Click on the banner to visit our new and improved consumer trends blog!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new life stage term: Emerging adulthood

Observation:   During years of both advertiser analysis and in-field workshops for media companies and marketers, I’ve referred to a set of fluid life stages which help organizations anticipate consumer behaviors of the people in those groups.  Life stages make you think beyond simple age-based demographics, and focus more on the experiences that are shaping behavior during those years.  Generally speaking, the main life stages we cover are Teens (12-17), Age of Acquisition (18-34), Age of Upgrades (35-49), Age of Increased Equity (45-59), New Age Seniors (60-69), and Matures (70+).

But in the newsletter I received yesterday, Iconoculture has a new, thought-provoking life stage for all of us to consider.  It is a subset of the Age of Acquisition that they call “Emerging Adulthood” (18-25).  Click here to see the story.

Implications:   The economy, the labor market, and willing Boomer parents have colluded to create a population of young adults who are more likely to live with mom and dad for a longer period of time, rather than striking out to create their own household. 

Does that make this an unattractive market to reach for?  On the contrary, this life stage is often composed of people who are stashing-away cash until they can do it big.  In the meantime, they’re living in a place with low or no rent, so more of their income could be considered discretionary.  To be sure, some folks in this life stage and living arrangement could be examples of a “failure to launch.”  But this group also includes people who are fueling-up… so that when they leave, they can reach for the sky.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment