Lately, there’s been a lot of Millennial vs. Boomers talk, CivicScience included, with Generation X staying quietly out of the spotlight like the middle child it is.
As a middle child myself, I can relate (Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, am I right?)
In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I know nothing about Generation X other than where it falls on the generational timeline. It’s about time we showed them some love and took a look at their habits and preferences. They’re very brand loyal, so it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be on their good side.
Defining Generation X
Generation X was born roughly between 1962 and 1982 (give or take a few years), putting them into the general age range of 35-55. This group makes up almost half of today’s professionals/managers, so they have a lot of sway over the market.
Before Millennials came under scrutiny from their elders, Gen Xers were no stranger to the “kids these days” treatment. They were often considered slackers, and were sometimes called the “MTV Generation.”
They are credited with creating the alt-rock and grunge music styles in the ‘90’s, and were heavily influenced by the emergence of rap and hip hop.
Whereas Millennials were raised by helicopter parents, Gen Xers’ parents were generally hands-off, which may account for Gen X’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Generation X Insights
I. Gen Xers (48%) are more likely than Millennials (43%) and Baby Boomers (33%) to spend more than 1 hour in their car per day. When their car needs an oil change, they’re most likely to take it to a designated oil change outlet like Quick Lube instead of going to a dealership or doing it themselves.
II. Generation X is more likely than any other generation to admit to being in debt. 46% of this generation claims to have credit card debt, compared to 40% of Baby Boomers and 34% of Millennials. Generation X is also most likely to have mortgage debt, at 43%, and they’re less likely than Millennials to have student loan debt.
III. Generation X is more likely than other generations, at 59%, to attend a sporting event at least a few times a year if not more. For comparison, the same is true for 57% of Millennials and 42% of Baby Boomers.
IV. 57% of Gen Xers are parents and 17% are grandparents. Over ¼ are neither parents nor grandparents. Gen X parents are most likely to have children between 12 and 17 years of age (28%).
V. Gen X is the most likely generation to have/use a tablet, at 60% compared to 54% of Millennials and 51% of Baby Boomers. The majority of Generation X uses their tablet for news or information purposes.
VI. Generation X is dedicated to self-improvement. They are much more likely than other generations to read self-help books and diet books (17% and 12%, respectively). It may not be a coincidence, then, that 62% believe they are overweight.
VII. The majority of Gen X is more likely to prefer drinking beer during warmer months over other alcoholic beverages. They are less likely than other generations to drink white wine.
VIII. The majority of Generation X prefers to watch TV live, but they are also much more likely than other generations to use a DVR, at 21%, compared to 14% of Millennials and 15% of Boomers.
IX. Generation X is more brand loyal than Millennials, but tied with Baby Boomers, at 88%. They are more likely to be loyal to brands due to product quality over other factors such as price and convenience. They are also more likely to write positive online reviews for products they like, with 61% doing this at least sometimes, compared to 57% of Millennials and 52% of Boomers.
X. Generation X is somewhat more likely to holiday shop online in 2017. 80% of Gen Xers plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online, compared to 72% of Millennials and 60% of Boomers.
We hope this gave you a better insight into the quiet middle child among the major generations. We know there’s been a lot of attention on Millennials lately, rightfully so, but Generation X is a large and brand loyal generation. It couldn’t hurt to pay attention to them, too.