Gen X Enters Their Wonder Years With More Money and Strong Loyalties
Feb 13, 2020
Marketers tend to neglect Gen X, given the larger and more easily defined Boomer and Millennial generations. But it’s a mistake to overlook the 53 million Americans between the ages of 43 to 55, still in their career primes and with more time and money as their children grow up and move out.
Gen X grew up in lock-step with the rise of technology, but they’re also practical about its limits and those of broader society. Gen Xers may have owned the first Atari and Mac home computers and got their first email addresses and cell phones as college students or young professionals, but they also saw technology’s limits in the Space Shuttle explosion, the rise of HIV/AIDS crisis, the dot com bust and the subsequent 2008 financial crisis.
These formative experiences have bred a degree of pragmatism, and at times skepticism, in Gen Xers. They’ve seen first-hand that much is outside their control. They value loyalty, responsibility, justice, and yes, success. Gen X also differs from other generations for how they emphasize simplicity and trustno excess or drama here, please.
Brands like Home Depot, with its DIY ethos, appeal to the desire Gen Xers have to put in the work. Netflix likewise taps into the Gen X emphasis on family with original shows like Stranger Things, designed for parents with tweens or teens to watch together. The spending power of this generation will grow in the next few years as Gex Xers move past peak parenting and dedicate more time to hobbies and entrepreneurship.