Gen X – Forgotten, but not Gone

Gen X, the ‘Forgotten Generation’… aged between 37- 52 years old. Who are they? Is it time to start paying them some attention? Yes, it is, of course, it is.

Gen X are often considered the ignored middle child – not quite old enough or loud enough to demand attention due to experience and hefty pocket money (Baby Boomers) and not quite young enough for marketers to worry about ‘not being relevant’ with, in order to secure their brand loyalty and growth in the future (Gen Z and Millennials).

Why have they been forgotten and why should we remember them?

Gen X are often ignored because in comparison to their neighbouring cohorts they are smaller in size (1.025 billion worldwide). Gen X’s global spending power is an eye watering $2.33 trillion and when we look at pure online spending power, this cohort are spending more than Millennials ($190 billion vs $173 billion) and are purchasing at a higher rate than ‘lucrative’ Baby Boomers.

In fact, last year Gen X made 20% more purchases online than the stereotypically ‘tech savvy’ Millennial generation. This generation are established in their careers, and more likely to have families, with the average global age to have children for this generation being 28.7 years old. This means it’s probable that they have children aged between 9 – 24 years old – a prime age for needing to purchase a high volume of consumer goods to keep their families stocked up with all necessities.

If these facts alone aren’t enough to make you sit up straight and reflect your brands marketing priorities, let’s talk about this cohort’s brand loyalty activity.  When we remind ourselves again of the political chaos, uncertainty and destructive environment this generation grew up in (the Vietnam War, the Cold War, Tiananmen Square etc.) there can be no discrepancy around the attitudes, values and behaviours they practice. What do humans crave and value when the world around them is essentially crumbling? Certainty. This has ultimately resulted in Gen X consumers having extremely high loyalty to any brand that can deliver reliable quality and therefore stability.

Reaching Gen X is also arguably much easier than Millennials and Gen Z who have short attention spans, with 24% of Gen Z having an attention span of just 9 seconds! Gen X are also more likely to say that they’ve been exposed to multiple ads and are able to notice the specific advertiser, suggesting that marketing spend targeting on this cohort is more likely to be money well spent and go much further!

In essence, Gen X have been unfairly and wrongfully forgotten, but it’s not too late to start remembering them. It’s time to start showing them some love.

Hannah Loake