Gen X: The next generation of older consumers

Even before the business opportunities around Baby Boomers have been fully realised, pundits are already talking about the next generation of older consumers; Gen X.

Generation X is typically defined as people born between the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s.

According to this article, Gen X has 75% more spending power than Millennials, and had an average household net worth of $130k versus Millennials’ $90k in 2016. On top of that, over ⅓ of Millennials live with these Gen X parents, giving Xers sway over a big chunk of the younger generation.

Research conducted among this group suggests that this is a cohort experiencing normal life-stage progress rather than any unique generational uniqueness. Issues that have affected people of this life-stage before and will affect people of this life-stage in the future. Admittedly, there is a technology overlay that will influence the media we use to communicate with younger people generations but let’s not try to purposely over-complicate the issue.

In my humble opinion, ‘life-stage’ has a far greater influence on consumer behaviour than any concocted generational differences.

One thing we can be sure of however, is that regardless of their ‘Generation’, people will begin to experience the effects of natural ageing from around the age of 50 years. These physiological changes will inspire new products, services. They will also demand adaptation to the customer experience that few marketers are applying or are even aware of.