Today is the first time in history that we have five generations to market to: the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and the Millennials. As a Gen-Xer myself, sandwiched between all of these people, I find this fascinating. As a marketer who has spent much of her career in retail, deviating from the traditional 18-65 year old grocery shopper demographic is tough. Grocery, mass merchants and other retailers have to appeal to everyone, so how do you connect with a particular generation group who has vastly different values, interests and cares?
The answer is not cut and dry. If you think of a grocery chain like an organizational chart, it might make more sense. Position the brand/store banner as the lead or umbrella at the top of the chart and the brands/products as departments in the organization, then you can start to segment your generational branding that way as well. The overall 18-65 fits the brand umbrella, but the departments, brands and products you offer can be targeted at specific generations and consumer demographics.
If retailers do not start to understand that they need to talk more directly to each generation and connect with them, they will ultimately miss the opportunity to grow. In today’s world, you cannot speak to the masses… they won’t hear you.