
unsure of themselves and often need reassurance that their choices are sound. Marketers can
help them plan for the future and balance work, family, and personal life. They like initiatives
that will make things more useful and practical. Give them a lot of stimuli, a challenging
environment, and flexibility without long-term commitment. Give them opportunities to learn,
grow, and improve. For example, ask them to volunteer on entrepreneurial projects. They
demand trust to the extent that if your organization does not follow through once, then you are
likely to lose them. Treat them like family. On the other hand, they have a reputation of being
incredibly disloyal to brands and companies. [19, 11, 55, 60]
Generation X needs to buy products and services to set up households and for young
children. They account for the largest share of the nation’s parents and many of them were new
home buyers caught in the housing bubble [61, 55, 62]. They are a major force in the market for
cars, appliances, and children’s products. Games and magazines such as Spin, Details, and
Maxim are important. Generation X wants to hear the features of the product as well as an
explanation of why these features are necessary [2]. They are both cynical and sophisticated
about products, ads, and shopping. Services aimed at building relationship may alter this groups’
commodity-based view of the shopping experience. This group is the most price conscious and
has low price sensitivity. They want products and messages designed uniquely for their tasks
and lifestyles. Information and technology are important in products and services. They see
technology as changing their world and techno literacy is highly valued. [27, 63, 20, 10, 11]
In terms of communication, Generation X is not always easy to reach. Xer women are
the highest viewers of home improvement media and the most likely to engage in home
improvement, including adding a room onto the house. But, traditional network TV is not able
to attract this demographic, particularly men. Cable and the Internet are continually luring these
customers away. They respond to irreverence in advertising but not always as well to traditional
approaches. Give them plenty of access to information and educate them into buying. That is,
keep them in the loop by asking for their feedback and sharing information with them regularly.
It is effective to approach them more as a consultant rather than a seller. They like to be kept
abreast of the bigger picture. But, use short sound bites to keep their attention. They prefer an
informal communication style. Do not use overly slick marketing pitches as they are skeptical of
modern advertising. They find advertising utterly transparent in its aim, i.e., to get them to buy
something. Be frank and use straightforward facts, candor, and honesty. You must show them
that you know what you are talking about. It is very effective to speak their language directly
and in a non-threatening way, for example, “You’re different and we respect that.” Motivate
them with statements such as “There aren’t a lot of rules here” or “This is not a formal
establishment” or “Do it your way.” Make good use of group events and word-of-mouth
recommendations from their peers, they think communally and often make decisions together.
Emphasize such communication methods as the Internet, e-mail, multi-media, word-of-mouth,
social events, and peer gatherings. Interestingly, they respond to direct mail. [64, 21, 28, 22]
Generation Y (a.k.a. Gen Y, Millennials, Echo Boomers, Why Generation, Net
Generation, Gen Wired, We Generation, DotNet, Ne(x)t Generation, Nexters, First Globals, iPod
Generation, and iYGeneration) was born during 1977-1994 and are in the 16-33 age range as of
2010. They are children of the original Baby Boomers and their numbers rival that of the Baby
Boomers. They grew up in a time of immense and fast-paced change including virtually full-
employment opportunities for women, dual-income households as the standard, wide array of
family types seen as normal, significant respect for ethnic and cultural diversity including a
heightened social awareness, and computers in the home and schools. Gen Y individuals are
well grounded and wise for their age. They were born into a technological, electronic, and
wireless society with global boundaries becoming more transparent. They are accustomed to a
diverse universe where anything seems possible. [5, 7] The characteristics, lifestyles, and
attitudes of Gen Y include older teens and young adults. They are self-absorbed and self-reliant
with a strong sense of independence and autonomy. They want results and are not as concerned
with the why of it [2]. They are image-driven and make personal statements with their image.
[24] They have a greater need for peer acceptance, connecting with their peers, fitting in, and
social networking. [65, 66] Gen Y individuals are open-minded, optimistic, goal oriented, and
highly motivated toward their perceptions of success. Eight key values have been described for
Gen Y: choice, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, speed, entertainment, and
innovation [67]. Efficient multi-tasking helps them be successful. [29, 57, 6, 68, 69, 70, 27, 36,
2, 71, 72, 73, 25, 26]
Marketing to the Generation Y segment can be improved by the following possibilities.
The teen segment of this generation receives considerable marketing attention and is notoriously
selfish, lives for today, and spends big. Gen Y individuals assist in household management and
shopping with important preferences and tastes being developed during these teen years.
Marketers want to attract this group early and earn its loyalty. Appeal to their belief that they
can make the future better. Be sure that they know that your organization’s mission speaks to a
purpose greater than the bottom line, e.g., globalization, global warming, and the advent of the
“global citizen.” Feature your organization as an instrument of change. Give them systematic
feedback because they value positive reinforcement at accelerated rates compared to previous
generations and want more input into all things in which they participate. They are able to easily
grasp new concepts and are very learning oriented. Many are in college or have entered the work
force, and most are planning for lifelong learning experiences. However, traditional mass-
marketing approaches do not work well with younger consumers. Gen Y reacts strongly to real-
life examples, they favor the truth and what is real. In essence, Gen Y cares all about the
experience [72]. The portrayal of multiple racial and ethnic individuals in ads aimed at this
generation is common, single-race ads would seem unnatural to this multi-ethnic generation. So,
as a marketer, embrace diversity, one-third of the members of this generation are from a minority
group and diversity in communications is attractive to them. Honesty, humor, uniqueness, and
information appear to be important. Encourage them to explore new paths or options, they crave
challenge. They value and are looking for brands that resonate with their peers. Their peers
often guide product and brand choice. Generation Y is tremendously image driven including
electronic decorations, piercings, and tattoos. Take full advantage of technology and its allure
for Gen Y. The key words for Gen Y are collaborate, connect, co-create, and control…mostly,
with their peers. [19, 11, 41]
In terms of products and services for Generation Y, important product areas include
apparel, accessories, footwear, room furnishings, action sports equipment, and entertainment.
Teenagers currently spend over $150 B annually for personal consumption, billions more in
household shopping, and influence many additional items like cars, vacations, and mobile
banking [74]. Gen Y is a major market for automobiles (approximately 40% of the auto market
in 10 years). Gen Y likes products customized to their unique needs and brand names are
important. Marketers need to craft products and pitches that are more realistic keeping in mind
that music and fashion are key touch points. Gen Y responds well to green living and energy-
efficient features. They are an immense untapped market for nonprofit organizations and social
causes. They want products and services with a purpose greater than the bottom line. Gen Y
pays little attention to quality. They expect competitive pricing and might want to negotiate
based on your competitor’s advertised price or search results from the Internet [2]. However,
they are most likely to purchase prestige products. They experience a high degree of shopping
enjoyment. An effective marketing strategy for this generation is to routinely introduce new
products and services. Retailers need to constantly adjust and update their offerings to drive
traffic among this active shopper segment that gets bored so easily. Gen Y shops frequently and
expects novelty or prestige to be associated with their product choices. Yet, this generation is
shifting away from the materialism of the Boomers to the search for inner tranquility and deeper
meaning from life. [36, 27, 20, 41, 75]
In terms of communication, companies must continually be more creative with media and
promotional themes to capture this audience. They are unlikely to respond to marketing hype.
Ads targeting this generation, must be placed in appropriate magazines and on appropriate
Internet sites, TV and radio programs, and video games (“advergaming”). Generation Y is
accustomed to media and TV programs designed for them such as MTV, Maxim, American Idol,
Big Brother, and CSI. A combination of online, offline, and word-of-mouth channels probably
are the best choice for reaching Gen Y [76]. Word-of-mouth advertising is very important to
reach Gen Y, i.e., referrals from people they know influence them [77]. In addition, marketers
need to make their campaigns more subtle and more local delivering a message Gen Y can relate
to. It is important to identify triggers for Gen Y and then to use these triggers in the ads.
Marketers need to use appropriate music, language, and images. Use language that paints visual
pictures and action verbs that challenge. Send the messages that stress team spirit, e.g., “You’ll
be working with other bright, creative people” or “You and your team can make this initiative a
success.” Stores need to know how often the regulars come into the store so they can update
their offerings and change the displays, windows, and front tables to drive traffic, otherwise, they
will get bored and stop coming. Public relations and creating buzz are important as effective
advertising to this group. Event sponsorships and electronic media seem to connect with this
generation. Approach this generation through e-mail and voice mail, but use visual
communication to motivate them. They prefer ads with humor or irony and have an element of
truth about them, e.g., they respond to quirky humor and YouTube videos. Use humor to show
that you do not take yourself too seriously. Use family events and gatherings as ways to
communicate. Contact them through their parents and grandparents, they admire their parents
but trust their grandparents even more. Use e-mail, voice-mail, the Internet, multi-media, direct
mail catalogs, magazines, college and high school newspapers, websites, school-based media
boards, college guides, and sponsored on- and off-campus events. Subscribing to a newspaper is
unlikely. Interest in television is less than any other generation. If they do watch, they watch on
their schedule, not the networks. It is important to monitor this market for changes in the best
ways to communicate to them so that the ad will be memorable to them [77]. For example,
young people often are tagged in terms of the alcohol market. However, the literature
increasingly provides evidence that alcohol marketing is directly impacting young people’s
drinking behavior. In this case, the marketer has a moral and ethical issue to consider in creating
memorable advertising. [78, 21, 79, 41, 80, 81]
In terms of the Internet, marketers must know exactly how Gen Y individuals use media,
which media they use, and when they use it [82]. For example, they expect an Internet
experience to be interactive. This generation is impatient as they were raised in a world of
technology and instant gratification. They value fitting in and connecting with their peers.
Hence, social networking sites are important in that they allow them to connect with their peers
regarding important issues. With email almost passé, they prefer instant messaging, texting, and
interacting with friends on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter [71]. As a point of
interest, about one-quarter of today’s teens check Facebook more than 10 times per day [83].
Owning a landline phone is unlikely, although, a company could reach them through their
college newspapers. Reach them digitally with websites and microsites/ campaign sites, web
marketing (e-cards, banner adverts, pop-ups, sponsorship, content partnering, screensavers,
desktop toys), e-mail, online chat, webcasting, interactive television (sites and adverts), short
service (SMS), WAP/wireless Internet, CD-ROMs/enhanced CDs/CD cards, computer games
(console), and digital radio. Content is king for this generation, moving content from platform to
platform with no restrictions is a must. Most of them are creators, distributors, and users of
content. [79, 28, 84]
Generation Z (a.k.a. Tweens, Baby Bloomers, Generation 9/11, and Generation XD) was
born after 1994 and are less than 16 years old as of 2010. Generation Z is the newest generation
and these individuals are in their early formative years, witness the two Obama girls. Their
parents marry later and are less likely to get divorced. They face global terrorism, the aftermath
of 9/11, school violence, economic uncertainty, recession, and the mortgage crisis. They
continue to experience the spread of "tweendom" including commercial exploitation of young
girls (and to a lesser extent boys), that is, pushing a Tween lifestyle heavy on teen aspiration to
the cost of the loss of childhood. [85, 86, 5, 7, 87, 88, 82, 89, 90] In terms of characteristics,
lifestyles, and attitudes, Generation Z individuals are the new conservatives embracing
traditional beliefs, valuing the family unit, self-controlled, and more responsible. They are
accustomed to high-tech and multiple information sources, with messages bombarding them
from all sides. They have never lived without the Internet. [91, 92, 93] Generation Z values
authenticity and “realness.” Peer acceptance is very important to Generation Z, they need to
belong. Their self-concept is partially determined by the group to which the Tween belongs.
[94] They are a global and diverse generation who come from a wider mix of backgrounds with
different experiences and ideas. [95, 96] Generation Z values security more than ever. [97, 98]
They are ready to be on mission, confident, and very optimistic. They believe that they can
impact the world and can visualize changing places with someone else and can project possible
behaviors. They quite possibly are the most imaginative generation and they think more laterally
Some suggestions about marketing strategy for the Generation Z segment follow.
Marketers are increasingly targeting this segment. Marketers go after early loyalty and hefty
allowances. Tweens are discerning consumers who think a lot about what they are going to
wear. They make purchases themselves. In addition, parents and grandparents are buying for
their children and they are buying more quality goods. It is primarily the girls in this generation
that are marketed towards, as networks such as the Disney Channel capitalize off the hugely
popular and female-oriented Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, and High School
Musical franchises in the late 2000s. The average Tween today has three key characteristics:
instant gratification, success as a given, and liberal social values. They also have high levels of
competence with technology that has partially fueled the designation of Tweens as the new sweet
spot in marketing. Realness is a core value of this generation. Even though they have grown up
in the middle of a national moral meltdown, this generation has a good understanding of right
and wrong. They are street smart and have considerable marketing savvy. [19, 11, 100]
With regard to products and services for Generation Z, Tweens have $43 B in spending
power and influence an additional $600 B of family spending. Music, fashion, cosmetics, and
video games are important in terms of peer acceptance and fitting in. Haircuts and wardrobe
choices are highly influenced areas of style. Kids now influence more than 70 percent of family
food choices, with kid influence on items bought for them in the 80-90% range. Nearly two-
thirds of parents say that their children have influenced their vehicle purchasing decisions. As a
result, car manufacturers are capitalizing on “kidfluence” and now target marketing messages to
those aged 6 to14. Astonishingly, children are able to recognize brands from the age of about 18
months. Some researchers have predicted that Generation Z will be the unhealthiest and
overweight generation. So, gym memberships and health insurance will be important products
and services for this group. [99, 20, 101, 102, 103]
In terms of communication, television remains the main way that teenagers and Tweens
encounter big brands, but teens respond less well to being told what to think or do as they get
older [90]. Some 72% of 6-8 year olds and 56% of 9-11 year olds ask their parents to buy things
they see in television commercials. Communicate product and service attributes that emphasize
peer acceptance and belonging to peer groups. Kids love to see and hear other kids doing things.
For Tweens, the next generation of social and virtual networking sites makes it possible to build
online communities that are more like someone’s closest group of friends. Trends in diversity
are likely to continue. They feel that it is a close knit world and have taken global warming and
global shopping to heart. Another appeal that can be used in advertising is civic service. Tweens
know that serving others feels good. Growing up in the paranoid openness of the Information
Age, they have been raised to keep safe and to be especially cautious of strangers. Education is
valued as a means of gaining security. [21, 22, 81]
Generation Z will likely continue trends in increased technology use. Today’s Tweens
represent the first generation to practice adolescent independence on the Internet, that is, Tweens
do not need parents or teachers to help them gather information. Generation Z is influenced by
new media, virtual friends, and the power that comes with technology. In the U.S., 8-18 year
olds spend one quarter of their media time using multiple media. In addition, 24% of 12-18 year
olds use another media most of the time while watching television. They are the first generation
to use Chatspeak in real life, e.g., u r gr8. Instant access to the Web has bolstered respect for
knowledge with 83% of 8-12 year olds saying, “It’s cool to be smart.” While technology may
provide more access to customized educational materials, the accelerated pace of cyber-speak
has shortened the attention span of Tweens and heightened their awareness of visuals. Marketers
should partner with respected online youth brands, e.g., As a marketer,
moderate any chat facility and make sure that the brand has done its best to discourage
pedophiles from using any chat facility. Offer interactive elements to the site as well as original
content. Respond within 24 hours to any unprompted communications from users otherwise they
will not return and they will never trust the brand again. Run quick-win SMS-based
competitions. Allow users to define as much of their activity on the site as possible. Regularly
update content and games. Communicate with users if they have given their details. Technology
almost makes it possible to have a “global Tween” who is initiated into a shop-until-you-drop
mini-citizen with age compression or the cramming of experience into an ever younger human
vessel, creating an eerie disconnect between the outer child and the inner sophisticate. [88, 28,
84, 104, 105]
Many companies are reaching out to multi-generational consumers and trying to
understand and gain the attention of these diverse buyers. Each generation has unique
expectations, experiences, lifestyles, values, and demographics that influence their buying
behaviors. Generational history be it the economy, scientific progress, politics, technology, or
social shocks such as assassinations and terrorist attacks has immense impacts on each
generation. Multi-generational marketing is appealing to the unique needs of individuals within
more than one specific generational group. Marketers need to respond to the trend of multi-
generational marketing and branding by adjusting their marketing mixes and strategies
accordingly. This means that marketers must understand the six U.S. generations: Pre-
Depression Generation, Depression Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y,
and Generation Z. Each of these generations is defined and described in terms of the times in
which the generation grew up and the characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes of each generation.
The primary focus of this paper is to describe how to create various marketing strategies
appropriate to each generation’s characteristics and behaviors, particularly in terms of
segmentation, products and services, and communication. Being sensitive to the various
generations will help marketers to become more conscious of and responsive to their customers’
needs and behaviors.
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Table 1
American Generations
Generation Date of Birth Number Age (in 2010)
Pre-Depression Before 1930 12 MM 81 and above
Depression 1930-1945 28 MM 65-80
Baby Boom 1946-1964 80 MM 46-64
Generation X 1965-1976 45 MM 34-45
Generation Y 1977-1994 71 MM 16-33
Generation Z After 1994 29 MM Less than 16
... aims at maximising profits, while marketing aims at increasing market share and customer satisfaction.•Marketing attracts the customers towards the product, while sales pushes the product to the customers[41,42,43]. ...
Full-text available
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... Harapan hidup, gaya hidup, dan perspektif terhadap dunia dan perilaku pembelian berbeda satu sama lain untuk setiap generasi (Williams & Page, 2011). Generasi Y merupakan generasi yang lahir setelah tahun 1980, dikenal sebagai milenial atau Gen Next. ...
Financial behavior is different for different generations, such as in generations Y and Z, when the research was conducted they were still relatively young, they have different characteristics and of course have different financial behavior. This study aims to examine the differences in financial behavior of generations Y and Z which are influenced by financial literacy, attitude toward money and locus of control. The method of data analysis in this study used multiple linear regression and SPSS 25 program for data processing. The findings of this study are that there is a significant effect from the variable of financial literacy and locus of control on the financial behavior of generation Y but the attitude towards money has no effect. In contrast to generation Z, the three independent variables have no effect on financial behavior. When compared between the two generations, the differences in financial behavior are only found in the financial literacy and locus of control variables, while for the attitude towards money there is no significant difference between the two generations.
... Although most people have similar ways of living their lives, each generation has different priorities (Schroer, 2008;Seaman et al., 2018;Williams & Page, 2011;Zemke et al., 1999). Generations are groups of people of similar age, who have experienced similar events, have grown up in similar conditions and times and by that demonstrate similar behaviours, views and values (Hardey, 2011). ...
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... Numerous studies focus on the behaviour of a cohort or generation [2,[15][16][17][18]. Initially, the cohort was a demographic notion that had both social and personal referents [19], that is, people who followed a similar life path, such as those born in the same year, with a duration of 20 to 25 years, or the time it generally takes for a group to be born, grow up and have children of their own, or enter a particular system in a given year [20][21][22]. ...
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... Wilson asserts that many businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to too many target markets which could lead to underperformance or even failure. Other researchers (Brown [3]; Frey [4]; Kaylene & Robert [5]; Levy [6]; and Valkeneers & Vanhoomissen [7]) hold the same view and emphasize a closer scrutiny of demographics in defining market demand. In this article, it is suggested that in assessing demographics, it is important to identify their distinguishing characteristics, that is, critical needs of potential customers and if these are being met; understand the demographics of the group and their location; evaluate any seasonal or cyclical purchasing trends that may impact a business; determine the size of the primary target market; include data about annual purchases each market makes in its specific industry; understand the forecasted growth for this group; anticipate how much market share one can gain; and evaluate the market share percentage and number of customers one expects to obtain in a defined area. ...
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Organic food has gained much importance due to consumers' rising environmental and health concerns. Purchase intention of organic food has been explored widely, but the repurchase intention of organic food has gained little attention among researchers. So, it has become important to explore repurchase intention among generation Z; a generation considered more educated and aware of rising environmental concerns. Generation Z is more tech-savvy and brand conscious, so its impact on repurchase intention through consumer satisfaction has been explored. The data in this paper was collected from 400 respondents through a structured questionnaire in Islamabad, Pakistan. We used the PLS-SEM approach for data analysis and results; we found that social media influence and brand purchase impact brand awareness and positively impact brand awareness on consumer satisfaction. Moreover, it is also found that consumer satisfaction positively impacts the repurchase intention of organic food. Our study found that Generation Z has a strong social media influence, so marketers' managers must consider and address the issues when consumers consider social media for their concerns and suggestion.
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nümüzdeki seçimlerde Z kuşağı üyelerinin önemli bir kısmının aktif olarak seçmen olacağı göz önüne alındığında teknolojik gelişmelerin içerisinde doğan ve büyüyen bu kuşağa siyasi aktörlerin nasıl ulaşacağı önemli bir sorunsaldır. Teknolojik gelişmelerle hem bireysel davranışlarda hem sosyal ilişkiler de hem de karar verme süreçlerinde önemli değişiklikler yaratan sosyal medya uygulamaları Z kuşağının iletişim alışkanlıklarının vazgeçilmezlerinden olduğu göz önüne alındığında, siyasi aktörlerin Z kuşağına ulaşmak açısından sosyal medyaya yönelmeleri de doğru bir seçim olacaktır. Bu düşünceden hareketle Z kuşağının sosyal medyanın siyasi etkisine yönelik algısı ile sosyal medyanın oy verme tercihlerine yönelik algısı arasında nasıl bir ilişki olduğu ve yine sosyal medyada bu kuşaktaki bireylerin siyasi iletişim davranışının bu etkileşimde aracı rolünün olup olmadığı bu araştırmanın ana problemini oluşturmaktadır. Bu amaçla 606 Z kuşağı birey ile yapılan online anket çalışmasının verileri analiz edilmiş ve sosyal medyada siyasi iletişim davranışının, sosyal medyanın siyasete etkisine yönelik algısı ile sosyal medyanın oy verme davranışına etkisine yönelik algısı arasındaki ilişkide kısmi aracılık rolünün olduğu bulgulanmıştır.
Waste output have risen sharply in Malaysia due to economic growth, population growth, and urbanization, which threatens to exhaust existing landfills in the country. This study seeks to examine the factors that encourage millennial households’ green disposal conduct using the extended Theory of Planned Behaviour model by incorporating institutional motivation variables. Using 671 responses collected from urban and rural millennial households in Perak, the study deployed Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) to identify the institutional factors that correlate with green disposal practices. The results show that millennials’ intention to practise green disposal is significantly influenced by perceived behavioural control, attitude, subjective norms, and institutional motivation. In addition, the follow-up with an in-depth investigation into the dimensions of institutional motivation found that informal institutional support significantly influences millennials’ intention. In contrast, the formal institution of sanction on its own showed an insignificant direct impact, and only significantly impacted intention indirectly through attitude. Such a finding is augmented by the significant mediating effect of attitude on the relationship between institutional motivation and green disposal intention. Overall, the findings show that perceived behavioural control, positive attitude, and informal institutions can influence millennials’ intention to adopt green disposal practices, which indirectly has the potential to divert considerably municipal waste away from landfills.
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Myths are tales that combine fact and fiction. Commonly shared business myths help provide the foundation for underlying beliefs about what is important, what matters to the customer, and explain or justify business practices. While myths can be a means to structure information and knowledge, they can also be barrier to innovation in a changing market. The changing demographics in all industrialised markets and the coming retirement of the baby boom generation pose challenges to seven commonly accepted myths among financial planners about who customers are, what they want and the most effective ways to deliver service value. This paper examines these widely held ‘industry beliefs’ and suggests strategies that product developers and planners might consider to improve practice management and to grow new business in an ageing marketplace.Journal of Financial Services Marketing (2009) 14, 83–91. doi:10.1057/fsm.2009.10
Previous marketing literature suggests that unique marketing strategies are needed for each American generation (Moschis, 2003). The differences between the generational age cohorts are based upon values, preferences, and behaviors unique to each generation and were developed based upon individuals' formative experiences shared as a generation (Smith and Clurman, 1997). While age has been identified as a factor to the development of consumer animosity (Klein and Ettenson, 1999), the question remains: Do older consumers harbor more animosity towards foreign nations? Is it the environment in which each person forms their values, preferences, and behaviors that helps determine their level of animosity? The current study uses a historical context to examine American generations and their animosity towards Vietnam. Results support the hypotheses that American generations do not significantly differ in their levels of animosity towards Vietnam. The findings suggest that age has a spurious correlation with the development of consumer animosity.
Baby boomers are characterised as being technophobes who are slow to adopt new technology and when they do, they struggle to understand how to use it. This paper aimed to uncover whether baby boomers have embraced mobile phone technology and, if not, their reasons why. It sought to provide an understanding of mobile phone use among Australia's ageing population, and the ways they are using and interpreting this technology. The research was conducted using a combination of face-to-face interviews and an online survey. The results indicated that although baby boomers' general uptake of mobile phone technology was high, they have a limited use and understanding of functions beyond voice calls and SMS. With baby boomer demographics and consumer spending expected to dominate in years to come, the findings support the need for further investigation into handset design, marketing approaches and sales techniques which are tailored to this lucrative market.
The prepubescent children of days gone by have given way to a cooler kid — the tween — who aspires to teen-hood but is not quite there yet. Tweens are in-between — generally the 8-to-12 set. The U.S. Census esti-mates that in 2009, tweens are about 20 million strong and projected to hit almost 23 million by 2020. Among them now are Malia Obama, at 10 already a tween, and sister Sasha, who turns 8 this year. With the Obama daughters in the White House, the nation's attention will focus even more on this emerging group — and the new "first tweens" will likely be high-profile representatives of their generation. "My daughter is really excited that there's a girl in the White House the same age she is," says Courtney Pineau, 31, of Bellingham, Wash., mother of fifth-grader Sophia, age 10. Retailers know tweens are a hot market for clothes, music and entertain-ment. But now psychologists and behav-ioral researchers are beginning to study tweens, too. They say tweens are a com-plicated lot, still forming their personali-ties, and are torn between family and BFFs, between fitting in and learning how to be an individual.MARKETING: As kids get savvy, retailers aim to hook 'em early Tweens have "their own sense of fashion in a way we didn't have before and their own parts of the popular cul-ture targeted toward them," says child and adolescent psychologist Dave Verhaagen of Charlotte. How will this shape their personalities? "Time will tell. We don't know." Research has shown that middle school is where some troubles, particu-larly academic, first appear. Also, a 2007 review of surveys in the journal Preven-tion Science found that the percentage of children who use alcohol doubles between grades four and six; the largest jump comes between fifth and sixth grades. BETTER LIFE: Links between self-esteem, grades and obesity "They're kids for a shorter period of time," adds psychologist Frank Gaskill, who also works with tweens in Char-lotte. "More is expected of them aca-demically, responsibility-wise." Many parents, including Beth Harpaz, 48, of Brooklyn, are well aware of this short-lived time. Her older son is 16 and a high school junior; her younger son is 11 and in fifth grade. "I'm trying really hard to save his childhood. I want him to enjoy little-boy things and don't want him to feel that he has to put on that big hoodie and wear the $100 sneakers and have that iPod in his ear listening to what somebody has told him is cool music," says Harpaz, author of 13 is the New 18.
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The Green Marketing movement of the early 1990s was deemed a trend and disappeared as quickly as it came on the scene. However, recent concern for the environment in the new millennium has lead firms to undertake environmental improvements in their products for a number of reasons, including a desire to be more socially responsible and a desire to cater to the needs of socially conscious consumers, particularly younger consumers, who want to purchase green products. This study examined five independent variables (gender, environmental concern, environmental practices, environmental involvement, news frequency, and hobbies) in comparison to the dependent variable of product label use. The results indicate that label users tend to be female, highly concerned about climate change and air pollution, currently engage in environmental practices and environmental issues, and are more likely to be informed through traditional media outlets.