Bridging the generational gap between jaded Gen Xers and optimistic and eager millennials, "xennials" might just be poised to take over the world.
It’s become a bit of a beat of mine to write about generational differences and the culture, both in this blog space and on Hotel News Now, so I’m embarrassed to admit that just this week, I learned about a new generational definition: Xennial.
“Xennial” is the term used to describe “a micro-generation that serves as a bridge between the disaffection of gen X and the blithe optimism of millennials,” according to online magazine Good (which, incidentally, wrote about this in 2014 so I am SO two-thousand-and-late here). This group encompasses those of us born roughly between the late 1970s and the early 1980s.
Now before we go any further, if you think this term might describe you, you have to take the quiz that ran in The Guardian on Monday. I scored a perfect 100% without even breaking a sweat, so I consider myself an expert on this topic.
Apparently, xennials are a mix (or as I like to say it, a best-of-both-worlds mix) of jaded Gen Xers and optimistic, eager millennials.
You can read more about it from The Daily Mail, Mental Floss or MamaMia (where the latest article first appeared) but essentially, this mini-generation is a hybrid: We’re people who had childhoods free from social media and mobile phones, but we picked those concepts up pretty readily in our late teens and early 20s.
Spending power for this mini-generation, we can assume, is definitely higher than that of millennials, so that’s a good thing for hotels.
But where I think this concept might resonate most for hoteliers is in the concept of authenticity. You’ve heard me say over and over that manufactured authenticity misses the mark, and at the same time we read about how important true authenticity is.
Who else better to recognize true authenticity than this generation? More than millennials, we’ve lived the analog life and the digital life significantly, so we know the difference between old and new, between real and trying-too-hard-to-be-real.
Or maybe it’s all hogwash, and I’m contributing to the stereotyping and labeling of generational trends we’re all trying to say we avoid (but secretly support).
Whatever the outcome, it’s a fun new concept to consider, especially as hotels constantly strive to define their audience and target guest.
So if you need me for a focus group, I’ll be driving around listening to early 90s mixtapes in my car. Let me know what you think: Leave a comment below. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.
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