You’re probably wondering, what is a xennial? Xennials are the new kids on the block. They are the microgeneration born during the years of millennials and Gen X from 1977 to 1983. Or when the original Star Wars trilogy was released. Xennial is a label for the inbetweeners, the generation that didn’t quite fit in or identify with the Gen Xers or the millennials. They are optimistic and tech-savvy. However, xennials still appreciate the simplicity of a pre-digital age.

Xennials experienced a childhood void of technology and social media and an adulthood full of it. They cannot live without their smartphone but still prefer keyboards to touchscreens. Xennials have different personalities and interests than millennials and Gen Xers. Because of this, they have to be targeted differently. Not familiar with this generation? We’ll tell you what your credit union needs to know.

They’re misunderstood
Xennials are not Gen Xers, and they are not millennials. However, they keep getting thrown into one of those two categories, and they’re tired of it. Xennials have the cynicism of Gen X and the optimism and drive of millennials. Xennials had to adapt to the 21st century at key points in their lifetime. Because of this, they cannot be targeted or reached the same way as other generations. Your credit union has to find a unique generational way to get their attention.

They’re learning to embrace technology
Xennials were the last group to have a childhood devoid of all the technology we have today. When Xennials were in their 20s, they hit the technology boom. They’re the only generation that is comfortable with using a dial-up modem and ordering food via a smartphone app. Xennials live with one foot in the information age and the other foot in the digital age. For this reason, it’s important to consider a multi-platform marketing approach when planning a campaign to reach this unique group.

They appreciate things differently
Unlike millennials, xennials still appreciate things that move at a slower, more simplified pace. They generally don’t want loads of six-second videos or disappearing snapchats, but they’re sometimes okay with this type of media in small doses. They want things that are tangible. Xennials grew up in a time where landline phones were used to catch up with friends, and people read the newspaper and watched the nightly news to keep up to date on current events. Xennials have a big appreciation for things that are palpable and simple while also keeping one foot in the digital age. This is why more traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and print ads continue to work well with their generation.

They did not grow up fluent in social media
With MySpace being born in 2003 and Facebook launching in 2004, many xennials were the last graduating class to finish college without social media being a part of their experience. However, xennials were quick to pick up social media. Although they learned to consume media differently, especially social media, xennials are still notorious for oversharing on social platforms just like many other generations. Similar to millennials, they’re active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, they still pick up the phone to call their friends from time to time. Because they still embrace more traditional means of communication, it’s important to target them on several channels at once. This includes social media, but social media should be supplementing the rest of your ad campaign.

There’s a lot to learn about this microgeneration. Although xennial is a recently coined term, it’s still an important term for your credit union to know and understand. Xennials see the world differently than other generations. They had a childhood and adolescence free of technology and worry about social media posts and smartphones. They are fluent in the modern day digital age, but they are not chained to it. Don’t let your credit union make the mistake of lumping this generation in with the others. Xennials are a niche generation, but they’re an important one for your credit union to pay attention to.