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Gen X and Gen Y

People belonging to a certain time period are categorised into various ‘generations’ to have an understanding of the needs, tastes, attitudes and attributes pertaining to them. The different cohorts were differentiated by the period of their birth. Generation X and Generation Y are the most recent of this differentiation.

· Generation X
The British writer, Jane Deverson was the first known person to use the term Generation X. On conducting a study on the teenagers of UK, for Women’s Own magazine, she found that their perception regarding religion, sex, politics were contradictory to that of their parents, belonging to the “baby boomer” generation. As these ideas were found to be unconventional, they refused to publish it. So she co-authored it with Charles Hamblett and published the book and named it “Generation X”. The period of the birth of the people of generation X varies from place to place. People born between the periods 1965 to 1979 can be included in the Gen X.

· Generation Y
Generation Y consists of people born between the period 1980 to date. It is also known as the millennial generation or the internet generation mainly because of their dependence on the internet.

The needs and the demands of the people vary with the generation they belong. The generation X having done a major headway to the economy, now prefer maintaining a work-life balance. They prefer to an extent telling them what to do, but gives great importance to freedom in taking decisions. Societal impact, intellectual challenge in the work, reward and recognition from the supervisor, top management and the customers provide them the inducement to work harder.

Generation Y are still exploring the various opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge as they are still new to the industry. They have very high expectations of the workplace and expect the company to guide them to their success.

The companies need to keep a close vigilance to the needs of the changing generations to ensure their survival. For instance, companies like Nokia and Nike saw a tremendous spurt in their sales a few years back. But the passing of years saw a decline in the sales. Besides new features to the product, they expect the product to be sleek and trendy changing with the times and their needs. The new generation are willing to spend more to new fashion and entertainment brands which come new into the market. In an article in Business Week it was mentioned as thus : “As a brand, you need to go where they are, not just pick a fashion statement, put it on TV, and wait for them to come to you,'' says Terry Lay, president of the Lee brand.” This is a highly befitting comment if the companies are to grow and survive in the market. Apple’s iPod and iPhone are two products that went into the minds of the people and came with innovative products.

The popularity of computers among the current generation calls for reaching the consumers through the advertisements placed in the websites. Blogs, community networking etc. have become immensely popular which has the power to reach people beyond the geographic boundaries.

Perceptions on work, personal needs, etc. vary with the generation. Being in touch with the people belonging to the various generations alone can ensure expansion of the existing market.

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