The UK’s greatest, untapped target audience

The 12 million people with a disposable income who are being ignored by brands.

There is a huge target demographic out there that brand managers, agencies and media buyers seem to be ignoring and it’s a significant audience. There are 12,352,000 people* aged from 45 – 59. That’s nearly 20% of the UK population!

Ah, but who’s interested in these old duffers, more politely referred to as Generation X?

Well, you should be.

These are the people who brought in skateboarding and started snowboarding.

These are the people who went to Nirvana gigs.

These are the people who knew life before and after the internet.

These are the people who own their homes and have a disposable income.

And these are the people that for some very strange reason, brands on the whole, seem to be ignoring.

OK, so I might have piqued your interest.

But how do you reach these people?

Well, to be honest, they’re not an easy group to influence, but they do tend to fall into four groups. And once you understand these clusters, then you can see how your brand can appeal to them.

The four different segments of Generation X can be classed as Pragmatics, Disenfranchised, Thrillers and Quality Seekers.

“Pragmatics” are the Generation Xers most interested in information and the internet. They understand the intricacies of media and marketing. While they’re sometimes considered cynical, there is however, an underlying optimism in their outlook.

The “Disenfranchised” are those dissatisfied with the world and who feel they often are overlooked as they’re wedged between aging Baby-boomers and Gen Y who are now growing up.

“Thrillers” Thrillers are the adrenalin junkies who refuse to grow old. They contributed to the rise in extreme sports, such as snowboarding, skateboarding and skydiving. Remember the Olympics has now legitimized snowboarding.

Finally the“Quality seekers”. This group is at the sweet-spot of personal wealth and sophistication. Quality Seekers are almost cult-like loyal followers of high-quality, localized brands. Quality Seekers are willing to spend more to get superior ingredients and they are more likely to champion premium brands.

They have become the trendsetters and the early adopters for their generation.

So before you automatically write 24-30 year old or 35-45 year olds in the Target Audience box on your Creative Brief. Pause.

Ask yourself, is there a better, more sophisticated and wealthier audience I could be talking to? An audience that is at best being ignored, but at worse, being patronized and wrongly stereotyped.

*Source: 2011 Census: Usual resident population by five-year age group and sex,  local authorities in the United Kingdom, Access 23 December 2012.