Baby Boomer Is Not a Universal Term

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by: Dick Stroud

This is a very interesting blog posting by Des Walsh about the usefulness of the term “Baby Boomer” or any of the other generational definitions (e.g. Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Jones ..) when talking about the demographics of China. He concludes that the term doesn’t have much relevance. Do have a look at his presentation about PR 2.0 that was given to a Chinese audience.

The above graph shows the birth rate in the UK and US normalised to 1940. As you can see the UK tracked the US birth rate for a few years after the war, then declined and didn’t start increasing again until 1956. The term Baby Boomer is about as much use in the UK context as it is in China (i.e. none at all). Of course that doesn’t stop marketers bandying it about, without any real understanding if its meaning.

Also, I wish we would ditch the terms Gen X and Gen Y, neither of which are based on any real behavioural evidence. We marketers just love this meaningless jargon.

It appears from the blog that Forrester has realised the lack of relevance of the term to the Chinese market. I wish they would do the same for the UK.

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