Baby Boomers and Millennials get all the buzz, but in between lies the often-overlooked Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X makes up about 19% of the U.S. population, totaling over 65 million people. And while they may not be the biggest demographic, they do like to drink. In fact, Gen Xers consume more alcohol than any other generation. A recent study found that 65% of Gen Xers consumed alcohol in the past month, compared with 53% of millennials. Needless to say, it pays to make this demographic a top priority. Here are some tactics you can employ to effectively target Gen X. 

 

Loyalty and Membership Programs

 

71% of Gen Xers said that a loyalty program influences their brand selection. Exclusive benefits like members-only discounts, early product access, and custom recommendations build a connection with an audience who appreciates savings and personalization. Consider perks like VIP tastings or educational workshops, which only enhance the shopping experience. And don’t forget about technology. Access to loyalty rewards through apps or online accounts caters to this tech-savvy generation, driving repeat business, building strong relationships, and increasing brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

 

Social Media

 

Social media is an invaluable tool for engaging Generation X customers, who are active on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can reach Gen X with targeted content that resonates with their interests and lifestyles. Promoting new products, events, and offers in a unique and interactive way, and sharing educational content like cocktail recipes or wine pairing tips, positions your store as an industry leader. Engaging with customers through comments, direct messages, and user-generated content builds a personal connection and lets customers know you’re listening. Social media is an easy and affordable way to target Gen X directly and effectively. 

 

 

Focus on Their Favorites

 

Generation X leads all generations in wine consumption, outpacing even the traditionally dominant Baby Boomers. They are the top wine purchasers in the U.S., with nearly half drinking wine monthly. From 2017 to 2019, Gen X bought 13% more wine than any other age group, often choosing based on personal taste rather than following market trends. Notably, Gen X's wine preferences heavily favor red and white still wines, so make sure to feature these when targeting this demographic.

 

But Gen X isn't just about wine; they're also topping the charts in whiskey and vodka sales, outpacing other age groups. This generation shows a particular fondness for bourbon and Canadian whiskey. Conversely, they're not as keen on tequila and premixed cocktails, favorites among the younger crowd.

 

Nostalgia Marketing

 

Hosting 80s and 90s themed promotions, complete with era-specific cocktails, music, and decorations, creates a fun and memorable experience that taps into the fond memories of Gen X. Encouraging customers to dress up in period attire enhances the atmosphere and brings your audience together. Consider featuring vintage product lines with retro packaging or limited-edition releases of popular spirits from the past for a sense of nostalgia, appealing to the sentimental value of this generation. Not only will nostalgia marketing get customers in the door, but it also encourages them to share their experiences, both in-store and on social media, which will bolster your store's reach and appeal.

 

Community and Social Responsibility

 

Targeting Gen X isn’t only about making sales. By implementing sustainable practices like a bottle return program or using eco-friendly packaging, you can show your commitment to the environment, which resonates with the values of many Gen Xers. Additionally, regularly partnering with local charities for fundraising events, where a portion of sales is donated to good causes, inspires a sense of community involvement and social responsibility. These initiatives not only attract Gen X customers but also create a positive impact on the community, enhancing the store's reputation and customer loyalty.

 

Top Shelf Shoppers

 

Financially, Generation X boasts the highest average household income and an incredible $2.4 trillion spending power, outstripping younger generations. This financial clout positions them as key players in the luxury wine market, where they show a preference for high-quality, exclusive products. In fact, 27% of Gen Xers have recently splurged on pricier beers and wines. They also frequent wineries more than Millennials, highlighting their roles as leaders in fine wine consumption.

 

Although they're smaller in number, Gen X's impact on the alcohol market is anything but minor. From membership programs to nostalgia marketing, there are countless ways to tap into this demographic. Integrating these strategies will enable your business to capture – and retain – this ever-important audience.