Customer Segmentation: Generational Differences of Consumers

Can your generation determine your values? The short answer is no. Brands do everything possible to connect with their consumer, and generations are a way to segment the population in general, although your consumer behavior is not determined by the year you were born in, it is true that separating generations does give brands a clue when it comes to determining the context of the consumer. After all, what makes the difference between generations is the global events they were present for, and their relationship to it. In all, how these events affect their values and perspectives on society. Today we will take a very brief look at the markers between different generations.

 

GENERATION Z (1998-2016)

Description: Digital natives! 

Values: importance on social responsibility, gender equality, sustainability.

What this means for consumer behavior: They expect technology to make their lives easier, and naturally seek technological solutions before direct contact. They value experience above everything! Within a decade, they will represent one third of global consumers and place value on secondary factors such as style, product presentation or sustainability concerns.

 

GENERATION K (1995-2002)

Description: Digital natives

Values: helping those in need, concern for their surroundings, mistrust of traditional institutions, solidarity, connection. 

What this means for consumer behavior: they have a major role in family spending, €535 billion in the US alone. Not very different from Generation Z’s interactions with brands, this being a subsection of such generation. 

 

GENERATION Y/MILLENNIALS (1981-1994)

Description: Remember analog living, but started using the first technologies quite early in their lives.

Values: Wellness and experiences.

What this means for consumer behavior: Not unlike Generation Z, they prefer to communicate through a screen, the majority of their purchases are done online. They love discounts and easy transactions, and experiences! Technology is very attractive in general. Their purchasing power however, is generally low.

 

GENERATION X (1965-1979)

Description: Have not always lived in a digital environment, but have adapted to it. 

Values: cautious money management, skeptical and mistrusting of company messaging. 

What this means for consumer behavior: they have a good concept of the value of money, they prefer lower prices and functional products. In 2017, a quarter of them made in-store purchases using their cellphones, showing technology that makes access easier is still highly valued.

 

In all generational differences can still provide a valuable context for brands to determine how to cater to their customers! Learn more about consumer behavior by joining our Retail Management and Digital Customer Experience Diploma course accredited by Complutense University of Madrid, 100% online,  and available worldwide.