Understanding your consumers’ generational culture is the first step to targeting.
Although each individual within a generation is unique, they share life experiences that generated values and beliefs ; and these remain relatively unchanged throughout one’s life.
We think understanding how those are connected to major historical sociocultural events is crucial to truly uncover the ‘why’ of a behavior.
Used with rigor and as complement to demographic and psychographic analysis, generational insights are fundamental to understand the key psychological triggers that drive Japanese consumers’ preferences.
Our generational segmentation:
‘Boomers’ (born between 1945 and 1955)
Born following World War II, they grew up in a context of ‘economic miracle’ and rapid americanization, witnessing the revolutionary introduction of the so-called "Three Sacred Treasures (TV, washing machine, refrigerator).
Common generational traits include optimism, desire for self-actualization, and preference for ownership. According to our 2018 MINDVOICE® study, 70% of them think that ‘Japan is one of the most prominent country in the world’.
‘Bubble’ generation (born between 1956 and 1970)
They value prestige, exploration and novelty, traits that are attributed to living through the most energetic and flashy era of Japanese history. When they came of age, Japan has transformed into the world second economic power and seemed on track to become the first, with the best seller ‘Japan as number one’ published in 1979.
Influence of Western lifestyle fueled conspicuous consumption of European luxury brands
but also shifted attitudes on gender role and marriage: the belief that ‘Marriage is a social and moral responsibility’ loses 40% of its adepts compared to the precedent generation (MINDVOICE® 2018).
‘Lost’ generation (born between 1971 and 1985)
Often referred as the ‘suffering’ generation, they came of age during Japan’s ‘lost decades’, experiencing widening disparities in income and employee security. Many settled for part-time or underpaid jobs, and new terms such as ‘hikikomori’(social recluses) ‘herbivore male’( said to lack aspiration in life), were coined to depict worrying social phenomena. Common traits include preference for experience over material consumption, pursuit of originality, stay-at-home and insularity (MINDVOICE® 2018).
‘Yutori’ generation (born between 1986 and 1994)
Describes the age group that came of age in the shadow of the global financial crisis.
The term ‘Yutori’ is derived from ‘Yutori Education’, the relaxed, creativity-focused educational system invented in the 1980s in response to the years of unhealthy competition that had preceded. While this generation are often perceived to be less educated and lacking competitive spirit, our data shows that values such as the desire to live in the now and to spare unnecessary efforts are strong. These traits are attributed to the context of the internet revolution that allowed unprecedented access to information and new cultures, combined with a pessimist vision of the future in the face of economic stagnation.
‘Z’ generation (born after 1995)
Born in a hyper-connected world, they grew up witnessing events such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the Sustainability Development Goals agreement (2016). It comes without surprise that they are fully digital native, ‘diversity’ native and more socially conscious than previous generations.
We compare generational values with the data that we get from psychographic studies and other customized research method such as focus groups and ethnographies, to paint a holistic picture of your target audience.
To read more about our research methods