What is "The Greatest Generation?"
Famous members of this generation include people like John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, Walter Cronkite, Joe DiMaggio, Billy Graham, Charles Schultz, Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, and many more who went on to make major contributions in shaping the world and our society as we know it.
Honor members of “the greatest generation” by soliciting stories and nominations of local individuals who are members of this generation, holding an open house, extending dedicated happy hours or shopping hours, giving special awards or honors or by extending a special offer or free gift to them.
In recent years many reports and articles have been written as to the characteristics of different generations, how to market to them, how to manage them as employees, etc. At a minimum, you should be familiar with the general breakdown and marketing generalizations:
The Greatest Generation: Born between about 1909 and 1942, they’ve seen it all when it comes to advertising. They are savvy consumers who are careful about who they do business with. They want to know more about your business and about you, before doing business with you. Keen on value, they don’t shop just for fun. Having spent their early years in the Great Depression, they try not to waste anything if they can help it.
Baby Boomers: Born from about 1943 and 1965, on average this generation outspends other generations by $400 billion per year. They have exceptional drive and the ability to evaluate (and see through) advertising to find out whether something has real value. This group is projected to grow to represent as much as 20% of the total population by 2030.
Generation X: Born between about 1965 and 1980, a somewhat overlooked generation whose members are now entering/in their peak earning and buying years. Generally very tech savvy, they love to shop. They put a high value on education and knowledge. Prestige is a draw for this generation, but value trumps labels.
Generation Y: Born from about 1981 and 1990, the children of Baby Boomers, many members of this generation lived longer at home than did previous generations. Tech savvy, Gen Y members process information quickly and tend to be brand loyal.
Gen Z or the Internet Generation: Born between 2000 – present, the children of the youngest Baby Boomers. The only generation to be born fully in the internet era and the only generation whose parents are also (generally) more accepting of technology.
For more information about national and regional demographics, visit www.census.gov.
The above is an excerpt from December 7 in 365 Days of Marketing.
Elizabeth Kraus is the author of 365 Days of Marketing.
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