Subcultures and marketing generational cohorts

Based on the category of your product or service, you might find that you can segment your market according to their subculture. A subculture is a group of people who share a set of customs, beliefs and values that distinguish them as a smaller group of the larger dominant culture. Although they share certain customs, beliefs and values, these need to be harmonious with the broader cultural context, in this case Australian culture.

Depending on your product or service, you may find that it may be helpful to segment your market based on either ethnicity, generational cohort, religious beliefs or gender. As members of subcultural groups respond in a similar way to your product, price, place of sale and promotion of your product or service, then it can be useful to develop your marketing mix for a specific target group, such as generational cohort.

Marketing generational cohorts – from baby boomers to Generation Z

Generation Z are born between 1995 and the present day. They are very tech savvy and known as the ‘touch screen generation’. Partially due to this increase in screen time, they are more likely to develop obesity as they grow older. They are very materialistic and like to spend lots of money on fashion and brands. Their language skills are poor due to the prevalence of texting culture.

Generation Y were born between 1980 and 1994. They are also tech savvy, and more open to change than the generations before them. Generation Y tend to be disloyal to brands, but highly loyal to relationships. They are most influenced by friends and peers. Generation Y are ambivalent about politics, however they are career focussed and ambitious. They are highly educated.

Generation X were born between 1965 and 1979. They are also highly educated, but less likely to own a home and slower to start a family. Generation X consumers are more interested in experiences and spend more money on recreation. They are quite cynical where marketing is concerned. If you want to market to Generation X consumers, you should be authentic. Job satisfaction is more important than salary for this cohort, but they are relatively brand loyal.

Baby Boomers were born between 1945 and 1964. They are consumption oriented and motivated consumers. They are usually wealthy because housing was so much less expensive when they were young adults. Baby boomers have a strong interest in leisure and travel and a youthful outlook (deny aging). They love to shop, especially to decorate their homes, and are very brand loyal.

Elderly consumers born during or before WWII perceive themselves to be younger than their chronological age, and view retirement as starting over. They like to take lots of holidays or explore Australia. They have low technology or internet knowledge and have a diverse range of interests. In marketing to these people traditional media such as television is the best way to reach them.

Does your product or service appeal to a particular generational cohort?

Do any of these segments resonate with your product or service as your target market? This article might highlight some strategies that you can use in your marketing. It can be a great way to segment your audience, because as subcultural groups, people within these groups will respond in similar ways to your marketing mix or your 4 P’s – product, price, place and promotion.

marketing generational cohorts - youth centre with graffiti

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