Learning The ABCs of Generation X, Y and Z

Today, launching a new brand is paradoxically both easier and more difficult than ever before. Easier because creative people with a great product and skill can set up their own company in a matter of minutes on websites and apps like Kasomi.com.

But it’s also harder today. Creating a reputation for your brand and earning from sales is tricky because your target buyers have so much to choose from. Our attention span for reading about new brands has decreased because we are overloaded with options.

At Kasomi we want to help emerging brands reach their target buyers more quickly. That’s why we’ve pulled together three Tip Sheets with tactics tailored to each Generation X, Y and Z to help new brands with their marketing strategy.

So, how do you reach Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980)?

Don’t underestimate these guys because they are “old”. Gen X has the highest spending power of all living generations, which is impressive given its size. It makes up only 25% of the US population alone, yet claims 31% of the country’s total income.

Many of them are the parents of Generation Z, which means they are responsible for Gen Z’s spending power too and, as such, can influence that generation’s purchase decisions and even their political views. Studies show Gen Z has actually learnt its distrust of establishment and its interest in sustainability from its New Age Gen X parents. So, if your brand is eco-conscious, try targeting Gen X as a priority.


a) Send personalized emails.

Email campaigns are seen as old-fashioned by many. But for Gen X email is the gold standard. They are checking email at work, at home, on tablets, iPhones and desktops. In fact, 66% of B2B marketers and 44% of B2C marketers can prove a clear link between sales and email marketing.

b) Offer discounts and coupons that appeal to their sense of financial responsibility.

People in Gen X were just gaining momentum in the workforce when the Recession hit. They don’t think they can rely on pensions after retirement. That’s why Gen X is saving up for college, home ownership, starting a business, and retirement — which leads us to…COUPONS & DISCOUNTS. Their preference for budgeting, combines with their digital literacy, means that Gen X hunts online for deals. So, advertise deals on social media with shareable images and include exclusive coupons in your email blasts.

c) Make educational videos.

It may come as a surprise, but digital video is huge among Gen X. It’s even more popular than social networking. Over 75% download or stream video online at least once a month. And Gen X has a keen interest in world news that sets it apart from other generations. Creating an “edutainment” video about your product by tying in current events is sure to hit the right chord with this age group.

d) Pitch your do-good brand values.

Your digital marketing strategy has to be on point to reach skeptical Gen X. As kids, they were often the children of divorce who came home to empty houses. These experiences have made them into independent, resourceful, and family-oriented adults.

Meanwhile, do-good brands have seen an upsurge, with organic, ethically produced products in high demand. Although Gen X is less prone to following trends, it is more likely to buy a service or product that somehow benefits society or the environment. These guys are more focused on family values and benefiting society as a whole than their parents were. And you can see it in their overwhelming love for nostalgia and vintage.

Show them how your product fits with their values, and push this branding through Pinterest and Facebook as well as your other social channels. Don’t forget 30% of all Pinterest users fall into the 35–54 Gen X demographic.

e) Show them how you make their lives easier.

Although this generation are self-professed savers, they’re not saving it all for their children’s college tuition. About two-thirds of Gen X plans on taking a vacation in the next 12 months. If you can advertise how your products can help them while they are away from home, and send them information that makes their busy lives a bit easier, they may just use your product or service for years. Brand loyalty creates repeat sales and a constant customer base.

f) Go for the upsell.

A great way to capitalize on the extra cash they have is by upselling (selling an add-on product or service to existing customers). They see value in great service and how it will make their lives easier or better. According to research, upselling can also help build better relationships with your customers, and it’s also much easier to make revenue by upselling than generate a new sale.

g) Try snail mail.

You may not expect what seems to be an outdated form of marketing to work with this generation. But, according to a study from InnoMedia, NuStats, and Vertis, 86% of this generation brings in the mail every day and 68% have used coupons they received by post. The days of receiving flyers and coupons in your mailbox are not over.

For our next Tip Sheet on how to market to Generations Y and Z, watch this space.