Some generations had Superman as a role model.
Some had Barbie as a role model.
But Generation X, born from 1961 to 1981, had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a major role model. TMNT was a popular comic book, a cartoon series and a toy of their early years.
According to one source, the origin of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is this:
When people got tired of taking care of their pet baby turtles, they flushed them down the toilet. So, the turtles grew up in the sewer system, living on a diet of junk food and nuclear waste … and they survived.
As children, Generation X identified with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. During Gen X’s formative years, many endured divorce, one-parent families, step-families, both parents working and latchkey lives. They saw violence on the streets and at school. They checked their Halloween trick-or-treat candy bags for razorblades and needles. But … Generation X is a generation of survivors.
One of their most important values is a sense of belonging, a sense of family, which was missing from their childhood. So, Xers substituted friends for family. As teens, they dated in groups of friends. The TV series “Friends” illustrated friends as family. And, for the most damaged of this generation, gangs substituted for family.
Knowing about the origin of TMNT means better marketing to and working with Gen Xers, an often overlooked generation.
Xers want to work for a company that gives them a sense of belonging, that gives them balance between their professional lives and their personal lives and that addresses issues of stress quickly. They’ve seen enough of that in their young lives.
For marketers, that translates as trust. Break your marketing promise to them one time and you’ve lost them forever.
A company that understands Gen X’s need for family stability and trust will win the hearts and minds … and loyalty of Generation X – the strongest of America’s six generations.