Xennials: The New Millennials
So what is a Xennial and why are people suddenly talking about them? In short, a person born between the mid 1970s and early 1980s. The general consensus seems to be that the term was first used in 2014, in an article written by Sarah Stankorb and Jed Oelbaum for Good magazine.  For Stankorb and Oelbaum, a Xennial is a member of “a micro-generation that serves as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of Millennials”.
It might sound like just another buzzword, grist for the media mill or a peg for a marketing presentation, but some commentators feel there might be something in this rather too slick new term.
For Jia Wertz, CEO of socially responsible fashion brand Studio 15, writing for Forbes.com , business needs to “tap into the buying power of Xennials”, people born between 1975 and 1983.
“This generation doesn’t always relate to the influx of marketing that is currently targeted to Millennials, creating a unique opportunity for those companies looking to tap into this segment of consumers,” writes Wertz. Approximately 25 million Xennials in the US alone.
When it comes to brands and businesses that are appealing to Xennials, Wertz points to the recent success of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, which aims “to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance well-being, performance, and purpose, and create a healthier relationship with technology”. The subscription mindfulness app Headspace, founded by Richard Pierson—himself an Xennial—and Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe in 2010, has an estimated value of approximately US$250 million  according to Forbes, and is another good example of a business appealing to Xennials’ concern for their wellbeing.
Even Jia Wertz sounds a word of caution, noting that Xennials don’t like being stereotyped. “The same should be considered in marketing to this group, as they prefer to be seen as individuals” she writes.
Whilst businesses and marketeers alike may not agree on the best way to speak this newly defined group of consumers, one thing we can be certain of is that by and large, they are an affluent and well-educated group, that are currently under-sold by businesses and brands worldwide. Watch out Millennials; Xenialls might just be the next big thing.
This story is designed to throw an everyday lens on some of the issues being discussed and debated by investors across the world; it is not research, so please do not interpret it as a recommendation for your personal investments. However, if something has piqued your interest and you would like to find out more, please contact one of our Investment Managers on 020 7337 0777.