Do you factor generational differences into your approach to acquiring new customers? How much thought do you give to a generational mix when designing your advertising and marketing programs? Are you looking for a new method to stay ahead of your competition and stay on the leading edge? If so, then consider generational differences when preparing your sales materials. It is important to know that NO generation follows another in mindset, based upon the social circumstances they were raised with in their youth.
To understand a generation’s mindset you need to know the process of Genergraphics. It is not a theory, but is based upon a simple formula of sociology, generational research and case histories. While demographics will only show you the age, gender, income and what products or services people purchase, it does not tell you anything about a person’s generational mindset. Genergraphics on the other hand tells you why they buy and it also allows you to market and advertise to one generation without alienating another. In fact, Genergraphics is almost 70% more accurate than demographics.
What is a generation anyway? It is a group of people that can be identified through shared events both social and historical. A person’s generational mindset is created between the ages of 12 and 17. That is when the biggest changes occur physically and mentally. It is important to note that a person’s generational mindset has nothing to do with their personality.
Understanding the mindsets of the generations is crucial…Especially the ones you do not belong to. The following is a brief description of the three generations that impact your marketplace today.
The Baby Boomer Generation
Born 1946–1964, Boomers are 76.5 million strong. It is the largest and most heavily chronicled generation ever.
Boomers are the adult teenagers of the 1960s and 1970s. They retain a youthful and individualistic mindset. For the Boomer generation there is a discrepancy between their mind and body. Boomers are not brand loyal.
This generation of 46 million that were born 1965–1976 is sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Echo Boomers. They are the most diverse and multi-ethnic generation to date.
This generation is strongly independent, resilient, self-reliant, individualistic, creative and has great adaptability.
Raised with television, radio and personal computers, they are the most entrepreneurial and tech savvy generation in American history.
Gen-Xer’s do not want to spend a lot of time with your advertising. They want to get it right away or move on to the next thing.
The Echo Boomer (Generation-Y)
Born 1977–1994, they are 72 million strong. Echo Boomers were raised by their parents to be seen, heard and featured. They feel special as they were always told this growing up. This is the first global generation.
Technology and being connected has always been a major part of their lives. They grew up with the Internet and it is their source for news, information and entertainment.
It is a generation highly adaptable to change and capable of processing information quickly. They are good multi-taskers. They do not respond to traditional marketing methods.
Eighty percent of 20–30-year-olds use text messaging daily. Text messaging is much more effective in reaching this generation than emails.
Genergraphics is not about knowing your market; it is critical to know who your market is, which is critical when selling products.
Social media is an excellent way for you to communicate your messages as long as you realize that you need to address each generational mindset separately.
Going after generational mindsets for your business requires some time to study and learn about each generation. The payoff will be an increase in sales.
If you want to stay on the leading edge, throw away the trailing edge demographics and go after generations. Reach across to all generational mindsets and watch your sales grow.
Phil Goodman is the president and CEO of Genergraphics. For additional information on Genergraphics visit www.genergraphics.com. Also look for Goodman’s new book Genergraphics® Sales and Marketing for the 21st Century, coauthored by Susan Negus and published by Hannover House in 2014.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2014