Last summer after a discussion about the psychological differences between Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, a student asked me what comes next. My answer was that while I didn’t know yet what the next generation would be called, we would all know soon since the oldest members of the group were already 18.
Well the brand consultancy “The Sound Research” has apparently named them “Generation Edge.” While we’ll have to wait awhile to see if the name sticks, the information emerging about these children of Gen X parents is already fascinating.
The cynicism of their parents and the effect of early life events which includes September 11th and the financial collapse of 2008, have apparently rubbed off on them. They are less entitled than their predecessors (Gen Y) and understand that life will not be easy; they are defined by their ability to roll with the punches, and they share the rebellious tendencies of their parents. (Baar, 2012)
Of course since they are seriously outnumbered by Gen Y their impact will be somewhat muted, much as their parents were forced to follow in the footsteps of the larger Baby Boomer generation. But still as they reach adulthood, advertisers will have to think about using a more realistic approach to reach them than the one that appeals to the idealistic Gen Yers.
It should certainly be interesting to watch.
Baar, A. (2012, November 19) On Edge: The Next Generation Explained. mediapost.com. Retrieved November 22, 2012, from