Talkin' 'bout my generation- marketing to Gen X vs. Millennials
Talkin' 'bout my generation- marketing to Gen X vs. Millennials

Every brand has a story. Every story has an audience…but not every audience hears the same story.

Brand stories have been told since the first newspaper advertisement for Long Island Real Estate in 1704.  The story got a facelift in the roaring 1920’s when sponsored programs hit the radio waves a.....

Every brand has a story. Every story has an audience…but not every audience hears the same story.

Brand stories have been told since the first newspaper advertisement for Long Island Real Estate in 1704.  The story got a facelift in the roaring 1920’s when sponsored programs hit the radio waves and another enhancement in 1954 when CBS television became the largest advertising medium in the world. Today, well, it’s all in the handheld touch screen of the smartphone.

Stories through marketing have been told consistently over the last 295 years, but the messages have dramatically changed in the last fifty years. Generation over generation has experienced a change in medium at such a fast pace that the message has evolved year over year for every new audience.

According to data collected from Pew Research Center, Generation X has become somewhat of a middle child stuck between the greatly contrasting Baby Boomers and Millennials. The age group that varies from 34 to 49 was hit hardest by the recession of 2008. They don’t take selfies like Millennials and aren’t as confident about retirement as the Boomers, which result in them having more of a frugal taste.

“If our customer demographic happens to be more frugal, then we must make sure to add value to their visit…at Wing Zone we execute this in many ways, but the convenience of delivery is huge,” said Dan Corrigan, Marketing Manager at Wing Zone, who shared some insight on marketing toward different generations.

“Though Generation X is more adapt to technology than the Baby Boomers, we still made sure to produce an online ordering app that makes it easier everyone to order on-the-go, but making it easy shouldn’t just be a slogan,” Corrigan adds. “We want our technology to be accessible for every generation, and for those looking to save some cash, we also have a loyalty program that is tied to online ordering and continually rewards our most loyal customers.”

As Generation X has seen the evolution of technology in their lifetime, the Millennials have had the benefit of living through the progress.

Where are we going? Google it.

How far away is it? Google it.

Are we there yet? Google it.

According to Emarketer, 97 percent of Millennials own mobile phones, and 72 percent of them are smartphones…go ahead, Google it.

The Millennials were born in the early 1980's to the year 1999, with their age group ranging from 16 to 32. The members of this generation are either just entering adulthood, or have been an adult for a few years now and might be searching for the answers to life on their Twitter feed.

Brandon Poole, Senior Director of Marketing with Pita Pit Canada, sees the advantage of the Millennial's use of technology and brands using new platforms to tell their story.

“Because Millenials take such an active role in sharing and communicating about their favorite and (least favorite) brands, they need to be treated like stakeholders rather than customers,” Poole said. “This reality provides us with a fantastic opportunity and we continue to evolve our strategy around it…Millennials are empowered, intelligent and understand how important they are to the success of brands.”

According to Forbes research, the millennial population is 76.6 million strong, and by 2020, they will make up 75 percent of the workforce. So seeing this massive generation of tweets and Facebook statuses as stakeholders isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. In today’s social media world, the brand should have a goal of adding new friends (stakeholders) on their Facebook page. In effect, the daily brand awareness can push the generation’s investment in the message, the product and ultimately, the brand.

“The Millennials are an extremely social generation and they are incredibly familiar with all forms or social media,” Corrigan said. “We continually engage with our fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Wing Zone’s social media strategy is all about being one of their friends rather than an advertiser.”

“It’s difficult to say which happened first – Social Media empowering the Millennials or the Millennials launching the Social Media craze, but regardless, the conversation between Millenials and companies has become much more personal,” Poole added. “Listen to what your stakeholders love about your brand and build on it…listen to what your stakeholders dislike about your brand and change it.”

But first, let them take a selfie.

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