Gen X and Xennials: The Overlooked Generations

You hear all about Baby Boomers and Millennials in the news and there are thousands of articles and research available on their demographic, trends, and interests. But what about the middle child? What about the generation(s) in between - Generation X and the Xennials?

Generation X

Generation X is made up of primarily 35-54 year olds in America, born between 1965 and 1980. And though they account for 81 million people out of the US population, they are more often the “ignored” generation when it comes to marketing. Why is this ironic? Well, Generation X currently holds 25% of the buying power in the US market. These individuals are raising families, independent, and in an economically stable position. They grew up in the recession and though guarded and somewhat more pessimistic than optimistic, these “loners” are financially responsible and do their research before investing in anything.

So how do you market to these people? Be genuine. Skip the fluff and give them facts. Their respect for you must be earned through time and credibility. When you market to them, take into account they have a soft spot for traditional media and still watch television and appreciate direct mail. Many of these generation members still send handwritten letters and holiday cards to their loved ones. 

That’s not to say they don’t know how to use technology, or don’t like it. They do! Just not for the entertainment that Millennials do. Generation X is particularly keen on emails for personal and business matters and are tech savvy when it comes to Facebook and other social platforms. They use it for family and keeping connected with loved ones, more than for funny memes and gifs. 

Are you sensing a familiar theme? Or rather… familial theme. When marketing to this group, use family values, togetherness, and the message of nurturing children. 

Xennials

Also a middle child, this population of 25 million people make up 8% of the US population. They’re similar to Generation X but with a more a positive attitude. This was the generation of change. They grew up without internet, but use it in their adult life. Xennials see technology as a tool, not a lifestyle, contrary to their Millennial counterparts. Xennials embrace it, but don’t depend on it. 

Because of this, they’re sometimes known as the nostalgic generation. When marketing to them, play upon that. Bring up the “old times” and how “things have changed.” They won’t take it offensively if you make a “remember way back when…” reference. It won’t make them feel old. In fact, they like it. They’re often an overlooked generation as well so give them attention too!

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Alumni

By Jessica Yeh

Former Digital Marketing Specialist

Published on March 30, 2018