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Marketing to Generation X - US - June 2016

Published By :

Mintel

Published Date : Jun 2016

Category :

Advertising and Marketing

No. of Pages : N/A

Generation X is often overlooked, bookended by larger generational groups on either side (Baby Boomers and Millennials). However, in the middle stages of their life, Gen Xers are facing their own unique challenges. They are fighting a financial war on two fronts – paying off debt, and saving for the future. Many still have children in the house, but others are empty nesters (or will be soon enough). Gen Xers are discovering that now is the time to refocus efforts on their personal goals – concerned with getting their health and financial affairs in order over the next decade.

Table of Content

Overview

What you need to know
Definition

Executive Summary

Who are Generation X?
Figure 1: Share of US population by generation, 2016 
Why are Gen Xers an important target?
What makes Gen X unique?
The issues
Gen X men and women have different self-perceptions
Figure 2: Generation X’s perceptions of themselves, by gender, February 2016
Health and money management are top goals for Gen X
Figure 3: Future goals, February 2016
The opportunities
Women looking to the future
Figure 4: Select future goals, by gender, February 2016
Aging is more of a concern for younger Gen Xers
Figure 5: Attitudes toward the future - aging, by age, February 2016
Gen X lags Millennials in their use of alternative services
Figure 6: Gen X behaviors, indexed to all, February 2016
What it means

The Generation X Market – What You Need to Know

Generation X outnumbered by Baby Boomers and Millennials
Gen X reflects the average in terms of racial diversity
Similar to previous generations, Gen Xers are likely married
Education a priority, but not all it was promised
Gen X disproportionately affected by housing collapse

Generation X by the Numbers

Generation X is a small and shrinking population segment
Figure 7: Share of US population by generation, 2016 
Gen X reflects the racial diversity of the total US population
Figure 8: Generations, by race and Hispanic origin, 2016
Figure 9: Sources of Hispanic population growth, by decade, in millions, 1970s-2014
Wide majority of Gen Xers are married or divorced
Figure 10: Marital status, by age, 2015
Educated Gen Xers are less optimistic about their degrees vs Millennials
Figure 11: Level of education completed, by generation, March 2016
Gen Xers unlikely to be home alone
Figure 12: Single-person households as a percent of total households by generation, 2015
Gen Xers are in their prime earning years
Figure 13: Median household income, by age of householder, in thousands, 2014
Figure 14: How extra money is spent, by generation, January 2016
Gen X still recovering from the housing bust
Figure 15: Rate of homeownership – difference from historical (1994-2004) average, by age group, 2005 and 2015

Key Trends – What You Need to Know

Outdoor brands look to connect with Gen Xers
Gen X parents respond to ads featuring growing children
Networks reach out to viewers attached to the cord
Gen X looking for assistance meeting financial goals
Many markets have overlooked Gen X
Easy-to-use tech, low-cost health products can find a Gen X audience

What’s Working

Marketers drive Gen Xers outdoors
Figure 16: “The Weber Experience – Peter from Georgia,” video, 2013
Figure 17: Start Things Off Right – Peppers and Kids – Life Starts Here, Feb 2016
Auto makers seek out Gen X parents
Figure 18: First Date – Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial, February 2016
Figure 19: Subaru Forester, Subaru Commercial, Making Memories (Extended), 2016
Figure 20: Infiniti QX60 – Pool Party, April 2016
Generation X relates to ads that show real people, with real flaws
Figure 21: Depend Real Stories, April 2016
Figure 22: Organic Balance: Real Morning Report, April 2016
Figure 23: Our Song Commercial, UnitedHealthcare, March 2015
Media outlets develop original programming targeted to Gen X
Financial services prep Gen X with educational videos and realistic ads
Figure 24: Short-term financial goals, October 2015
Figure 25: Precious Few commercial, March 2016

What’s Not Working

Generation X mostly overlooked as a key demo
Contraceptive brands fail to make a strong case beyond Millennials
Figure 26: Contraceptive use, by generation, April 2015
Middle of the road retailers fall flat to fast fashion

What’s Next

Gen X can provide growth for digital platforms
Health concerns take center stage
Gen X in need of a financial plan

The Consumer – What You Need to Know

Gen X feel both responsible and realistic
Health and finance dominate future goals
Gen X feel comfortable in the present, yet optimistic for the future
Gen X occupies a middle ground
Compared to Millennials, Gen X lag on digital behaviors
Gen X less reflected in advertising, and less interested
All ages shopping online

Gen X Perceptions of their Generation

“Slacker” generation chooses “responsible” as their key attribute
Figure 27: How Generation X sees themselves, index to all, February 2016
Gen Xers see others in their generation as similar to themselves
Methodology
Figure 28: Correspondence Analysis – Perceptions of Generation X, February 2016
Figure 29: Perceptions of Generation X, February 2016
Women see themselves as compassionate; men more well informed
Figure 30: Generation X’s perceptions of themselves, by gender, February 2016
Black Gen Xers more confident than other groups
Figure 31: Generation X’s perceptions of themselves, by race, February 2016

Gen X – The Next Decade

Health is the top concern for Gen X
Figure 32: Future goals, February 2016
Women set a variety of long-term goals
Figure 33: Select future goals, by gender, February 2016
Urban dwellers more concerned with trends
Figure 34: Select future goals, by area, February 2016
Parents looking for time management
Figure 35: Future goals, by parental status, February 2016

Attitudes toward the Future

Overall, Generation X is optimistic
Figure 36: Attitudes toward the future - status, February 2016
Aging may be a concern, but not necessarily a fear
Figure 37: Attitudes toward the future - aging, February 2016
Majority of Gen X have a good handle on technology
Figure 38: Attitudes toward the future - technology, February 2016

How Generation X Views Society

Generation X shows moderate support for social change
Figure 39: Views on society – all issues, by generation, February 2016
Generation X shows mild support for changing family dynamics
Figure 40: Generation x views on society – family composition, February 2016
Gen Xers show lukewarm support for a variety of issues
Figure 41: Generation X views on society – Social change, February 2016
Gen X women more accepting of change
Figure 42: Generation X views on society – Social change, by gender, February 2016

Gen X Behaviors

Gen X lags behind digital leaders, Millennials
Figure 43: Gen X behaviors, February 2016
Generations separated by language
Figure 44: Gen X behaviors, communicating with images, by generation, February 2016
Affluent Gen Xers have more digital savvy
Figure 45: Gen X behaviors, by household income, February 2016
Men and women have similar digital habits
Figure 46: Gen X behaviors, by gender, February 2016
Western Gen Xers more familiar with alternative services
Figure 47: Gen X behaviors, by region, February 2016

Gen X Marketing Preferences

Generation X is less interested in most types of advertising
Figure 48: Marketing preferences, February 2016
Figure 49: Marketing preferences, Generation X indexed to all, February 2016
Women want it all, and more
Figure 50: Marketing preferences, Generation X and Millennials, by gender, February 2016
Urban Gen Xers more taken with aspirational ads
Figure 51: Marketing preferences, by area, February 2016
Gen X parents more engaged in ads, overall
Figure 52: Marketing preferences, by parental status, February 2016

Attitudes toward Shopping, Trends, and Advertising

Online reviews important to all generations
Figure 53: Attitudes toward shopping, by generation, February 2016
Gen Xers decidedly less “connected” than younger generations
Figure 54: Attitudes toward trends, by generation, February 2016
Gen X are so over the Millennial generation
Figure 55: Attitudes toward advertising, Generation X indexed to all, February 2016
Advertisers more in-step with parents
Figure 56: Attitudes toward advertising portrayals, by parental status, February 2016
Free shipping more important to women, parents, and affluent Gen Xers
Figure 57: Attitudes toward shipping costs, by key demographics, February 2016

If Gen X Won the Lottery

Like most, Gen X dreams of vacation
Figure 58: How lottery winnings would be spent, February 2016
Generation X will take the lump sum – spending on cars and homes
Figure 59: How lottery winnings would be spent, by generation, February 2016
Black lottery winners invest in their cars and homes
Figure 60: Lottery winnings, by race, February 2016
High- and low-income lottery winners would spend similarly
Figure 61: Lottery winnings, by household income, February 2016

Willingness to Purchase Online

Opportunity for online retailers to target Gen X
Figure 62: Willingness to purchase online, February 2016
Parents are key audience for online retailers
Figure 63: Willingness to purchase online, by parental status, February 2016
Opportunity to capture a male audience for online food and beverage
Figure 64: Willingness to purchase online, by gender, February 2016

Gen X Perceptions of Quality

Gen X not swayed by fancy packaging
Figure 65: Perceptions of quality, Generation X indexed to all, February 2016
Women more receptive to communications around quality
Figure 66: Perceptions of quality, by gender, February 2016
Craftsmanship is key for older Gen Xers
Figure 67: Perceptions of quality, by age, February 2016

Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

Data sources
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Generations

Appendix – Market

Figure 68: Population by generation, 2011-21
Figure 69: Generations, by race and Hispanic origin, 2016
Figure 70: Marital status, by age, 2015

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