Consumer Behaviour

Marketing Debate: Is Consumer Behavior More of a Function of a Person’s Age or Generation?

One of the widely debated issues in developing marketing programs that target certain age groups is how much consumers change over time. Some marketers maintain that age differences are critical and that the needs and wants of a 25-year-old in 2002 are not that different from those of a 25-year-old in 1972. Others dispute that contention and argue that cohort and generational effects are critical and that marketing programs must therefore suit the times.

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Take a position: Age differences are fundamentally more important than cohort effects versus cohort effects dominate age differences? Is the generational group when a person was born into have more of impact or where they are in their life cycle that influences their purchase behavior? What impact does it have on marketing research?

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