Generation X is my generation; we were born between 1965 and 1980 and we are known for our hardworking nature, technology literacy, and our focus on “work -life balance” as well as flextime, telecommuting and job-sharing.
Photos above: (L) Jennifer Lopez recently debuted in new ads for Coach; (R) via Instagram/JenniferLopez. The 50-year-old is a Gen Xer.
We are noted for our independence and equally for our ability to collaborate. We are adaptable and more than willing to change the status quo.
We are also full of skepticism/cynicism because we watched politicians openly lie while we were growing up; we saw our parents get laid off from what everyone expected to be a “lifetime job” and we saw pensions disappear in front of us. All of this informs who we are, how we work, and what influences our purchase decisions.
Because we are not as large as the Boomers that come before us or the Millennials that come after us, marketers have by and large overlooked Gen X—we have become the “forgotten generation.” We know this and we are less than thrilled about it. Additionally, we are the “sandwich generation,” whereby we are raising a family while taking care of aging parents.
The good news for beauty brands is that we work (82% of U.S. Gen X adults are working and those between 39 & 54 are at their highest earning potential, according to Pew Research) so, we have disposable income to spend. Our views on ‘retirement’ are different than generations before us. We want to continue working and we need to look and feel younger than our parents did at our age.
What Influences Gen X’s Purchases in Beauty?
Even though we were the last generation to dial a rotary phone, we are highly tech literate (you can thank us for My Space and AOL), we are all over social media, all the time. Gen Xer’s possess the best marketing attributes of both the Boomers and the Millennials and are social-savvy with 45.1 million Facebook accounts and t23.5 million Instagram accounts.
But here’s the difference between Gen X social media users and our Millennial counterparts; while we may use social media to keep our friends and families updated, we are much more likely to be leveraging this medium to follow brands and keep updated on deals and promotions. According to Sprout Social, half of U.S. Gen Xer’s follow a brand on social media before purchasing from the brand online.
In addition to deals, we are looking for brand recommendations and solid proof of product efficacy before we click ‘buy.’ Before & after images along with real consumer testimonials (especially if they are from people we know or respect) go a long way with us on social media.
What’s the Best Way to Approach Gen X?
Gen X is the “sandwich generation.” We are busy and we know it. We also are approaching aging with a positive mindset. We don’t look like our parents did at our age, we don’t act like our parents did at our age – so please don’t talk to us like we are Boomers.
If marketers give us the wrong Ambassador (don’t get me wrong I love Helen Mirren, but she isn’t my peer; if you approach me with her, I am going to turn you off. Hit me with J-LO and you’ve got my attention.)
We don’t want to hear about the negative baggage that comes with aging – we want to reinvent aging like we have reinvented everything else – Gen X is focused on the positive, and ways we can prolong our health and/or looks.
And, please don’t use the term “anti-aging”… we don’t believe it (we are the cynical generation). Getting the terminology right with us is essential to a brand’s success.
Don’t talk to us about fine lines and wrinkles – approach with skin texture – such as renewing or glowing – (look at L’Oréal’s Revitalift Glycolic acid offerings or Olay Regenerist describing their benefits as “hydrated, dewy and smooth.”) We want efficacious products that speak to us with authenticity and results.
Don’t Be Intimidated By Gen X
Hey Brands, we are dying to hear from you – we could use a little wooing. If you talk to us in the manner that authentically resonates with us and you have a product that does what you say it will do, you’ll likely make a connection with us.
Put us first (instead of plus one for Millennials or a draft along with Boomers), acknowledge our concerns and offer us products that target specific issues while preventing long-term damage, and odds are we will at least give you a try.
Get to know us – we may be cynical and a little sarcastic, but we are loyal and want the beauty world to show us some love and attention too!
Originally published on BeautyPackaging.com | see original article