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Generations X, Y, Z and Alpha: how to ‘hook’ with them

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The new generations of consumers are transforming various industries and each of them has positioned itself as a new segment of interest. We are talking about generations X, Y, Z and Alpha .

Wesley Tingey vía Unsplash

La GenZ está compuesta por las personas que nacieron después de 1996, hasta el 2012.

Over the years, the offers and distribution channels have been adapted to the new consumption patterns of these generations, regardless of the industry or sector.

Faced with this scenario, to make the most of advertising campaigns, brands have sought to understand the characteristics of each generation and constantly adjust the tone of voice of their advertising messages and the means by which they are transmitted.

In this article, I’ll talk to you about how marketers divide audiences across generations, and how a company can “hook” with these new generations of young buyers.

Who are Generation X, Y, Z and Alpha?

Several studies indicate that the difference between generations goes beyond the “problem of parents and children” and, in fact, the generations differ from each other much more than everyone thought.

People are not only integrating into globalization contexts, however, the family environment plays a great role, which is derived from the political environment and trends. Thus arose the theory of generations, which distributes people into various groups according to the year of birth.

Generation X


People of this generation were born from 1965 to 1982, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). They are between 56 and 40 years old.

It is a generation that has been held back by constant economic recessions and unemployment. This has led to a delay in their emancipation and economic independence.

This generation experienced the first transformations to the ” traditional model” of families – birth control, divorces and households headed by single mothers – as well as the fight for the civil rights of the violated groups and the principle of gender equality.

They are children of baby boomers and they are parents of millennials. This generation has an X that represents, above all, the idea of indefiniteness.

Generation Y


The millennial generation. It is made up of people born between 1981 and 1996, according to Pew Research. They are between 40 and 25 years old and are true digital natives.

Millennials are the children of baby boomers and GenX. It is more difficult for them to become independent than for people of other generations. They tend to buy what they want even with few financial resources.

This generation witnessed the arrival of the Internet in homes and the expansion of its educational use, as well as the arrival of devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Generation Z


Better known as Centennials, they are the people who were born after 1996, until 2012. They are the children of the Millennial generation. They do not know the world without screens, digital social networks or smartphones, so they are always connected, they are multitask and multiscreen.

They feel like citizens of the planet , they believe that what one does, institutions and companies included, affects everyone, they are aware of the problems of society and that each one must help solve them and they are hyper-connected, but at the same time they feel alone .

Generation Alpha


The Alpha generation is made up of people who were born after 2010. It is the first 100% digital native generation.

These children, children of millennials, see the world through a screen; technology is an extension of their way of knowing the world.

Alphas are raised in families where traditional parental roles are more blurred than decades ago, where tasks are shared like never before, and where work-life balance is cared for like no previous generation.

How to advertise to different generations?

All generations have particular characteristics, which means that brands should focus their efforts on addressing them differently, even those that carry out Influencer Marketing strategies.

For example, a firm that uses influencers to advertise should make sure that they choose highly targeted advertising phrases and formats, especially if the blogger works under a CPA (Pay Per Action) model, and if their income depends directly on the results they receive. the advertiser.

In recent years, the advertising trend within companies is that each ad they invest in has measurable results. Currently, it is estimated that 25% of brands have completely abandoned traditional advertising, as they seek strategies and formats focused on giving results “here and now”, they are no longer willing to pay only for “likes” or followers ” ephemeral ”.

Generation X ads, for example, use nostalgia as an incentive to buy. If the product evokes emotions, the consumer is more willing to part with the money.

This generation is pragmatic, so in advertising it is appropriate to show the product everywhere. Growing up in an age without the internet, Gen X people tend to spend in brick-and-mortar stores, but over time they also try to shop online, if it’s more convenient or profitable.

An adult likes to feel smart and lead by example, so Gen X likes to make purchases that are “green” or “good for society.”

Generation X is used to classic advertising: radio, television, and commercials. Brands shouldn’t try to surprise you with contests, giveaways, live streams, and a re-posting discount.

While Gen Y ads, you should keep in mind that they are the most economically active audience today, and that they also like to read. Therefore, contact with them should be through articles, instructions for choosing a product, reviews and descriptions of various services.

Generation Y representatives value the opinion of recognized personalities, so if a brand invites a popular specialist to its advertising integration it will be successful.

Generation Y internet users love their egos, so personalization is an effective strategy for them. In this way, companies have to worry about addressing the recipient by name, remembering their order history, and making personalized offers.


Generation Z ads are   most effective when published   in video format because they are 100% digital natives.

According to the IAB Mexico, this generation shows a greater dependence on their mobile devices, if they forget them at home they return for them.

This segment loves videos and consumes all kinds of content regardless of its length. They make fewer purchases online, but use a greater number of forms of payment, highlighting purchases with prepaid cards and a charge to the balance of mobile or fixed telephony.

Generation Z create idols for themselves. They do not like to depend on the opinion of any figure on the Internet because a partner who has a sense of humor and does not try too hard to follow the rules, has more influence over him. Therefore, advertising, according to a study by Barkley , should show real people in everyday life situations to reach them, this was indicated by 80% of respondents.

IBM’s survey with NRF shows that 42% of Gen Z members are willing to play a brand-related game and 36% are willing to invent content for that game simply because it’s fun.

Gamification is the main driver of advertising for Gen Z, which is why companies like Google, Microsoft, Pepsi and Starbucks are already engaging users in the game strongly so that participants will remember them better.

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