Adonis Diaries

Millennial, Boomer, and Gen X generations: What’s the differences?

Posted on: February 13, 2012

Millennial, Boomer, and Gen X generations: What’s the differences?

I assume that what is meant by “Millennia generation” are those born about 2000, or most probably, the kids born about 1995 and experienced the turmoil of hearing of the drastic changes occurring to the world as we cross the second millennial  or possibly the parents who gave birth to kids at the crossing of the second millennial…

When I hear about research studies done on the Millennia generation I need to know whom the research is targeting exactly. Cheryl Swanson said in an interview with Debbie Millman that described the characteristics of Millennial generation:

First, this generation (parents) will not be caught without car seat or safety belt in the back of the car:  The parents are safety conscious…Why? Parents are giving birth later in life and have made several trips to fertility clinics:  They want their kids and are the product of cultural expectation...

Second, this generation wants pure sugar in their soda cans and not concentrate fructose corn syrup…For example, Pepsi has switched to brown sugar-water soda, and Coca-Cola has followed suit…

Third, Smoking and drinking behaviors have decreased with this “cohort” group

Fourth, their SAT scores have increased (this time Cheryl might be talking of the kids?)

Fifth, They are achievement-oriented

Sixth, They don’t want to let their parents down,

Seventh, they feel very powerful with a sense of “entitlement” confronting authority figures

Eight, they are institutionally driven and trust in authority

Ninth, they love heritage brands that has stood the test of time, such as Levi jeans, Gillette, Coke…

Millennial generation is now getting all the media attention, as the boomer and the Gen X (aged 35 to 50 by now) before them.

The Boomer generation feel that they have exclusive rights to brands, they had adopted and nurtured brands as a cult: There are no differences among the brown sugar-water soda, and yet consumers behave as a cult toward a particular brand.  Do you know that in Mexico, every person consumes Coca-Cola three times a day?

The Gen X, sandwiched between the Boomers and the millennial, exhibited skeptical tendencies toward brands.  The irony is that marketers are boomers, the advertising agencies are Gen X, and they are all trying to talk to millennial...Consequently, everything that Millennial use is branded.

Brand help focus the direction to go for millennials, to figure out their “identity“…

Cheryl said:

“There are three pillars to a brand: the functional, the sensorial experience, and mostly the emotional compelling story.  Stories about a place in culture that say: “Where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going.  Stories that have transcended their transactional economic functions…(as long as corporation sticks to its core product and message…)

The artwork, the visual language communicates what is important to a particular consumer group.  A success brand becomes a cult, a totem, until it is accepted internationally and reverts to a sort of substitute religion…

It is very probable that with so many choices in brands, brands would devolve to wallpaper background status, instead of retaining and sustaining the brand story.

The research on Millennia generation was conducted before 2008.  It has to be reconducted and revised. Why?

First: The US millenials are Occupying Wall Street and other institutions.  The State police forces are dispersing the protesters in every major cities, using tactics learned in Israel.

Second, Obama adopted the “unlimited detention” doctrine on the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay without trials…

Third, the US has withdrawn from Iraq and is getting ready to “throw the sponge” in Afghanistan…

Fourth, the administration has a list of 2,000 “terrorists” to drone out with utmost prejudice, without any recourse to validating these targeted individuals…

Maybe the millennial were  institutionally driven and trusted in authority, but is that impression still valid? Time to creating a label for the newer “resisting” generation.

“Resisting is creating” and there is no optimism in a better future unless the spirit of resisting the conventional structure is alive and kicking…

We all want that the new generation retains its very powerful sense of “entitlement” confronting authority figures.  I suggest the term: “entitlement generation

Note 1:  Cheryl Swanson was involved in designing the Method brand, a household cleaning launched in 2001.  The Venus brand of female shaving cream positioning is revealing the “inner goddess beauty”…

Note 2: Debbie Millman published “Brand thinking and other Noble Pursuits” where she interviewed 22 famous brand designers

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February 2012

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