While there’s not one exact way to speak to an entire age demographic, there are certain generalizations that may help you as you try to connect with a specific group. Below, we’ll guide you through the values and buzzwords for each major age group, along with the reasons that those tools work.
Traditionalists (Born 1925-1945)
There are roughly 55 million men and women within this age group in the United States today. These people either experienced first hand, or saw and heard of their parents’ experiences in World War I and II, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the rise of corporations in America. Because of these experiences, they value family, community, honor, respect, legacy, and patriotism. If you plan on marketing to this group of senior citizens, use these kinds of words to bend their ears.
A message that matters: “I respect your experience.”
Baby Boomers (Born 1945-1965)
There are about 80 million Baby Boomers living in the United States today. This demographic has seen revolution…revolution in music, culture, and civil rights. In fact, this demographic is directly responsible for a lot of that revolution. They also experienced the Space Race and the Vietnam War. In their youth, things were constantly changing. Now, in their adulthood, many have been replaced at work by younger employees, and though the world is still changing quickly, this demographic doesn’t have the same relationship to those changes. Baby Boomers are competitive and hard-working, and they value success and recognition.
A message that matters: “You are needed. You are valued.”
Gen X (Born 1965-1981)
The 55 million members of the Gen X demographic are savvy, skeptical, and self-reliant. Their generation saw a bit of a bubble burst from the picture-perfect advertisements and television shows of the 1960s. In their youth, they saw the Cold War, the rise of divorce rates and latchkey kids, and the beginnings of the internet. They are adaptable and driven by results, and they appreciate honesty rather than pretty pictures. Gen Xers also value time, structure, and an understanding of the process behind things.
A message that matters: “Forget the rules. Let’s do things your way.”
Milennials (Born 1981-2004)
Ah, Milennials – the group that everyone wants to cater to these days. There are 75 million Milennials in the United States, and the internet has been a part of their lives almost from the beginning. As such, the world has always been at their fingertips through Google searches and social media. Your knowledge and experience isn’t quite as valued as the personalized service you provide. Communication via text message is preferred to emails and phone calls. Milennials are entrepreneurial, independent and tech savvy. They value speed and individuality.
A message that matters: “My process is customized just for you.”