Gen X, Y & Z – And The Increasing Relevance Of Frugal Solutions

Let’s start with the “Baby Boomers”. They are defined as people born during the demographic post–World War II baby boom approximately between the mid 1940’s and the mid 1960’s.

Gen X – They are the generation that came after the Baby Boomers, and typically covers 2 decades for people born between the mid 1960’s and the early 1980’s.

Gen Y aka Millenials – This covers people born between the 1980’s and the year 2000.

Gen Z – They are the generation of children born after the Year 2000.

With those definitions out of the way, it would be interesting to see especially how the latter 2 generations are faring in their prime years going through the economic crisis of the past 8 years.

Early in March 2016, The Guardian newspaper ran a very informative article titled “Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income”

 

Source: Luxembourg Income Study Database

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Using exclusive data from the largest database of international incomes in the world, at LIS (Luxembourg Income Study): Cross-National Data Center, the investigation into the situation in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US has also established that:

  • Prosperity has plummeted for young adults in the rich world.
  • In the US, under-30s are now poorer than retired people.
  • In the UK, pensioner disposable income has grown prodigiously – three times as fast as the income of young people.
  • Millennials have suffered real terms losses in wages in the US, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Canada and in some countries this was underway even before the 2008 financial crisis.

 

Regarding the generation after the millenials, Fast Company ran another insightful article titled “Your Guide To Generation Z: The Frugal, Brand-Wary, Determined Anti-Millennials”

Gen Z have been growing through their teenage and college years through the worst economic crisis the world has seen since The Great Depression. The years they are also very impressionable years and the crisis is having long lasting effects on their personalities, behaviour and spending habits. This means they will be unlike any of the 3 generations that came before but more like the generation that went through the Great Depression but with a modern twist of living in a technologically advanced world.

Take a look at this 56 slides deck prepared and shared on Slideshare by marketing agency Sparks & Honey.

Their findings describe a generation shaped by technology and austerity imposed because of the ongoing economic crisis.

What the below shows is increasing number of people comprising of the Gen Y and Gen Z demographics are concerned on how to use resources wisely, on working under resource constraints and are socially and technologically more adept and want to use them for doing greater good.

I believe these are also generations that will increasingly create and consume solutions via frugal innovations- solutions that are quality, accessible, affordable and sustainable.

Here is a snippet of the massive slide deck:

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Author: Venkata Gandikota

Venkata has more than 13 years of technical engineering, research, ideation, strategy and business modeling experience. Based on his experience with the Indian market and realizing also the need for affordable & sustainable solutions for Finland and other European markets, he started The Nordic Frugal Innovation Society in late 2013 with 2 colleagues. By organizing ideation workshops and 2 major conferences involving Cities, Universities, and businesses he started to mainstream the concept in Finland and the Nordics. Gandikota has also written several articles focusing on frugal innovations in the Finnish media. He has also been helping Finnish businesses in India as CEO of Indianeer Consulting and gives guest lectures at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. He has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from India and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from USA.