As everyone has likely noticed from talking to someone younger or older than yourself, people from different generations have different values. These values often come from the general circumstances that they were raised in and can be translated into many areas of life. Whether it is valuing certain traits in a significant other or values that a brand displays, these significantly impact how we view the world. As marketers and advertisers, we need to be aware of these generational values to effectively target specific demographics. So, in this blog, we discuss the values that different generations generally apply to form their opinion on marketing campaigns.
Gen Alpha (2010-2025)
While Generation Z has been a significant focus for marketers until now, Gen Alpha is coming in quickly and tends to show higher brand maturity than previous generations, accelerated by access to the internet. Gen Alpha consumers value authenticity, transparency and brands that stand for a cause. Brands that display care for mental health, the environment, or other similar causes are likely to have more of a pull on this generation. Influencer marketing and gamification are also valuable strategies to engage Gen Alpha.
Generation Z (1996-2009)
Generation Z tends to show similar values to Gen Alpha. Well-educated and well-versed in the digital world, Generation Z looks for authentic brands that they can relate to. Appealing to this generation relies heavily on speaking their language. Staying on top of Generation Z’s trends, vocabulary, and humour is essential for success. Your brand should have values you put forward and a personality that consumers can connect with.
As marketing has changed to target Generation Z, some of the Millennials’ values have altered. However, they have known a time without the internet but are still young enough to be quite internet savvy. As the internet originated with user-to-user content rather than business-to-user, Millennials tend to prioritize trust through seeing real product users and are largely inspired by people they know in person or online. Appealing to this generation requires proven quality and aesthetically curated content.
Generation X (1965-1980)
There are three keys to marketing to Generation X: nostalgia, traditional advertising, and loyalty. This generation is much less adept at the digital world and still fondly remembers a time without it. Appealing to this growing nostalgia can be a very effective technique for this group. In addition, don’t neglect traditional advertising. Generation X is the unique sweet spot where they will respond to both traditional methods, such as direct mail, and digital techniques, such as social media and email. Finally, this generation is big on loyalty – and that includes loyalty programs. Generation X will stick with a brand in the long run, especially if they offer great deals!
Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
Baby Boomers lean even harder into tradition and loyalty than Generation X. This generation tends to pick their favourite thing and stick to it. This concept also applies to sales techniques. Baby Boomers want to talk to real people and often avoid social media. This makes them some of the only people that actually prefer telephone marketing! Television and newspaper advertisements are also popular with this group. However, if a Baby Boomer walks into your store, showing them quality service is the best way to retain them as a customer.
While some marketing values may overlap between generations or differ between individuals, this is a general guide that may help your marketing strategy appeal to your intended audience. Here at unLOCKEd, we understand the marketing values across different demographics and can help you reach your marketing goals.
Author: Sarah Murphy