Everyone knows that the squeakiest wheel gets the grease. What people tend to forget, though, is that it’s not always the squeakiest wheel that holds the most power. Caught between the incredibly loud and squeaky generations of Millennials and Baby Boomers, Generation X is often overlooked and underserved, with the majority of marketing attention going to those two wheels that make the most noise. What remains to be seen, though, is how this generation will roll its rapidly accumulating dice.
If anyone wants a trip down memory lane, check out this Generation Next commercial from 1997. Gen X shopping habits are as varied as generation members themselves. Born between 1960s and the 1980s, they were raised in a primarily offline world and learned to adapt to a rapidly expanding online one. They’re equally at home online and in a brick and mortar retail store, and they have no trouble switching between the two spaces to get the service and prices they want. Gen Xers might love online shopping, but they’re also likely to meet up with friends and family members at local malls. This becomes especially true when a mall caters to their needs.
At the moment, most members of Generation X are somewhere between their late 30s and late 50s. Most of them are of an age to have at least one parent that’s getting on in years, a younger child they’re in the process of raising, or a young adult that they still financially support, if not some multiples of all of the above. This gives them unprecedented access to the squeaky wheel generations on either side of them: Millennials, who might still live at home or visit often, and Baby Boomers, some of whom are in a stage where they’re in need of care from their adult children.