The refrain, “Who are those guys?” is from the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It debuted at a time when Baby Boomers were coming of age and the question was asked over and over by the film's stars, Robert Redford and Paul Newman in reference to the unknown lawmen persistently on their heels.
It is a question that makes considerable sense again today in the retail segment, as the lion's share of purchasing power transitions from Boomers to what we now know as Gen Y.
Who are the Gen Y ers? Within the world of retail, Gen Y will be the largest U.S. buying segment in 2017. They are mostly the children of Boomers, and those two groups represent the biggest segments of the US population. The most important question, however, is not so much about the size of Boomers and Gen Y, or the date on which buying power switches from one group to the other; the bigger question is how do they differ behaviorally and how should brands and retailers pivot their marketing to appeal to Gen Y ers?