Generation X Market

Published: Aug 1, 1996 - 162 Pages

Table of Contents:

I. Executive Summary

    Introduction
    • A Market Moving to the Mainstream
    Demographics
    • A Market 78 Million Strong in 1996
    • More Than 44 Million 18- to 29-Year-Olds
    • Figure 1-1: Generation X Population, 1996 (number)
    • Xers Are Products of Divorce
    • The First Generation of Latchkey Children
    • Xer Living Arrangements
    • Wealth Has Shifted from Young Adults to Older Americans
    • Xers Are Non-Ideological
    • Xers See Themselves As America's Clean-Up Crew
    • Xers' Aggregate Income a Hefty $1.1 Trillion
    • Table 1-1: Mean Full-Time Earnings and Aggregate Income of Xers: By Age, 1994 (dollars and number)
    • Spending Power Will Grow as Xers Age
    • Market to Grow by Two-Thirds in Next Five Years
    • Table 1-2: Projected Market Growth, 1996-2001 (dollars)
    Xer Spending on Consumer Products and Services
    • Overall Xer Spending Tops $765 Billion
    • Nearly $290 Billion in Discretionary Spending
    Media
    • Xers Even More Media-Oriented Than Boomers
    • Conventional Media Targets Xers
    • Yet Xers Are Hard to Reach Via Television
    • Radio a Key Medium for Xers
    • Print Was First Medium to Fill Void in Xer-Targeted Media
    • Electronic Media the Wave of the Future
    Marketing to Xers
    • Generation X Comes of Age
    • Xers Creating Effective Advertising for Their Own Generation
    Scope and Methodology
    • Market Definition
    • Report Methodology

II. Demographics

    Market Overview
    • Generation X: A Market Moving to the Mainstream
    • Figure 2-1: Generation X Population, 1996 (number)
    Population
    • Introductory Note
    • The Second-Largest Group of Young Adults in U.S. History
    • More Than 44 Million 18- to 29-Year-Olds
    • Table 2-1: Estimated Population of 18- to 29-Year-Olds: By Age (number and percent), 1996
    • Another 7 Million Xers are Teenagers
    • Table 2-2: Estimated Population of 16- to 17-Year-Olds: By Age, 1996 (number)
    • 27 Million Are Already in Their 30s
    • Table 2-3: Estimated Population of 30- to 35-Year-Olds: By Age, 1996 (number)
    • Share of Xer Population by Age
    • Table 2-4: Share of Xer Population by Age: 1996 vs. 2001 (number and % share)
    • Share of Xer Population By Gender
    • Table 2-5: Share of Xer Population, by Gender, 1996 (number and percent)
    • The Most Diverse Generation in American History
    • Table 2-6: Share of Xer Population: By Race, 1996 (percent): White, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, Native-American, All
    • Xers Include 20th Century's Highest Percentage of Naturalized U.S. Citizens
    • One of the Most Important Immigrant Generations in U.S. History
    • Regional Distribution Follows National Trends
    • Table 2-7: Share of Xer Population by Region, 1993 (percent): Northeast, Midwest, West, South,
    • Locality of Xers
    • Table 2-8: Share of Xer Population: By Locality (percent): Urban, Suburban, Rural
    Family Status
    • Xers Are Products of Divorce
    • The First Generation of Latchkey Children
    • More Than 50% of Young Adults Live with Parents
    • 45% of Xers Live with Spouses
    • Other Xer Living Arrangements
    • Figure 2-2: Xer Living Arrangements: By Age, 1994 (percent)
    • Xers Defer Marriage
    • Table 2-9: Percent of Young Women Who Have Never Married: 1970 vs. 1994 (percent)
    • Xer Women Delay Childbearing
    • Table 2-10: Percent Childless and Births Per 1,000 Women: 1994 vs. 1976 (percent)
    • Many Births Out of Wedlock
    • Table 2-11: Demographic Characteristics of Women Age 15-29 Who Had a Child Within the Last Year, 1994 (number and percent)
    • Projected Births
    • Table 2-12: Lifetime Births Expected per 1,000 Women: Selected Years from 1976 to 1992 (number)
    • Both Spouses Work in Xer Households
    • The Impact of AIDS
    Educational Status
    • The Most Educated Generation in History
    • Percent Pursuing Graduate Degrees Up Slightly
    • Table 2-13: Educational Attainment of 18- to 29-Year-Olds, 1995 vs. 1993 (number and percent)
    Employment
    • Xers Face High Unemployment
    • Job Market Bleak for College Graduates
    • Bleaker Still for High School Graduates
    • Career Paths Blocked by Boomers
    • On-the-Job Antagonism Between Xers, Boomers
    • Many Xer Shortcomings a Boomer Myth
    • Xers Know Their Way Around a Computer
    • Xers Not Workaholics
    • Xers Want Responsibility, Feedback
    • Xers Motivated by Different Rewards
    • Xers Prefer Different Awards and Incentives
    • Apple Computer Knows How to Keep Xer Talent
    • Xers Self-Directed, Non-Hierarchical
    • But Also Work Well in Teams
    • Majority of Xers Want to Be Their Own Boss
    Economic Status
    • Wealth Has Shifted from Young Adults to Older Americans
    • Table 2-14: Median Weekly Full-Time Earnings by Age, 1979, 1993, 1995 (dollars)
    • Starting Salaries Have Dropped
    • Many Xers Saddled with Student Loans
    • Most Xers Cannot Afford Home Ownership
    • Yet Xers Have Considerable Disposable Income
    • Economic Prospects Likely to Improve as Xers Age
    Politics and Social Issues
    • Xers Are Non-Ideological
    • Xers See Themselves As America's Clean-Up Crew
    • Xers as Voters
    • Politically Conservative, Socially Liberal
    • Xers Make Peace in War Between the Sexes
    • Xers More Comfortable With Diversity, Gays
    • Xers Oppose Political Correctness
    • Xers Seek Service to the Community
    • Xers Shun Dogma, Seek Personal Faith
    • Xers Will Become More Traditional as They Age
    • In Next 20 Years, Xers Will Lead

III. The Market

    Market Size and Growth
    • Xers' Aggregate Income a Hefty $1.1 Trillion
    • Table 3-1: Mean Full-Time Earnings and Aggregate Income of Xers: By Age, 1994 (dollars and number)
    • Aggregate Income of Xer Consumer Units Is $824 Billion
    • Nearly $290 Billion in Discretionary Expenditures
    • Table 3-2: Discretionary Spending by Xer Consumer Units: By Age and Category, 1994 (dollars)
    • Spending Power Will Grow as Xers Age
    • Table 3-3: Mean Earnings For Xers in Their 20s: By Gender, Age, and Education, 1994 (dollars)
    • Xers Delay Big-Ticket Purchases
    • Xers Spend Big on Clothes, Eating Out, Entertainment
    • Xers Spend Big on Fast Food
    • Xers Listen to Music, Watch TV, Movies
    • Xers Will Replace Boomers as Dominant Market Force
    • Figure 3-1: Projected Growth of Generation X Aggregate Income, 1996-2001 (dollars)
    Projected Market Growth
    • Xer Population Growing, Income Increasing
    • Xer Income to Increase by Two-Thirds in Next Five Years
    • Table 3-4: Projected Growth of Generation X Aggregate Income, 1996-2001 (dollars)

IV. Xers as Consumers

    Xer Shopping Patterns
    • Xers Have Been Shopping All Their Lives
    • Xers Consider Shopping a Form of Entertainment
    • Xers Have Yet to Establish Brand Loyalties
    • Xers Want Lots of Choices
    • Time and Convenience Important to Xers
    • Xers Seek Value
    • Xers Will Pay More for Products That Deliver More
    • Xer Value-Consciousness Extends to Manufacturers
    Xer Spending on Consumer Products and Services
    • Overall Xer Spending Tops $765 Billion
    • Younger Xers Spend More Than They Make
    • Spending Reflects Living Arrangements
    • Table 4-1: Consumer Expenditures by Category: Xers 18-34 vs. All Consumer Units, 1994 (dollars)
    • Xers Spend Heavily on Cars
    • Clothing Tops Xers' Personal Spending
    • Table 4-2: Average Annual Expenditures on Apparel and Services: By Age of Consumer Unit, 1994 (dollars)
    • Xers Spend Big on Eating Out
    • Xers Spend Heavily on Entertainment
    • Xers Spend Big on Home Furnishings and Equipment
    • Xers Spend More on Health and Beauty Care
    • Xers Spend More on Exercise and Fitness
    • Despite Their Health Consciousness, Xers Drink
    • Table 4-3: Average Annual Expenditures on Alcoholic Beverages: By Age of Consumer Unit, 1994 (dollars)
    • Xers' Dollars Also Go Up in Smoke
    At the Retail Level
    • Ambiance Is Important
    • The More Choices, the Better
    • Service, Efficiency Important to Xers
    • Xers Want Knowledgeable Salespeople
    • Xers Like to Try Products in Store
    • The Gap Has Bridged the Generation Gap
    • Xers Frequent Shopping Centers, Malls
    • Boutique Departments Add Retail Appeal
    • In Short, Xers Want It All

V. Xer Media

    Television
    • Xers Even More Media-Oriented Than Boomers
    • Conventional Media Target Xers
    • Yet Xers Are Hard to Reach Via Television
    • Early Programming Attempts Failed
    • Programming Must Start with an Idea, Not a Demographic
    • MTV Maintains Leadership Position with Xers
    • Fox Has Successfully Targeted Xers
    • Other Cable Networks Do Well Among Xers
    • NBC Most Successful of Big 3 Networks in Attracting Xers
    • Xers Tune into Boomer Re-runs
    • Syndicated Shows as Popular as Network Programs
    Radio
    • Music Important to 18- to 29-Year-Olds
    • Radio a Key Medium for Xers
    • Yet Radio Gets Heavy Competition from Personal Stereos
    Print
    • Medium Was First to Fill Void in Xer-Targeted Media
    • Rolling Stone Skews Younger as Years Go By
    • Mademoiselle Strives for Female Xers
    • Media Must Start with Content, Not a Demographic
    • Details Created for Men in Their 20s
    • Wired: The Computer Magazine for the Discriminating Xer
    • Spin Is the Xers' Rolling Stone
    • New Publications Target Racially Diverse Xers
    • Xers Launch Their Own Publications
    New Media
    • Electronic Media the Wave of the Future
    • Web Site Quality an Important Factor
    • College Television Network Reaches Xers on 225 Campuses
    • "Digizines" Another New Media Development

VI. Marketing to Xers

    Overview
    • Generation X Comes of Age
    • Xers Creating Effective Advertising for Their Own Generation
    • No Easy Answers When Marketing to Xers
    • Xers Span Several Market Segments
    • Demographic Density Further Segments Xer Market
    • Xers Know Advertising
    • But Traditional Values Frequently Underlie Xer Cynicism
    • Xers Have Established Few Brand Loyalties
    • Yet Xers Are Loyal to Certain Brands
    • Xers Seek Immediate Gratification
    • Xers Want Information
    • Xers Appreciate Advertising as a Form of Popular Culture
    • A Challenge for Cause-Related Marketers
    Use of Language When Marketing to Xers
    • Language Can Be Key
    • Hipness Will Backfire if Not Credible
    • Beware Being Outdated
    • Slang, Hipness Can Be Offensive
    Use of Celebrities When Marketing to Xers
    • Spokespeople a Risky Investment
    • Xers Make Good Spokespeople
    Marketing Fundamentals
    • Rule Number One: Do Your Homework
    • Rule Number Two: Get Legit
    • Rule Number Three: Include but Don't Target
    • Emphasize Product Over Lifestyle
    • Emphasize Value—and Deliver
    • Yet Value Is Not Merely a Function of Price
    • Rule Number Four: Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
    • Rule Number Five: Xers Want to Have Fun
    • Test-Market Your Humor
    • Sexist Advertising Panned, but Sex in Advertising Alive and Well
    Consumer Promotions and Public Relations
    • Events Offer Chance to Niche Market
    • Event Marketing Combines Fun, Chance to Try New Products
    • Lollapalooza Tour a Major Xer Event
    • College Campuses a Good Place to Find Xers
    • Sprint Investing Heavily in College Market
    • Other Events Successful with Xers
    • The Web Another Place to Find Xers

VII. Examples of Strategies and Campaigns Targeted to Xers

    Clothing
    • Lee Produces Outstanding Campaign for "Brand That Fits"
    • Levi's Have Timeless Appeal
    • Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein Target Xers
    • Guess, Mossimo, and Other Marketers Also Shoot for the X-Mark
    • "Outdoor" Footwear a Hit
    • Nike Competes for Xers
    • Reebok Espouses Xer Values
    • Timberland: Selflessness Sells
    Fast Food
    • Fast Food Restaurants Compete for Xers, Stress Value
    • McDonald's "Arches" Commercial Likely to Offend
    • Pizza Purveyors Also Emphasize Value, Avoid Xer "Target"
    • Smoking Policies Reviewed
    Beverages
    • Beverage-Makers Target Xer Males
    • Coke and Pepsi Lead the Soft Drink Wars, Battle It Out in Advertising
    • Coca-Cola Features Xers, But Takes Universal Approach
    • Mountain Dew Also Goes After Young, Male Xers
    • Sprite Takes Anti-Ad Approach
    • Dr Pepper Rejects Overt Xer Appeal for Broader "Americana"
    • Sport Drinks Another Battleground for Male Xers
    • Alcoholic Beverage Marketers Battle for Xers: The Beer Wars
    • Coors Enters Fray with Coors Light Channel
    • Non-Alcoholic O'Douls Scores with Humorous Spot Aimed at Xers
    • Other Alcoholic Beverage Marketers Seeking Xer Market
    • Sauza Tries to Overtake Jose Cuervo
    • Bacardi Limon Also Targets Xers
    Electronics
    • Print, Web Pages Are Media of Choice
    • Microsoft Markets to GenX
    • Sony Stands for Quality
    • Apple Targets Xers
    • Humor Works for Electronics, Too
    • Xers Appreciate a Good Idea
    Automobiles
    • GM Includes Xers in "People in Motion" Campaign
    • Geo Takes a Low-Key Approach
    • Saturn Is Also Xer-Friendly
    • VW Jetta Takes Aim at X
    • Ford Gets Uneven Results from Youth Council
    • Chrysler Hits the Mark with Neon
    • Nissan Emphasizes Value to Lure Xers and Boomers

appendix: examples of advertising

Abstract:

Comprised of the 78.2 million Americans born between the years 1961 and 1980, Generation Xers are moving into the mainstream of American culture and life and can no longer be ignored. Packaged Facts' report on Generation X provides detailed, up-to-date coverage of this mercurial market. Includes current demographic analysis of the generation, including population by age, racial composition, family and living arrangements; estimates of the market's size ($1.1 trillion in 1994) and growth through the year 2001; and more.

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