Over the last few days, I have found myself researching and reading more articles about consumer behaviour than I have done in a long time. It’s funny how, as you start to digest the research you almost instinctively attach a member of your family or friend to the consumer generation and equally see your own characteristics and traits in the segment that you should sit comfortably in. For info, my years tell me I’m better known as Generation X, my head tells me I’m a Millennial or Gen Z, and at times, my body tells me I’m a baby boomer. 

Gen Z – The next generation of young adults who are reaching maturity, the first generation to have never known a world without the internet, digitally savvy and financially aware. 

I have to admit, in my mind I am still 18 so at times I can totally relate to this generation – it’s hard to remember life before Google, having to trawl through an encyclopaedia for the answer to a totally random question just isn’t the same as reaching for your phone to ask Siri or calling out to Alexa when you need to know the answer right now. Remembering the question back then to look it up when you got home was always a challenge, which is no different to now I don’t suppose – I’ve always suffered senior moments, no matter what my age.  

That said, now that I am thinking about it (if I really have to), I can recall the days when you turned on the TV to search teletext for the cheap holiday listing or heaven forbid having to rise from the settee to turn the TV over to one of the extensive number of channels you had to choose from (no wait, make that 3 channels), or the rotary dial telephone in the hallway, loved it but where was your privacy and how long did it take to dial a number? The Kids of today would call it “vintage” .. 

OMG... I’m officially old. 

At a time like this, I could follow with “kids today don’t know they are born”, like I said, I can sometimes show myself up by falling into the baby boomer generation. 

Once upon a time, I used to love nothing more than a shopping trip with my girlfriends. I'm quite a tactile kind of gal and like to feel the quality of a garment and try it on before buying. The style I would like to wear and what actually suits me are unfortunately totally poles apart, which you eventually find out after lots of wardrobe malfunctions, a lighter bank balance and “experience” (by which I mean – age!) 

It seems this is what Gen Z and I have in common. 

Not only do they like to shop in bricks and mortar, they like to see and feel the goods to make sure what they are buying is high quality and they are keen to participate in the unique in store experience -  such as makeovers. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a pamper but not when they turn you orange and give you scouse brows (are they even still a thing?! And apologies if that’s not politically correct?!). Nowadays, I can’t think of anything worse than a day out shopping - why would you when you can do it from the comfort of your own home with a glass of wine!

I do however, consider myself a sociable person and love nothing more than a chat with a random stranger, but internet contactless shopping is slowly turning me into a Millennial – otherwise known as ‘a professional online shopper’! Unfortunately the delivery drivers are monitored on the number of deliveries they make in a day and are given slim time slots to make the delivery – so often through the gate by the time I have reached the door so they are not big on chatting. 

The Sainsburys delivery drivers on the other hand, well they love nothing more than a natter, so much so, I nearly considered inviting one in for a coffee the other day!

Contactless shopping and contactless deliveries will only continue to grow and evolve and quite honestly I am ready for it. Amazon may have created a monster in me, whilst I am prepared to wait a few days for my delivery I sometimes struggle to understand why I should,  when Amazon can deliver my goods the very next day, even when I placed the order at 10pm the prior evening. 

In the US you can now order something online and have it delivered anywhere within the hour – the park, road side, at work etc...and Amazon are continuing to develop their Prime Air drone delivery service that recently went into testing so i have no doubt we won’t have to wait too long before that is rolled out, - can you imagine receiving your parcel 30 mins after you placed the order?? That’s just immense?!

It appears that waiting 24 hours for your item to be delivered will soon be a distant memory and Gen Z will be laughing at how ridiculous it was that Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers would wait so long. 

I like to think of myself as a tech savvy kind of person, maybe not as savvy as Gen Z and Millennials, but I hold my own, so to speak. 

I interact with social media and I’m not afraid to purchase from an app or website that I’ve come across on FB or Instagram. I use FB nowadays to keep abreast of friends and family and what they are up to, but I rarely post, I’m more of an Instagram girl or as we ‘young ones’ like to call it,  ‘Insta’ (🤣). 

I like twitter for quick, convenient updates and I’m a follower of some amazing people who post great content. My favourite post from yesterday was titled ‘kids will always be kids’ featuring  a video of a baby elephant in the forest sliding on his belly, down a muddy hill – so relatable!  It could have been me doing it! (btw follow @welcomet0nature for some beautiful, fun, cute animals - you’re welcome :-). 

It goes without saying that LinkedIn is also up there in my social media platform of choice otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog! However, whilst I believe I share many traits with both Gen Z and Millennials, I have never taken the plunge to understand TickTock or Snapchat. If only snapchat wasn’t a social media platform but formed part of our natural communication, I’m pretty sure I would be using it then. I do try to use my inward voice, but at times my thoughts make their way out of my mouth or worse, it’s written all over my face. Wouldn’t it be great, if such comments could be erased from people’s mind hours after they have been said, much like the snapchat platform. I may be more likely to embrace it.

I can’t decide if I am getting lazy. Maybe I’ve watched one to many futuristic films or perhaps crave a fictional lifestyle but the more I talk to Alexa the more I would like my house to be totally interactive. I know it’s possible but at a cost (money I don’t have at the moment) but how cool would it be to instruct the lights to turn on, call out to the oven to preheat, give an instruction for the windows to open and close or lock the door from your bed? You know - that as soon as you’ve climbed in, cuddled up and got warm that thought comes to mind - “did I lock the door!” I’m sure some may relate. 

Once upon a time, (when I had a career) I took the time to dress nicely - professional, a dress or trousers, heals, maybe a little makeup but not much (I’ve never been a big makeup wearer unless I’m going out). Today, I’m taking a leaf out of generations Z’s book, rocking a more independent style and not being defined by brands – jeans, t.shirt, gazelles or converse (I didn’t like to say trainers as this congers up a whole different image), hair tied back and definitely no make-up - what’s the point when I’m not seeing anybody and my lip gloss gets stuck to my face mask. 

I now take a more pragmatic approach and interact with companies and people who are more authentic and honest. However, I can morph into a millennials at times, with my idealistic thoughts of saving the world from sinking in plastic, freeing all animals so that they can all live in the wild, creating a world where everyone is kind to one another and create experiences that are fun and we enjoy life every day…… Oh to be a millennial! 

So you see, my attitude and many of my actions might be ‘down with the kids’, the Millennials and Gen Z of today, at times I may demonstrate traits of a baby boomer with a statement that I never thought I would hear myself say, but my age defines me as Generation X. 

Deep down what makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love. We are all individuals, we may share some thoughts and traits amongst generations but it’s our own values and characteristics that make us unique.

Linda Booth

UK Marketing & Communications Director

Personalised Video Lab  

(Baby boomer, 1946-64 / Gen X, 1965-80 / Millennials, 1981-96 / Gen Z, 1997-2010 / Gen Alpha, 2011-25)

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