Why Xoomer consumers are out-spending Boomers

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on September 21, 2006

Men aged 25 to 39 are a lucrative segment of consumers, according to the 'Xoomers: the 10-year Rise from Zeros to Heroes' study by GQ magazine, which researched the differences between the men of Generation X and their predecessors.

Identified in the study as Xoomers, Generation X men (aged 25 to 39) were found to be making a significant impact on the retail marketplace. Indeed, they appear to be brand-aware, savvy shoppers, and heavily inclined toward spending on luxury products.

Key findings
Among the key findings of the study:

  • Xoomers are outspending baby boomers (aged 40 to 59) by 19% across all product categories;
  • They are 15% more likely than boomers to pay a premium for luxury goods;
  • They are 68% more likely than boomers to increase their luxury spending over the next ten years.

According to Peter King Hunsinger, vice president and publisher of GQ, "Marketers have tremendous incentive to throw away stereotypes about this generation, and recognise their strong purchasing power and an increasing appetite for luxury goods."

For example, the study found that Generation X men are more likely than baby boomers to pay a premium for:

  • Jeans: 89%;
  • Fragrance & grooming: 70% more;
  • Consumer electronics: 51% more;
  • Men's watches: 50% more;
  • Men's jewellery: 41% more;
  • Business casual clothing: 39% more;
  • Casual clothing: 37% more;
  • Dress shoes: 36% more;
  • Beer, wine & spirits: 31% more;
  • Leather goods: 30% more;
  • Home furnishings: 26% more;
  • Tailored clothing: 19% more;
  • Travel: 19% more;
  • Automotive: 11% more;

Being the first
Xoomers were also nearly three-times more likely than boomers to want to be first among their peers to explore the latest trends, and almost twice as likely to try new products before others. According to the study, they are 80% more likely to buy items that are stylish and reflect their lifestyle, and 59% more likely to try a new product because it is unique and customisable.

By contrast, boomers tend to look for value rather than buying on impulse. The study found boomers to be 33% more likely to buy based on durability and 29% more likely to buy based on functionality.

Age and income
One other key difference between these two groups is that, while boomers are generally down-sizing their lives, Xoomers tend to have reached their peak earning years without yet having to worry about college tuition for children, retirement funds, and health care. Without such financial obligations and with a more self-focused outlook, Xoomers were found to be 37% more likely than boomers to spend the majority of their discretionary income on themselves.

GQ magazine commissioned independent marketing research firm TwentySomething Inc. to conduct the study of 1,204 adult male consumers. The survey was conducted anonymously and made no reference to the magazine.

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