Generational Marketing meets Design

Effective design comes from the ability to know your audience and speak their language.  If you don't effectively communicate, you won't effectively define the problem. Different generations of building users have different values, expectations and needs.  Attracting and retaining quality staff and satisfied building occupants requires providing them with quality environments.  Try working with your client to assess the demographics of the building users and look at these tips in the chart below from the Generational Targeted Marketing Corporation to target programmatic elements or design features that might resonate best.  You may discover that providing  amenities like on-site childcare, fitness center or convenience services can make all the difference, or that better break rooms that allow staff to get off-stage and decompress in a stressful work environment keeps them motivated and happy.  There's nothing better than knowing you designed a building that people find enriching to occupy.

Generation  9/11 (2001-Present)
  • Generation 9/11 values fitting in with their peers.
  • Overprotected during their formative years: at home, because of the rash of kidnappings and Amber Alerts; at school, because of school-shooting incidences; and in society, because of terrorism.
  • Will tend to be risk-averse and therefore conformists as adults.
Generation Y
  • Influenced by their brand-conscious Boomer parents.
  • Attracted to brands at an early age and remain loyal.
  • Associate brands with companies that stand behind their products.
  • Brand names also important for peer recognition.
Generation X
  • Market Savvy
  • Demand an honest, straight-forward approach.
  • Expect you to deliver on your marketing promises.
  • Burn them once, lose them forever.
Baby Boomers(1943-1960)
  • The busy generation.
  • Often juggle kids, spouses, parents and jobs, so anything that makes their lives easier or more convenient will appeal to them.
  • They do not have time to read lengthy marketing efforts.
  • Capture their attention in seconds, or lose them.
Silent Generation(1925-1942)
  • Once financially conservative, they are now willing to spend money on themselves.
  • Feel it's now-or-never time to splurge on that big-ticket item.
G.I. Generation(1901-1924)
  • Avid readers
  • Prefer sales by mail because customer service standards have fallen.
  • May have trouble with transportation, so catalog sales are a natural fit.
Source: Generational-Targeted Marketing Group, 2007