【媒库文选】Why Xennials Are Different

11-13 12:20   参考消息网  

here's a new name for the in-betweeners. Marketers have identified a tribe of New Adults, or as the sociologist Professor Dan Woodman recently termed them: Xennials.

The influence of these thirty to fortysomethings is not to be underestimated. They are redefining what they want from work, relationships, family and life, and they are extremely valuable. Generation X and Y combined make up 41 per cent of the UK population, and despite millennials being saddled with student debt and struggling to get on the housing ladder, Xennials are still spending on the same pursuits that they used to in their twenties.

The marketing company Walter Thompson was the first to research this micro tribe, and found it to be different to those between which it is sandwiched.

According to a report by the Innovation Group, Xennials are leaving marriage and children later than ever — the average age for marriage in the UK has risen to 31 for women, 33 for men and for motherhood to 30 — and 61 per cent of them believe that we never become adults. Brands were quick to spot this “Peter Pan market” of people clinging on to youthful activities, from concert going to colouring in.

It's this eternal youth that's driving Xennials'ambitions. The most entrepreneurial generation to date, they are moving out of London in huge numbers and searching for careers that feed their soul, not just their wallet. Xennials began work in a climate of rapid change, in which they have been forced to adapt, retrain and switch jobs. “Xennials are redefining what adulthood means,”says Lucie Greene, the director of the Innovation Group. “It's a generation that's growing up, but not letting go of youth.

“They are not entering adulthood like their parents. They're not moving to the suburbs, they're reinventing cities like Bristol and Margate. Thanks to the blurring of adult stages, now you don't stop going to festivals, going to the gym and buying jeans when you're 40 and have kids.”

They're politically engaged on social media, of which they are among the biggest users. They are wellness warriors, seeing holistic health as vital to their wellbeing, following trailblazers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. They demand natural ingredients and use technology to monitor their health, from Fitbits to fertility apps.

They're also approaching parenting in a new way — looking for flexible careers, launching businesses so that they can work from home and sharing childcare more than ever. Even when they become parents, Xennials are still going to festivals— the average age of attendees at Glastonbury is 37. And the generation who backpacked around the world in their youth still seeks adventure travel, even with kids.

If all this seems exhausting, just wait until Generation Z grows up. Because if businesses are struggling to adapt to Xennials' changing demands, they had better prepare for what's next. These two to 19-year-olds — the first true digital natives, virtually born with an iPhone in their hands — are already starting their own businesses and brands, mining the internet for references. They are also becoming stars in their own sphere.

“If Xennials grew up in the reality TV era where anyone could be a celebrity, Gen Zs are creating their own media platforms, side-stepping the networks entirely with YouTube and Instagram,” Greene says. “Xennials are just a transitional generation.”

身处中间年代的人们现在有了一个新称呼。营销公司发现了一个“新成年人”群体,或者如社会学家丹·伍德曼教授最近称呼他们的那样:X-千禧一代。

这些三四十岁的人的影响力不容低估。他们正在重新定义自己希望从工作、恋爱、家庭和生活中获得的东西,他们极其有价值。X一代和Y一代占英国人口的41%,尽管千禧一代一边背负着学生时期贷款,一边还要在住房上奋力再上一个台阶,“X-千禧一代”却仍然把钱花在他们二十几岁时追求的东西上。

营销公司沃尔特·汤普森是第一个开始研究这个微型群体的公司,它发现这个群体与把它夹在中间的两个群体不同。

据创新集团的一份报告说,“X-千禧一代”结婚生子的时间比以往都晚——英国女性的平均结婚年龄推迟到了31岁,男性推迟到了33岁,而当妈妈的平均年龄推迟到了30岁,他们中有61%的人认为我们永远也不会成年。一些品牌迅速察觉到了这个“彼得潘市场”——身处其中的人们还死守住从去音乐会到给书涂色这些年轻时的活动不放。

正是这种永远年轻的心态推动着“X-千禧一代”的远大志向。作为迄今为止最有创业精神的一代,他们大批搬离伦敦,去寻找不仅仅充实他们钱包而且能够充实他们灵魂的职业。“X-千禧一代”在一个迅速变化的环境下踏入职场,并被迫在其中适应、再培训和跳槽。创新集团的总监露西·格林说:“X-千禧一代正在重新定义成年的含义。这是正在长大但又不放开青春的一代人。”

她说:“他们不像父母那样步入中年。他们没有搬到郊区居住,而是正在彻底改造布里斯托尔和马盖特这样的城市。由于成年阶段的界限模糊,人们到了40岁而且有孩子后也不会不再参加文化节庆活动、去健身房、买牛仔裤。”

他们在社交媒体上参与政治,是社交媒体上最庞大的用户群。他们是维护身心健康的斗士,认为全面健康是幸福的关键,追随格威妮丝·帕尔特罗、贾丝明和梅莉萨·赫姆斯利这样的先行者。他们要求天然成分,利用从Fitbit手环到助孕应用软件等各种技术手段监测自己的健康状况。

他们还在以一种新的方式养育孩子——寻找灵活的职业、成立公司从而可以在家工作,并比以往更多地分担照顾孩子的任务。即使在成为父母后,X-千禧一代仍然去参加文化节庆活动——参加格拉斯顿伯里音乐节的人的平均年龄为37岁。年轻时曾经背包周游世界的这一代人仍在进行探险旅游,甚至是带着孩子。

如果这一切看上去令人疲于应付的话,那就等着Z一代人成长起来吧。因为如果企业适应X-千禧一代变化不定的需求很吃力,那么他们最好为面对接下来的一代做好准备吧。这个从两岁到19岁的群体——第一批真正成长于数字时代的人们,实际上是手上拿着iPhone出生的一代人——已经在开创自己的企业和品牌,在互联网上查阅参考资料。他们也正成为自己领域内的明星。

格林说:“如果说X-千禧一代是在任何人都可以成为名人的真人秀电视节目时代长大的,那么Z一代就是在创造他们自己的媒介平台,用YouTube和Instagram彻底避开了网络。X-千禧一代正是承上启下的一代。”(刘晓燕译自英国《泰晤士报》网站10月26日文章)