There is much discussion in the media about baby boomers and their economic strength today. It's well known now that baby boomers hold 70 percent of the U.S. wealth and will be inheriting trillions in the next 20 years. However, who are the other marketing groups that make up our 312 million Americans? I believe it helps to have a face with a name. Here are the four main U.S. marketing demographics with famous cultural icon examples for easy identification and spending statistics:
Dustin Hoffman is 75. Silent Generation: 67 - 87 Years Old
Born between 1925 and 1945, saw the Great Depression, lower birth rates due to World War II, Korean War, icons such as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, better education, this generation tended not to protest or carry posters.
Don't underestimate this demographic; they are the grandparents spending over $50 billion annually on their grandkids' education, trips, gifts and more. They also purchase the most luxury cruises. Note that Larry King is now the spokesperson for Grandparents.com, a rapidly growing website helping grandparents bond with their grandchildren with activities, recipes, travel and games.
Brad Pitt is 48. Baby Boomer: 48 - 66 Years Old
Born between 1946 and 1964 with cultural influences of rock 'n' roll, Woodstock, Beatles, Vietnam War, JFK assassination, "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Happy Days," women's rights, civil rights, sexual freedom and new highways that encouraged travel.
This generation holds 70 percent of the U.S. wealth, purchases the most cars; in fact, three out of five new cars purchased were by baby boomers. Baby boomers own the most homes, eight out of 10 own their homes. KB Home recently partnered with AARP to create Simply Living, a collection of home options for aging adults in design, safety and technology from the kitchen to the bedroom and bathroom. Websites featuring homes and boomer-friendly towns such as Best Boomer Towns feature the best 21 towns to live in the U.S. This is due to the baby boomer's' desire to move away from the snow, cold, rain and, now, hurricanes.
Cameron Diaz is 40. Gen X: 32 - 48 Years Old
Born between 1964 and 1980. Gen X is also called the MTV generation, grew up with AIDS epidemic, 40 percent have divorced parents, dot-com bubble and attaining high educational levels.
A Census Bureau study released a few months ago found that those in the 35-44 bracket experienced the biggest percent decline in median household net worth between 2005 and 2010.
Justin Bieber is 18. Gen Y: 14 - 32 Years Old
Born between 1980 and 1998. The demographic cohort, also known as the Millennial Generation, Boomerangs, Echo Boomers, Trophy Kids and Eighties Babies. Grew up with computers, environmental awareness, high expectations for employment and tend to marry later.
This generation has been best known over the past year for moving back in with their baby boomer parents. In fact, 30 percen of Gen Y's moved back in with their parents after college due to the job market.
Clearly, at this time in size and economic strength the baby boomers purchasing power is tremendous. The brands who understand, connect and engage them will earn a share of their wallet!
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