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James Parnwell

James Parnwell

Generational Analysis: Learning to Speak Their Language

Generational Analysis looks at the way’s different generations approach marketing messages. 

All generations differ in the way they:

  • Spend money
  • Respond to promotions
  • Choose what type of promotions they respond to
  • Build trust with brands,
  • Look at online recommendations
  • Eat out and how they prepare food (or don’t)

Every generation is entirely different from the next. Not only do they buy differently, but they respond differently to marketing campaigns. Gen Y (also known as Millennials) is currently the biggest generation on the planet and soon, their spending will be the largest we’ve ever seen. Generational analysis helps us know exactly what they want, how they want it and when they want it.

The generations are broken down into specific age groups:

According to McCrindle, our generations are grouped as follows:

  • Generation Alpha – those born after 2010
  • Generation Z – those born between 1995-2009
  • Generation Y – those born between 1980-1994
  • Generation X – those born between 1965-1979
  • Baby Boomers – those born between 1945-1964
  • Builders – those born between 1935-1944

Thanks to generational analysis, we gain useful information, specific to each generation which helps us direct our messaging more effectively. For example, generational analysis tells us that Gen Zs don’t like to cook and that even though they work less than any of the other generations, they eat out more often and purchase pre-prepared food more than anyone else. Having said this, they’re also very health conscious and eat more vegetables than the other generations. They don’t trust a brand simply because of customer loyalty but are more likely to make a purchase based on a review posted by a complete stranger. So a loyalty system for healthy takeaway meals may be quite successful for a restaurant targeting Gen Zs.

Here are some examples of the kinds of information Generational Analysis uncovers:

Generation Alpha

  1. Half are predicted to go to University
  2. 2.5 million Gen Alphas are born internationally, every week
  3. The first generation to have technology seamlessly integrated into their lives, right from birth
  4. Predicted to grow up to be smarter, richer and healthier than any other generation in history
  5. Have access to more information at a young age than any other generation

Generation Z

  1. Many eat their meals at a restaurant each month for convenience sake
  2. Most formally educated generation in Australian history
  3. Largest living generation
  4. Have an acute awareness of product pricing and love loyalty programs
  5. 55% use social media to discover new products

Generation Y

  1. Income rich (gross household average of $113,152) but due to increases in household expenditures, they’re less wealthy than the Baby Boomers
  2. Women are having babies on average ten years later than Gen Xs
  3. Projected life expectancy: 79.7 Males and 84.2 Females
  4. More likely to fundraise than make a financial donation to charities
  5. One third say they need coffee to survive the day

Generation X

  1. 85% make financial donations to charities
  2. Makes up a quarter of all voters and a third of the workforce
  3. One quarter are university-educated
  4. 54% see their mother as their biggest influencer
  5. Scott Morrison is Australia’s first Gen X Prime Minister

Baby Boomers

  1. Make 25% of the Australian population
  2. Own more than half of Australia’s national wealth (53%)
  3. Prefer the traditional ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting over ‘Happy Holidays’
  4. Often sandwiched between taking care of their parents (Builders) and their children (Gen Y)
  5. Gens Y and Z are outnumbering Baby Boomers in the workforce for the first time


  1. Only 1 in 10 obtained a university degree
  2. 91% make financial donations to charities
  3. Consider a food gift to be the best gift they can receive
  4. 45% see coffee as something nice but not necessary
  5. 40% of charitable givers also volunteer very regularly

Want to implement Generational Analysis for your brand? Contact us today to discuss how this could help you!


James Parnwell
James Parnwell

James is the Managing Director and resident strategist at TheOnlineCo. He is clever and creative with a flair for making complex things sound simple. He has been in the marketing game for over 2 decades and has watched the landscape slowly shift. James has his finger on the pulse of every aspect within TheOnlineCo, meeting with all clients as well as every core team member and strategising a specific plan tailored to each client.

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