A lot has been written about American generations starting with the “Lost Generation” (these who fought in WWI) to Millennials. However, one of the “sandwiched” generations was discovered just recently. Meet the Xennials.
Full disclosure: I am a Xennial (class of 1979). The term Xennial refers to people born between 1977 and 1983. This micro-generation does not quite fit either Generation X or Millennials, instead we possess a hybrid of traits from both generations. There is about 25 million Xennials, some 8 percent of the U.S. population.
Xennial generation has a unique perspective towards technology. We were born to the analog world, with cassette tapes, 5.25in floppy discs and no internet. We are likely to have fond memories of childhoods spent before the digital revolution. We’re nostalgic, and brands that can tap into feelings of nostalgia with a memorable brand experience will be well placed to attract Xennial generation.
Great example is a Netflix show “Stranger Things”. The show was able to appeal and capture the hearts of ‘80s kids craving nostalgia. We even begin to see the tide turn against the smartphones, with the relaunch of the iconic, back-to-basics Nokia 3310 phone.
“Xennial generation is a luxury marketer’s dream: affluent, willing to spend on travel for pleasure and on luxury products, loyal to their brands, health-conscious, highly educated, consumers of both traditional media and the internet” writes strategist Ana Andjelic in Luxury Daily.
Six things to keep in mind when marketing to Xennials
Recent report by JWT Intelligence highlights the following characteristics that marketers need to keep in mind when creating campaigns specifically for Xennials.
- Xennials are skeptical of the motivations and values of established companies - from big brands to the media. They appreciate transparency and simplicity
- Xennials value financial flexibility of not having their cash tied up in large investments, such as owning a house. Renting is often a conscious decision and choice
- For Xennials travel is a priority. Whether they’re a single traveler visiting luxury resorts, or backpacking with their family, the experience is what counts
- Xennials want their work to have a sense of social purpose
- Xennials are intrapreneurial in spirit. Innovation is important to them, whether that’s within a company or setting up a business of their own
- Xennials take a realistic approach to talking about life’s challenges, whether that’s parenthood or financial struggles - and they expect brands to do the same
Like any middle child, Xennials are the misunderstood generation between the Millennials and Gen Xers. The most important thing to know about Xennials is that they have an experience in two different worlds: analog and digital technology. If you’re looking to tap into the Xennial demographic, you need to know how your product can empower and support this innovative, creative and nostalgic generation.
Please share how your company is approaching marketing to Xennials.