Generation X, often referred to as the middle child, is the generation sandwiched between the baby boomers and the millennials. And just like the middle child, they often feel forgotten, especially when it comes to marketing. However, this generation has impressive buying power and are essential to consider when determining how to tell your brand story.
Generation X are now in their late 30’s to early 50’s, and are the generation that remembers a time before the technological, and specifically the digital, revolution. On the whole, however, Xers were young enough when it happened to have embraced the change and made technology work for them. They have a foot in both camps and are just as at home with print media, as they are with blogs, Facebook and YouTube.
Why is Generation X Important?
While, relatively speaking, Generation X is a small customer segment in comparison to baby boomers and millennials, they have immense buying power, which should not be overlooked. However, marketers are confused about how to reach a generation that has one foot in the past, and the other firmly in touch with digital technology and change. Research has shown that 62% of this generation still read print media, while at the same time 60% use a Smartphone on a daily basis.
Despite the difficulties of appealing to this generation, they are ignored at your own risk; after all, they account for over 30% of consumer spending, and not only are they buying for themselves, but many still have financial responsibility for their children as well. They are also extremely brand loyal, once they find a brand that is worthy of that loyalty.
Creating Consistency is Key
Given all of this, consistency is vital in your brand storytelling, not only within your story but also across the platforms through which you tell that story. However, generation Xer’s are also busy, often juggling children, careers, and responsibility for older family members. So, your story and your brand need to be instantly recognizable, and easily digestible. Short snippets of information combined with audiovisual formats make your story memorable and accessible. Generation X is not shy of technology, so utilizing channels such as YouTube, along with approaches such as email marketing, is vital if you are to get your brand’s story across in a meaningful way.
While busy juggling their many commitments, creating the lifestyle they want remains of paramount importance to this generation. They work hard and expect their money to work hard on their behalf, especially as there are few guarantees when they hit retirement. They respond well to offers, especially coupons that offer what they want at a price that is well within their budget. However, they are wary of trying new, untested companies, so when choosing how to tell your brand story, you need to develop trust from the very start.
Hearing the Voice of Generation X
Generation X has strong opinions, is generally worldly-wise, and drawn to companies that are ethical, and which promote ethical goods and services. These need to form part of your brand story if you are to begin to build the trust of this generation. However, you also need to show that you value your customer, as well as the planet.
Excellent customer service is essential to Generation X. They need to feel valued and respected by your company and your brand. If they do not, you will know very quickly. This generation, more than any other, is not afraid to take the time to say what they think, and they expect you to listen. So, your story needs to focus on the customer and show that not only do you accept and listen to feedback but also that you act on it. That means that while the fundamentals of your story – your ethos, mission, and goals – may not change, how you achieve these needs to be tweaked to adapt to the changing needs of this generation.
Dan Gartlan helps companies of all kinds drive their business initiatives and achieve their goals with strategic marketing programs that deliver results. As President of Stevens & Tate Marketing, he has over 20 years experience across various industries, and continues to share his expertise to build brands nationwide.