The Geezer Tsunami
Gen X is under-marketed-to. Go after them. Everyone's talking about Gen Z. I mean, everyone is talking about 13 year olds who literally have five dollars between them. [Yet] the parents are working… They're VP's or they're managers or directors, they are running companies... They're traveling. They grew up in technology.
It's Gen Xers who are their parents. Gen Xers in their early 30s, 40s and 50s are the people who had the most influence at this point in time on Gen Z. And yet no one's talking about Gen Xers. They’re a forgotten generation.
— Jackson Jayanayagam, Episode 175
Type “Gen X Brands” into Google News and you’ll be met with “Did you mean Gen Z?” They’re not just overlooked, they’re actively omitted from consumer consideration. No brands uniquely service or speak to this forgotten generation.
That is, until now.
While it’s chic to deride “Boomers” as being Luddite anti-technologists, it’s certainly not the case with Xers. Sure, your terminally-online Nana gets most of her news through social media, and she is most likely to do so on an iPad; but Xers are digitally-savvy by comparison. Insider Intelligence found Xers and Millennials at darn-near even in digital adoption, despite the fact that their values and shopping intents rarely overlap.
This will change. In 2020, Clorox Wellness launched a brand focused specifically on Xers, Objective, servicing an aging population who are dealing with menopause, joint pain, and bone density issues for the first time.
Clorox was cribbing from eMarketer data in 2017, which found that Gen X had the highest brand loyalty of all generations, and were in their peak earning years.
EpicLight Beauty launched a similar line in 2023. There is clear opportunity here, but few have realized it in the brand building space. In a time where sources of arbitrage are few and far between, maybe it’s time to sit up and take notice.
Until then, they can just fire up the ‘ol Dell XPS to buy the iPhone of catheters, one of the few “just for me” products that Gen X has.
Hurry up, brands. I’m not getting any younger.
P.S. Come experience The Archetypes Journal THIS SUNDAY in an immersive audio experience in curated spaces. We’re teaming up with Industry West at their SoHo showroom at 14 Crosby alongside our attendance at NRF’s Big Show.
Pop-Up hours: 11-4pm Jan 15-17, 2023.
P.P.S: For even more fun, join us for Archetypes After Hours with our friends from Thingtesting! RSVP here — space is limited.
New Platform Players. Social Media Managers are breaking the fourth wall on TikTok, and viewers are eating it up. Anonymous brand voices are being set aside for a single voice and perspective — the person running the social account — who more or less pokes fun at what they have to do as social managers. Some are even gaining devout groups of followers. It’s a very interesting new way of building a platform.
A Feigned Future. Are humans getting squeezed out of content creation? Lots of SEO content sites are ALREADY using AI to generate content, and are explicitly calling it out.
More Sights & Sounds. In a rare deviation from the high-priced pace it has been running at, Disney has announced some new free perks as well as the addition of lower-priced days at its theme parks. Also, enjoy some fictitious brand collabs generated by AI.
Massfluence. Airport lounges, which were originally meant to be places of quiet respite for elite-status travelers, are facing a new problem — so many travelers now have Platinum cards and partner access to benefits that lounges are crammed with weary travelers, especially amidst weather and FAA flight delays. Frequent fliers and the ultra-wealthy are pushing back as they try to reclaim their once-sacred spaces, far away from the plebs.
- Our Take: During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, the rise of the factory system led to the formation of a new middle class. Some members of the elite class viewed the new middle class as a threat to their traditional way of life and status. They saw their new wealth as a threat to their social and economic dominance.
Wherever there is the advancement of Commerce, we will experience resistance.
It’s clear that Commerce is a catalyst for change in our world. But that change isn’t always welcomed or appreciated.
The Silver Tsunami. The hottest nightclub in Michigan closes at 9 pm and the partiers who frequent it are almost all over 65. Affectionately called “Geezer Dance Party,” the Ann Arbor Happy Hour at Live is boppin’ every Friday night, May to September.
Baja Brrrrrr. PepsiCo has officially filed two trademarks for Baja Blast in the ice cream/frozen category. Is Mountain Dew ice cream or sherbert coming soon? We’re here for it.
Farewell, Fresh. Amazon is closing one of its Seatle Fresh Pickup locations (there are only two in the U.S.). This is another step by the company to cool its brick-and-mortar advances.
Mea Culpa via Graza. On the eve of their first birthday, olive oil startup Graza had grown so popular that it struggled to keep up with the high volumes of orders, especially around the holidays. Well-intentioned gifts came late in the mail poorly packaged and CEO Andrew Benin felt so uneasy about it that he wrote a heartfelt apology email that was very human rather than corporate, and it was incredibly well received. Drizzle us impressed.