Are you a Baby Boomer, a Gen-Xer, a Millennial, or in Generation Z?

There's a lot of confusion around who actually "counts" as each of these, and what the generation after  Millennials is. For clarity's sake, here's the breakdown (you can see how the letters go in order after Boomers):

  • Baby Boomers: People born from 1944-1964. Currently 55-75 years old.

  • Generation X (aka Gen-X): People born from 1965-1979. Currently 40-54 years old. Also known as the "MTV generation."

  • Generation Y (aka Millennials): People born from 1980-1994. Currently 25-39 years old. Also known as the "avocado toast" generation.

  • Generation Z (aka Gen-Z): The newest generation, and the generation after Millennials. People born from 1995-2015. Currently 4-24 years old.

Generational breakdowns are never an exact science; it's not like a 27-year-old and 42-year-old are so different that they can't understand one another. But it is interesting to compare and contrast the similarities and differences among generations for a number of reasons, including for the purposes of predicting future trends.

For example, according to a new cultural trends report by Endeavor Global Marketing (EGM), there are a few trends that differentiate Generation Z and Millennials in 2019.

The study predicted both cultural trends and behavior of both Gen Z and Millennials in 2019 by compiling trends from a diverse range of expertise areas, then testing them against both the general population and influencer pools of Gen Z and Millennials.

The three trends with the greatest disparity between Gen Z and Millennial influencers were:

1. Non-Binary Beauty (Gen Z skew)

The report predicts that gender-fluid beauty concepts will reach a tipping point in 2019, creating a new range of product categories (not to mention more acceptance around those who don't want to identify with one gender over another).

Over the past few years, both influencers and brands have pushed the envelope around both gender and beauty ideals. Fashion brands like Telfar, Agender and Blindness have taken advantage of the wave of acceptance and desire for a less gendered industry.

Influencers like Jack Bennett and brands like Sephora are all also making strides in terms of getting the beauty industry to be more accessible and gender-neutral. Things like genderless mascara, foundation and other beauty items will continue to shift the culture to one of more openness and not just tolerance, but the embracing of a more gender-fluid world.

2. The Human Story of Food (Millennial skew)

The report suggests that this year, we'll see less of an emphasis on food-porn type images, and more on the story-based concepts surrounding food. Why did this chef choose to make this, and what does it mean to him or her? What's the story?

Increasingly diverse chefs and food influencers are establishing an increasingly progressive foodie culture, and one in which personal stories are a big part of the experience. "Expect to see a shift from photogenic, Instagrammable food to emergence of the stories of those behind these dishes," the report says.

3. Broadway's Next Act (Millennial skew)

Broadway is successfully reinventing itself and attracting a younger audience with shows like Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls. Plus, new shows like Be More Chill are breaking conventional rules, such as putting out soundtracks early and opening up IP so school productions can take advantage of doing the shows themselves.

The result? The shows go viral on social media, which leads to massive advance sales, fan excitement, and a renewed sense of possibility around live performances. Brands of all kinds will likely get on board with the joy and authentic self-expression inherent in these new shows.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two generations also agreed on a number of trends. A few that ranked in the top five:

1. Mental Health and Athleticism

A number of prominent athletes are giving us more of a window into their words, putting the conversation about things like depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mental health issues front and center.

This is encouraging and much-needed, since famous role models can make a real impact. Ray Rice, for example, now speaks openly about his history of domestic violence. And the weeks and months after the Ray Rice video saw an 84 percent spike in calls to domestic violence hotlines.

Celebrities inspire real people to get help--a trend we'll fortunately see continue. 

2. Subscription boxes for everything

BirchBox may an OG, but subscription boxes have evolved far beyond just beauty products. There are now subscription boxes for everything from ethical jewelry to dog products, paleo snacks, travel-inspired trinkets, and more.

"As subscriptions become an even bigger part of our personal budgets, expect to see brands look to merge and cross-pollinate disparate components of our daily lives into one connected system driven by data personalization."

In other words, one box to rule them all.

Published on: Jan 29, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.