IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS since our November 2006
A Special Report
very different set of new or more difficult obstacles.
special issue on Generation Nation—a look at how the Generation Y may find itself unable to get college or home
American marketplace had divided itself into four camps loans. Matures may spend the next 10 years wishing they’d
of varying size and influence. Since then, the United States been faster to pull their equity from the stock market.
population did in fact top 300 million, as expected—you Gen Xers and Baby Boomers may find themselves squeezed
can keep tabs on it over at the United States Census between responsibilities involving both older and younger
Bureau’s population clock (http://snurl.com/popclock1). family members.
In revisiting the topic, we’ve kept the same four There are difficulties with this approach—most notably
groups—Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the fallacy that generations really come with hard and fast
Matures—but that’s about where the similarities end. boundaries. Ask any number of people to name the birth
We’ve tried approaching the subject in a different way, to year of the oldest member of Generation Y, and you may
account for the changes that have taken place not just in get any number of answers.
CRM but in American society. What we’ve tried to do is Wherever possible, we’ve relied on the Census Bureau
help define the mind-set of these groups, to get a sense of for the youngest boundary of each cohort—1945
the collective worldview of the members in each generation. (Matures), 1964 (Baby Boomers), 1976 (Generation X),
The intent is to help marketers and strategists come to and 1994 (Generation Y). You may quibble with the cutoff
grips with the notion that between the extremes of a points, but that would only serve to miss the larger issue:
many-to-many and a one-to-one model, there resides a If you’re not looking at these consumers according to how
some-to-some gray area that needs to be addressed. they look at themselves, then you’re missing out on
The economy has certainly been cast into stark relief. maximizing your abilities to target, acquire, retain, and
The nationwide bankin