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Executive Summary: Gen X in the U.S.

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Containing a snapshot of the overall market analysis, each Executive Summary provides a description of the scope and methodology used in the report; chapter overviews complete with statistical data; a sampling of charts and graphs when applicable; a brief look at the trends shaping the market; and projected future growth or demise of each market sector with relevant sales figures.

The report from which this Executive Summary is compiled is for Gen X in the U.S. , and the full study abstract is as follows:
It’s no wonder marketers are shaking their heads over how to position their products and services to the elusive yet surprisingly powerful cohort we have come to know as Generation X. Sandwiched between baby boomers on the one hand and Generation Y, or the 24-and-under set, on the other, these scrappy, fiercely independent adults, born between the years 1965 and 1980, have shaken off the slacker stereotype of old. Now in their mid-20s to late 30s, 55 million GenXers are vigorously taking up the mantle of financial and familial responsibility, yet they continue to question authority, prize individuality, and believe that “nobody will take care of me but me.” Still smarting from the wave of divorce and downsizing that characterized their formative years, GenXers put a high premium on quality of life. Single or married, administrator or entrepreneur, those in this cohort tend to value leisure and family activities over a fat paycheck; they’ll tend to quit a job rather than suffer boredom or, worse, too few vacation days. Style-conscious but seldom affluent, these former latchkey kids maintain their inherent suspicion of marketing and media campaigns even as they embrace products and services that answer their iconoclastic, resolutely youthful tastes and needs.

To help make sense of this passionate yet often paradoxical segment, Packaged Facts presents Generation X in the United States, a groundbreaking examination of the attitudes, preferences, and shopping behaviors of Generation X. Drawing on uniquely cross-tabulated Simmons Market Research Bureau survey data, along with government and private sector data sources, this report explores the many drivers of Generation X behavior, from their early disillusionment with cultural icons to their ongoing preoccupation with the Internet and its seemingly infinite ability to simplify, streamline, and enrich the activities and relationships of their daily lives. The report emphasizes GenXers’ cultural and ethnic diversity, and suggests that thorough research, even down to household characteristics, is vital to constructing advertising messages that are relevant to the extremely wide variety of GenX subsegments. Emerging campaigns are examined in terms of how they answer or anticipate GenX demands for authenticity, customization, and convenience; and special attention is paid to the role of blogs, viral advertising, and social networking in GenX perceptions of the marketplace.


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