Meeting Multigen Marketing Needs

Posted by Tiffany Fessler on May 08

I just moved, and it was not fun! It was my second move in a year – from a house, to a shared house, to a much larger shared house. There are four of us living there – me, my husband, my son and my mom. At one point in my marketing life, I would have said this puts me in the sandwich generation, but now I’m not so sure…

My mom is healthy, and I don’t feel like I’m taking care of her. If anything, she’s probably taking care of me by helping take care of my son, who has just turned two. What I’m finding, though, is that in our neighborhood – full of larger homes and, not too long ago, several foreclosures – is that very few families are your typical nuclear description. Yes, there’s mom, dad, and the 2 kids. Or make that three kids, or even four kids… And don’t forget grandma and grandpa, or maybe it’s just grandma. And don’t forget the college graduate who has moved back in because they haven’t been able to find a job yet.

I would say in our “hood” multigenerational is the norm. And I don’t think we’re alone. Living in North Georgia, I’ve always felt that we’re more family-oriented than say those Atlantans down the highway (I can say that, that’s where I moved from almost a year ago!). And I have heard clients and friends talk about this phenomena. Not in the sandwich sense, but in the “this is going to make it easier to live on a daily basis” sense. For whatever reason. Mine happens to be a precocious child who already lists broken arm and catscan in his bucket list…

But as a marketer, I wonder how we’re thinking of reaching out to these new families? And I wonder what makes sense to these extended families? Sam’s Club begins to look a lot more manageable with three adults and storage space!!! But what about utility packages that reach everyone – I want one TV with Nick Jr and Disney Jr (son) and one with USA for NCIS reruns (mom). But why am I paying for the most expensive package on four TVs, when I don’t watch all those channels on all those TVs… Darn you Sprout!

What can your company or product do to meet the needs of multigenerational families? How can you make their lives easier?


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