Groups cannot be homogeneous

No group can be defined as homogeneous with regard to values, attitudes, and lifestyles. Consequently, advertisers have segmented this massive market in a variety of ways.

1) Grey Advertising splits them into two groups: those with family oriented values and those seeking fulfillment more through personal experiences than, for example, owning a house and car.
2) Lowe Marshalk agency characteristics three groups: the “leading edge” (born in the 1940s) the “middle group” (born in the 1950s) and the “laggards” (born after 1960). The middle group is self directed, almost selfish in its purchasing behavior and other activities, because of its large size and the intensely competitive school and job conditions that its members experience.
3) N W Ayer agency describes boomers as: satisfied selves (well educated, optimistic, enjoy traveling, open to new ideas), contented traditionalists (conservative, home oriented, upset about the impact of the women’s movement) worried traditionalists (poor self image, fret about losing jobs and being crime victims, slow to try new products) and sixties in the eighties (aimless left over flower children relatively low standard of living)

Another way of viewing this group relates the socioeconomic conditions (whether scale or downscale) under which they were raised and those in which they presently find themselves. Each group’s consumer behavior may be described briefly as follows:

Realized (were raised upscale, still upscale).Prefer high the toys to traditional luxury goods but expensive durables as professional necessities. Trendy buyers of whatever brand is currently in.

Gratified (were downscale, now upscale) A split shopping style. As economic shoppers they wait for sales and shop at out-class outlets, warehouse membership, clubs, and factory. As upscale shoppers, they buy durables that match their own image rather than just what’s popular.

Satisfied (were downscale, still downscale). Scrimp and save to splurge on some luxuries for home. Buy high line, small ticket goodies that offer cheap thrills. Wait for sales.

Agonized (were upscale, now downscale) Compensatory buyers of high-line furniture appliances, accessories, and personal effects rather than prestige home and automobile. Buy experiences they deserve to break the routine, buy “socially visible” name brand goods, but in membership warehouse clubs or factory outlets.

Baby Busters: The number of children born to the average woman of childbearing age (age 15 to 44) has varied from 2.1 during the great depression to 3.7 in 1957 during the height of the baby boom to 1.8 in the mid 1970s to 2.1 in 1990, thus the characterization of the current period as the baby bust. Marketers are concentrating on the new generation of “baby busters” who are also known as “after boomers” and “flyers” (fun loving youth en route to success). They were born between 1965 and 1974, and although younger than the boomers, they have plenty of discretionary income. The following traits typify these groups: (1) they value tradition, religion, and formal rituals, such as proms and lavish weddings; (2) they are preoccupied with success in school and careers; and (3) they are materialistic.

For the US population to level off and reach zero population growth (ZPG), ,the birthrate would have to remain at a rate of 2.1 or less for several decades. One forecast for US population shows an increase until 2035 to 291 million, followed by a decline to approximately the present level by the year 2150.

Although low fertility seems here to stay according to most demographers, marketers can expect to see a new baby boom even with current fertility rates. This will be due to the increased number of annual births from the large pool of baby boom women who have deferred childbearing and because some women are having children earlier, in their twenties.