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5 Generations Make for Inevitable Change


In order to match the guest experience to the client’s expectation, you may want to consider thinking in generational differences.

If we strive to understand each generation’s character traits and triggers and learn to better understand their beliefs and subsequent behaviours, we will be in the best position to anticipate and overcome the many challenges that our service industry presents.

1.  Baby Boomers – 1946 – 1964 

They may prefer to communicate face to face or on the phone; with email and mobile used a somewhat.  They still hold vast spending power and mustn’t be underestimated.  They were the creators of “50 is the new 30”, refusing to get old.  They may now well be more mindful of spending than any other generation. Because of their self-ish nature however, they still believe they should have it all, and have it now, so the enriching spa experience is probably of paramount importance to them.  As employees, they appreciate money and prestige, but also a variety of options and incentives. Retirement for this segment is slowing with the economic downturn – nest eggs have decreased or even disappeared.

2.  Cuspers (Late Bloomers; Generation Jones) – 1954 – 1965

They may prefer to communicate on the phone or email, with texting and mobile now also taking hold. This generation is a “moral belief system”, and considered by some as the “knowledge worker” – they know their stuff and there is a worldwide shortage of them.  They bridge the gap between Boomers and Gen X.  They have the ability to identify with all other generations and therefore may lead well (think of your staff needs here).  They respect tradition but believe in equality (they may therefore be more accepting of well designed co-ed comfort zones than some others might be); they still believe in older practices (European facial and Swedish massage), but embrace technology wholeheartedly (photo facials and bio-feedback); they are philanthropists; and challengers to the boomers.

3.  Generation X – 1965 – 1979 

They may prefer to communicate via email and texting, still using their mobile for voice calls. They are the “working smarter, not harder advocates”. These self-reliant, non-conformists coined the phrase “multi-tasking”.  They tend to bump the rules and go for freedom and flexibility vs. rigid formalities.  So, they may appreciate customization and multi-technician treatments in the spa, more than most.    They will tell you what they expect in the process and they will look for the “fun factor”.  As a staff member, they will seek information from multiple sources, so may not be mentored well – they will gather and create their own “hybrid” solution. Money is important to them.

4.  Generation Y (Millennials) – 1979 – 1997 

They prefer to communicate via texting and Facebook, almost exclusively! These “loved ones” mean everything to their parents and are starting to show up in droves at the spa.   They are known as the “Self-Esteem Movement” – 10th place for effort! They will probably question and compare your choice of products and techniques used.  As a staff member, their need for community and the “life experience” may look like job hopping to an employer – the average number of jobs an 18-35 year old has had is 7-10. They take well to being mentored by a Boomer or Cusper because those generations love to share, and the Y’s are knowledge hunters and lifelong learners.

5.  Generation G – For “Generosity”

Giving is the new taking.  Anyone who feels the importance of generosity, please go to: http://www.trendwatching.com/briefing/.  This information is fascinating and refreshing.  But beware, in order to merge with, or call yourself a Generation G, you will need to be able to justify prices; esthetic values/usefulness; quality; enrichment; and outcomes of your services; products; and those who administer them.

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About Leslie

Spas2b Inc. is a full service Spa Development company, specializing in Online Spa Management Distance Learning Courses, Spa Business Manual Instant Downloads & Resources, and Spa Consulting Services.
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