Individuals born after Second World War, mainly between 1946 and 1964 are labelled Baby Boomers (Twenge et al, 2010). In a survey, human resource professionals indicated that they believed Baby Boomers were ‘results driven’, ‘give maximum effort’ (Society of Human Resource Management, 2004). It’s them who built the world and make it look like nowadays.
Those born between 1965 and 1981 were known as Generation X (Twenge et al, 2010). Experienced the AIDS epidemic, economic uncertainty, and the fall of the Soviet Union, ‘members of this cohort are purported to be independent and less committed to their employing organization and likely to job hop to increase marketability and to see work-life balance as extremely important (Glass, 2007).
Millennials known as Generation Y is a generation born between 1980s and 2000s. There are no specific boundaries set in stone. Some of the definition having this generation started as early as 1978 or as late as 1985 (Brown, 2017). Despite the born time, Millennials is used to be seen as the continuous generation of Generation X and Baby Boomers. But this is a misconception because this group of people is very different from the previous generations (Brown, 2017).
Baby Boomers have been perceived as independent and individualistic with strong interests in self-fulfilment and personal growth (Littrell et al, 2005). As the largest consumer buying group, Baby Boomers have tremendous spending power due to their established careers and job stability.
Baby Boomers are both value and quality conscious, but not necessarily price sensitive. They shop many different channels of distribution-from high-end specialty stores to department stores and mass merchants. As a result of their lifestyles, Baby Boomers seek products that promote wellness, relaxation, and stress-reduction (GCI, 2000).
Generation X is one of the most highly educated generations and is technologically and media savvy, but disillusioned, sceptical and pragmatic (Littrell et al, 2005). According to GCI (2000), Generation X seeks independence, flexible work hours, and has a much more realistic view of life, often making them pessimistic. Not like Baby Boomers, Generation X has a different set of priorities and aren’t concerned with status. They seek leadership roles and want to hear the power of their own voices.
According to a study done by Kurt Salmon Associates, Generation X are eager to shop and spend money on luxuries. However, they have other priorities at the moment. Most of them are recently married. Under the pressure of housing, paying bills, raising kids, the retirement of their parents, Generation X is now seeking a better work-life balance (Glass, 2007).
Generation Y, Millennials, is considered high-tech and consumption-oriented. This group of people is seen as the most protected and indulged generation. They are more comfortable with multiculturalism. Social networks are vital to them (Eastman et al, 1999). Under the influence of their parents buying habits, including everything from packaged goods to food, electronics and even the family car, it lead to the consuming behaviour prior to fashion and style (GCI, 2000). They prefer to purchase latest products and are easy to be influenced by advertisement. James (2013) stated that happiness and success were key to Millennials. He said they were seeking meaningful, authentic, unique and purposeful experience which they are willing to pay a high price for.