Millennials have officially overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest demographic in the U.S. This generational power shift is evident in virtually every facet of media as major brands, television networks, and media platforms have aimed their marketing with focus on the two groups, but between Boomers and Millennials lies another demographic-Generation X. With birth years ranging from 1965 to 1981, Gen X has largely been ignored.
With numbers upward of 65 million and more discretionary spending power than any other generation, this “middle-child” cohort represents a powerful chunk of the American pie chart. According to Centro, “few marketers seem to be focusing on the demands and needs of this generation.” Further research confirms that Gen Xers “have been overlooked and underestimated for a long time.” So, why is no one speaking to Gen Xers? This was one of three major questions that lead Dr. Tausha Robertson to found MsXFactor.
As the first webzine for GenX, multicultural women, this platform aims to fill some pretty glaring deficits in the multimedia market. I caught up with the Austin based entrepreneur to talk about her vision and discuss the inspiration behind MsXFactor.
How did you come up with the name and concept for MsXFactor?
I named the platform MsXFactor as a play on two different concepts, it’s a digital media platform geared toward Gen X women who posses that intangible “it factor,” that indefinable je ne sais quoi. Multicultural, Gen X women are a variable that has a significant impact on outcomes at work, home, and in the community. They have a tremendous influence across generations. This group of women is charged with navigating the compounding pressures of caring for aging parents, operating in senior positions at work and being the bedrock of their immediate, extended and community families.
We deserve space to “take off our cape” and make time for ourselves.
How did you know that now was the time to launch MsXFactor?
I was really kind of thrust into it. In March of 2017, I was given a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to pitch the idea at SXSW. I panicked, I didn’t feel ready because it was still in its embryonic stages. I didn’t have a website, a logo, or even fully baked description of what it was but I knew I had to seize the moment.
I was not going to miss my shot to speak this into existence, so I did what we women do – I figured it out.
As I waited in line for my turn to speak, I bought the domain from my iPhone and threw up a quick landing page.
In less than four months you brought MsXFactor from idea to launch – How did you do it?
It has been a quite the journey. I have to recognize the tireless work of my Managing Editor, Ebony Flake, Tandria Potts of Red Desk Content, and the army of family members, friends and sorority sisters who pitched in to help get this off the ground. I am forever grateful for their belief in me and this idea.
I’m not going to sugar coat the enormous amount of work it took because I was learning the digital space and building at the same time! There is something magical about building an idea into something tangible. I’m very proud of our start and the plans we have for the future.
The idea for MsXFactor grew out of your experience as an app developer– describe how the concept evolved?
I’m a serial entrepreneur. I moved to Austin in 2012 with the NFP acquisition of Alterity Group, LLC, a thriving private equity consulting firm that I co-founded. I was immediately drawn to the creative and technology community in Austin. So much so that without any tech experience, I sought out a technical co-founder to help me develop a mobile beauty app called Primpii. The app was designed to leverage the power of the social network to connect end users with beauty professionals, creating a one-stop-shop for trusted word-of-mouth referrals.
Because Primpii grew out of my own social network, the user base skewed multicultural and Gen X. While weighing a major update of the app vs a different platform approach I conducted some research and found that, across the board, there was a strong sentiment that the needs and interests of Gen X, multicultural women are largely overlooked by media and brands.
What made you drill beyond Gen X to multicultural women within this group?
When it comes to starting a business, I’m a firm believer that you should develop a business concept that you’re passionate about, one that is related to something you have experience with. As an African-American, Gen X woman, I fit into the target demographic of MsXFactor, and so do most of my friends. I know this group. I am this group.
Aside from that, the data shows that multicultural communities and women are two of the most dynamic and powerful groups there are.
Multicultural In the U.S. and globally, the influence, economic power, and size of multicultural communities are growing at a faster rate than that of the general market. Nielsen reports that “U.S. multicultural buying power is growing at an exponential rate compared to the total U.S., increasing from $661 billion in 1990 to $3.4 trillion in 2014. This was more than double the growth of total U.S. buying power.”
Women According to Bloomberg, women drive 85 percent of all consumer purchases. Forbes reports that women hold slightly more than half of all management, professional and related occupations and control 51 percent of wealth.
When you add it up, it just makes sense: Gen X + Multicultural + Women = A Powerful Untapped Market
What do you hope to accomplish with MsXFactor?
I want to do a few things. It will be a community that encourages and supports women in their efforts to carve out time for themselves. MsXFactor should be the place they go to read and talk about things that will get them out of their comfort zone, find support through life challenges or encouragement to work on areas that will help them grow into their full potential.
Also, from a broader view, the world is changing rapidly and many people don’t know that Gen X, multicultural women are leading the way. MsXFactor will amplify the voices of these women who are quietly making a difference. We might be small in number, but we are big on impact!
Readers, thank you for joining us on this journey. You are MsXFactor! Comment below to let us know which topics and ideas matter most to you.