Combining unique preferences,
resentment and rebellious tendencies, and elaborate priorities,
marketing to Generation X is quite a difficult task. Here are 6 rules of marketing to Generation X.
- Don't recycle the past.
Generation X knows many popular marketing strategies that have worked
for Baby Boomers. Gen X knows what has been used already, and in turn
know what is a new and exciting way to grab their attention.
- What's "In" may not be in with Gen X.
This group is attracted to what is affordable and of great quality.
Trends which don't break the bank are the ones that Gen X will lean
towards. An example of well marketed trends to Gen X include the "Going
Green" effort. Gen X is highly concerned about the environment and will
try green trends.
- "Hard selling" is poor selling.
Generation X finds "hard selling" harsh, rude, and obnoxious. They are
turned off by this sales method. If you are going to pitch to Gen X,
you need to do so in a manner that will get them to listen. Gen X
prefers hearing who you are, what your business is, what you stand for,
and the quality of your product before making a decision whether to
trust your business.
- Honesty is the best policy.
Manipulating Gen Xers is quite difficult, as they know the tricks and
gimmicks that come along with sales. Be honest with them. Gen Xers will
be more willing to buy or try your product if they TRUST you.
- Don't be too stiff.
Gen Xers aren't the most flexible generation, but being too stiff will
cause problems in the end. Some flexibility is important. If Gen Xers
are on the fence about a purchase or commitment to your product or
service, see what you can do to cater to their needs. Can you give them
a free trial? Take off a few bucks? See what you can do.
- Don't be offensive.
Gen X is compromised of a diverse group of people, each with different
backgrounds and beliefs. Offensive or malicious ads targeted towards
specific groups will turn off Gen X. Keep this in mind, especially if
you are attempting humor in advertising.
"They have trouble making decisions. They would rather hike the
Himalayas than climb a corporate ladder. They have few heroes, no
anthems, no style to call their own. They crave entertainment, but
their attention span is as short as one zap on the TV dial. They hate
yuppies, hippies, and druggies. They postpone marriage because they
read divorce. They sneer at Range Rovers, Rolexes, and red suspenders.
Things they hold dear are family life, local activism, national parks,
penny loafers and mountain bikes. They possess only a hazy sense of
their own identity but a monumental preoccupation with all the problems
the preceding generation will leave for them to fix."
description, taken from a Time magazine cover story, describes
Generation X. There are many misconceptions about Gen X and their
values, morals, goals, and actions. For example, many believe that
rocker Curt Cobain was the leader of Gen X and defined their
generation. Although he was a part of Gen X, Cobain was not the leader,
and in fact, he only spoke to a handful of people. Generation X is
quite the complicated generation in terms of their attitudes, therefore
making marketing difficult. Dissecting Gen X shows they both resent and
rebel in their actions and attitudes. It is important to understand the
difference between the two before finding ways to market to Gen X.Resentment
Boomers experienced a number of problems which were handed down to
Generation X. These problems include debt, environmental issues, AIDS,
homelessness, and divorce.These burdens were placed on the shoulders of
Gen X and they couldn't do anything about it. This forced Gen X to feel
a great deal of resentment for Baby Boomers. Gen X had to abandon the
beliefs and examples they had while growing up of how to make, save,
and spend money as a result of the new burdens. For the first time, a
younger generation had less of a chance of achieving the standard of
living as their parents. Generation X resented the burdens placed upon
them, hindering the opportunities that were available. Rebellion
X is known for its rebellious tendencies. Can you blame them? The
burdens Gen X faces, including debt and divorce, forced them to change
the way they spend, save, and generate money. They had to stray away
from what they saw their parents do, and found themselves frustrated
that they couldn't achieve what their parents once did. To react on
their frustrations, Gen X rebelled in ways they thought they would get
their voices and frustrations heard. They rebelled in unique ways,
causing a change of trends, actions, and values for their generation as
Generation X is quite the rambunctious group. Some of their distinct qualities include:
Xers have a unique order of trust: themselves, friends, others, media.
They listen to themselves first, then turn to their friends for
feedback. Gen X trusts the media the least, putting the value on actual
people's opinions rather than what the masses say.
straight talk instead of manipulation. Gen X is turned off by the
manipulation of mass media, direct advertising, and hype. Marketing to
them is a very difficult process, but it can be done with the right
tools, mindset, and integrity.
- Key issues set off
Generation X and will help in making decisions on what companies,
brands, or products they choose to purchase or support. Political,
moral, and emotional issues are hot topics for Gen X and should only be
used in marketing/advertising very cautiously.
priorities of a product of Gen X are affordability, quality, and last,
trendy. Generation X will jump on a great deal for a product before
spending money for some expensive trend.
- Generation X will test
the waters out with a new or different brand that they are used to.
Their willingness to adventure for a new product is unique to their
generation. Keep in mind, they place importance on affordability and
- Communication is KEY. Gen X wants to feel like they
are not being grouped. Communicate to them on a personal level to grab
their attention. For example, an email blast with their name in the
header makes the recipient important.
simply put, is a complicated group of people with specific needs,
wants, and values. How is your business going to stand out to
Generation X? Think twice before being too trendy or offensive.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to our free newsletter to receive future articles and information delivered directly to your email inbox.