By examining the value sets of different generations, we can come up with new insights about mobility, particularly with regard to technical and service innovation and the impact of social and psychological forces on Europeans’ decisions and lifestyles. While the specific characteristics of each generation are influenced by other socio-cultural, psychological, biological and economic factors, we can still create a rough sketch of the various “types”.

Girl_on_bicycleFor digital aboriginals, or the generation born after 2000, the digital world is as permanent and real as the air they breathe. They are at ease immediately with any new form of technology and tend to be extremely image conscious, frequently sharing life events on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. With regard to mobility, the line between virtual and physical spaces is an often indistinct one.

Millennials, born between 1985 and 1999, are a contradictory bunch as, on the one hand, they are highly likely to use smartphones and be connected on social media, yet they also feel the need to get away from it at times and put a high value on face-to-face interaction. These peripatetic egalitarians are flexible, and prefer shared, collaborative solutions over competitive, owned ones. Above all, they value authenticity and conviviality, something which mobility product and service providers should take into consideration.

Prime busters, the generation born between 1965 and 1984, never have enough money, time or space. They grew up in a pre-internet, pre-smartphone world but have become digital and spend a lot of time on social networks, particularly LinkedIn. They struggle with finding balance in their lives and value local, sustainable, and ethical products and services. As a bridge between generations, they share traits with both the baby boomers (roughly those born between 1940 and 1970) and the millennials.

Baby bloomers, or back end baby boomers, born between 1955 and 1970, are comfortable with technology and social media, but also value their privacy. They are not interested in quick fads and the built-in obsolescence of many new products, and to engage with them, mobility product and service providers should offer high-quality, customized services with lasting value.

Inclusive_mobility_elderlyMaster boomers, who were born between 1940 and 1955, have a lot of time and money to spend. They want to remain healthy, active and independent. To attract them, product and service providers will need to focus on applications and services that promote healthy, adventurous and active lifestyles.

While not exhaustive, these generational perspectives can offer mobility providers and policy makers important insights on how people of different age brackets are likely to respond to new policies, products and services. More about generational perspectives and differences, and how these can be applied to the market, will be showcased in the MIND-SETS guidelines and Knowledge Centre.

For more information, contact Stefaan Vandist of Pocket Marketing