Image Source LSN Global

Most recently, we have been swamped with Millennial focused retail concepts. Not too long ago, beauty bloggers and press were flocking to Selfridges to the launch of The Estee Edit. With Kendal Jenner as a brand ambassador, the sister brand was clearly targeted at millennials. A short while later, Carnaby St became home to an Estee Edit store.

In a similar fashion, we have observed how department stores are targeting millennials. In a bid to win over a younger audience, Saks’ downtown store was designed to mimic online shopping, with a circular consumer journey and flat lays for visual merchandising. The Met has also introduced workouts before the museum officially opens to try woe health conscious millennials into store.

Yet it is surprising to observe so much focus on Millennials. Generation X boast the most spending power in comparison to all other generations.  Interestingly, The New York Times reported that Generation X spends more time on social media in contrast to the millennial cohort. Consumers aged 35-49 spend approximately 6 hours 58 minutes a week on social media platforms. Millennials on the other hand spend 6 hours 19 minutes.

Not only does Generation X have the most spending power, they spend more time on social media, making them opportune to marketing and brand engagement beyond time spent in the store. Whilst it makes sense for brands to pursue Millennials for long-term benefits, targeting Generation X could prove hugely beneficial.

Douglas Coupland summed up Generation X in his 1991 book as people with McJobs and Ozmosis (the inability of one’s job to live up to one’s self image). However, a lot has changed. So much so for Forbes to claim that ‘Generation X’s Moment of Power is Almost Here’. Additionally, the book launch of  Tiffanie Darke’s Now We Are 40: Whatever Happened to Generation X also puts this consumer group in the spotlight.

So what has become of this generation, despite the fact they are now 40. Firstly, they are ditching the associations of being lazy. In the workplace, they are occupying leadership roles and managing younger colleagues. They are entrepreneurial with 55% of start up founders falling into the Generation X cohort.

They are in a position to make key financial decisions within families. They have children and elderly parents to look after. Their parents belong in the Baby Boomer Generation and their children are Millennials or Generation Z. Thus targeting Generation X acts as an opportunity to reach other consumer groups.With so much power in terms of finances, work and decision making, the group is opportune for brands to engage with.

They are avid Youtubers. According to Google, 75% of Generation X use Youtube as a vehicle to look back at past events, places or people. 73% use the platform to learn how to do something. This can range from beauty tips, to DIY. 68% use Youtube to stay on top of pop culture. Interestingly, this enables them to engage and connect with their children.

Due to their social media presence, retailers must begin to further understand this powerful group. By understanding the nuances of Generation X, brands can develop innovative marketing strategies to woe them into store.