New products have cross generational appeal. So why the focus on youth?

The image of an “early adopter” being a tech-savvy teenager or college student is naively limited.

While younger people are more likely to say they have purchased a new product during their last grocery-shopping trip than their older counterparts, those categorised as ‘early adopters’ only show a slight age bias.9022_Visual_2_New_Product_Innovation_Newswire_4_D1-01

Consumers of all ages are looking for products that make their lives better, and all can be passionate advocates if they find a product that fills a need.

Instead of focussing on differences between Generations, look for the similarities and maximise your market. In other words, target Gen A-Z.

According to Nielsen, the research authors, the key is determining which needs are not being met for each age group. The types of new products consumers wish were available and their reasons for purchasing are largely consistent across generations.

There are some notable differences;

Roughly half of Baby Boomer (ages 50-64) and Silent Generation (ages 65+) respondents say they wish more products were available at affordable prices, compared with 43% of Generation Z (ages 15-20), 40% of Millennials (ages 21-34) and 42% of Generation X (ages 35-49) respondents.

Meanwhile, brand-name recognition holds more sway in purchase decisions for older respondents than younger ones.

Twenty-seven percent of Silent Generation and 24% of Baby Boomer respondents say they purchased a product because it’s from a trusted brand, while only 17% of Generation Z, 21% of Millennial and 20% of Generation X respondents cite this as a reason for purchasing.