Middlescents Outpacing Other Generations in Spending — Untapped Opportunities for Brands

2:45:39 PM | 6/25/2024

According to recent research by Visa, a world leader in digital payments, and Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight, and consultancy companies, "middlescents", those born between 1965 and 1980 and making up over 31% of the world's population, are outpacing other generations in spending. Despite their size and spending power, a large proportion of “middlescents” remain overlooked and underserved, revealing a largely untapped market for many brands.

The research reveals that in Vietnam, 84% of "middlescents" are likely to spend money to pursue their personal hobbies and interests, slightly higher than the Asia Pacific average of 82%. Meanwhile, 80% of Vietnamese respondents plan to increase spending on out-of-home leisure activities in the next 12 months. Additionally, 47% are planning to treat themselves to a well-deserved vacation, while 58% are likely to invest in premium products and services.

Ms. Dung Dang, Visa Country Manager of Vietnam and Laos, shared: "’Middlescents’ represent a largely untapped consumer market for numerous businesses. With distinct consumer needs and substantial purchasing power, they are a formidable target audience that can be strategically catered to. Their expectations include a digital payments journey that is intuitively customized, seamless, and secure. Although they are influenced by the younger generations' embrace of digital payments, ‘middlescents’ also have the capacity to guide and inspire these younger cohorts in their own unique ways. With Visa's data-driven insights, brands have the opportunity to develop a strategic approach that both acknowledges and empowers ‘middlescents’."

While the term "middlescence" was coined six years ago, the unique needs of this group have only been addressed more prominently recently. As individuals from Gen X transition into middle age, they experience significant changes in health, career, and family dynamics – a phenomenon reminiscent of a second adolescence. This critical stage is marked by a renewed focus on personal interests that were previously sidelined due to professional and family commitments. They now utilize their additional personal time to explore their identities and plan travel experiences tailored to their and their loved ones' tastes.

These individuals are seeing a surge in personal time, which can be used for self-exploration. The “middlescence” period is marked by the discovery of personal interests and sources of satisfaction. When considering their travel and hobbies, “middlescents” seek unique experiences that factor in their individuality and authenticity as they gain more “me” time, using AI and technology to simplify their travel planning, and seizing opportunities arising from the increasing affordability and simplification of travel.

Many are also comfortable spending a lot of time in an immersive, digitally generated world, with 51% of Vietnamese respondents stating so, and 49% have expressed interest in using virtual reality/augmented reality to shop for products. This presents numerous opportunities for merchants to meet evolving customer demands in the digital commerce and payments space.

The current digitalization trend is experiencing robust growth, leading to evolving consumer needs and development across all ages and locations. As part of the 2024 "Cashless Day" campaign, aimed at raising awareness and enhancing experiences for all audiences, Visa is offering numerous attractive incentives targeting specific groups such as the "middlescents” across various sectors: travel, entertainment, lifestyle, consumer goods and more. Visa's research and promotional efforts act as a bridge to help brands better reach customers, especially the "middlescents," thereby fostering overall economic growth.

T.H (Vietnam Business Forum)