Generation X: The Forgotten-yet-Powerful Consumers

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Oct 2018

Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) is often forgotten by marketers, yet its members are powerful consumers, as they are now in their best-earning years and are usually decision-makers in companies and their extended families. Gen Xers are known to work hard and play hard, while being cautious in their spending, given their various responsibilities. Brands that can offer value, quality and convenience will capture this attractive market of influential and brand-loyal Gen X consumers.

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Generation X: The Forgotten-yet-Powerful Consumers

Key Findings

A small but mighty generation

Globally, Generation X is a smaller demographic cohort compared to the Millennials and Generation Z. Nevertheless, they have higher earning power and hold the majority of decision-making power in most households and companies.

Largest in Asia Pacific, most prevalent in Western Europe

China is home to the largest Gen X population, followed by India, the USA, Brazil and Indonesia. However, the highest shares of Gen X to total population are found in Western European countries, highlighting the importance of Gen X consumers in this region.

Practical budgeters, brand-loyal consumers

Although Gen Xers are generally financially secure, they often have financial responsibilities as many of them take care of children and elderly parents at the same time. Gen Xers are thus cautious in their spending and often demand the best value for their money. Brands can overcome Gen X’s frugality and gain their loyalty by focusing on quality, authenticity and affordability.

Various marketing opportunities for brands

Entering middle age and being at the peak of their careers and earning power, Gen Xers offer plenty of opportunities for marketers. They can be targeted for family-oriented and time-saving products and services, as well as for health, wellness and anti-ageing beauty and care. Gen Xers can be reached in many ways, as they are technology-savvy and use both online media and traditional channels such as email and television.


Key findings
Gen X: the cohort with the highest average gross income by 2030

Demographics and Key Markets

Gen X regional distribution and dynamics
Countries with the largest Gen X populations
Gen X in North America leads in terms of gross income
China: Gen X is the largest and most financially powerful cohort
India: Gen Xers most prevalent among Indian household heads
USA: Gen Xers have the highest average gross income

Behaviour And Impacts

Key characteristics of Generation X
Industrious, self-reliant: seeking better income and satisfaction
Sceptic and pragmatic: cautious, brand-loyal consumers
Financially responsible: value-driven and family-oriented shoppers
Tech-savvy: quick adopter, but email and telephone still relevant
Liberal, socially conscious: declining gender role, ethical shoppers

How to Best Target Gen X

What brands can do to capture Gen X market
Aldi: value-for-money strategy to attract Gen X shoppers a direct appeal to Gen Xers
Toms shoes: a sincere “One for One” giving story
Payback: bonus programme boosts Gen X loyalty


Gen X: a demographic “in bloom” …
which offers plenty of marketing potential for businesses