building industrygenerations

Comparing the Generations

In various Building Industry functions, I keep hearing about how the Millennials and the Boomer Generations represent the largest customer opportunities for the future and how people are targeting efforts in their direction. (Indeed, our friends at McMillan in San Diego, CA have an upcoming community named Millenia. How’s that for targeting?)

As understanding generational influences is part of understanding our customers, I want to share a great interactive tool I found  at Pew Internet that provides a good definition of US Generations as well as an interactive tool comparing generations from today’s point of view as well as from the perspective of being 18-28 years old.

In understanding the differences in the generations it is important to separate behavior that is indicative of the age, vs. behavior that is indicative of societal changes with each generation reacting in different ways.   Click on the graphic to explore the comparison tool.

Arguably, the best way to understand the mindset of a generation is to examine what was happening in their formative years from 17 -26.

The preferences and the culture of a generation during these key years shape how they view things for the balance of their lives. The sample above provides a small glimpse of the culture for each generational cohort. To read more, the Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich) is a great resource.