Here is What You Need To Know About Millennials
No generation has been as publicly reviled, praised, misunderstood, and analyzed as the Millennials. And, with good reason. By 2025, Millennials, also known as Gen Y or those born in the 80’s and 90’s, will make up the majority of the workforce.
Whether you are managing them, trying to sell to them, or being led by them, chances are you have given some thought to how this generation really works and why. Nielsen’s latest report sheds much light on what makes Millennials truly tick. Here is what you need to know about this elusive bunch.
Millennials aren’t narcissistic. They are into self-expression – and they have the tools to prove it.
It’s easy to look at streams full of selfies on Instagram and blame this generation for being too self-involved. But, do you think if this technology was available in the ’60s, young boomers would have sustained from such a platform? Of course not. I can only imagine how much of Woodstock would have been documented. Even in the Paleolithic era, people drew their likeness inside of cave walls. It is human nature to want to express one’s identity. How else would we continuously form one? It would be fair to say that millennials are the first generation to have an unlimited amount of technological platforms from which they can – and do – express themselves. However, don’t mistake self-expression for being self-absorbed. 63% of Millennials feel it is their responsibility to care for an elderly parent vs. 55% of Boomers. Businesses and anyone else trying to reach this generation, would be wise to give them the tools to self-express, and show how much they care.
Millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation – ever.
While the number of Boomers grew due to a high number of births, Millennial growth has largely been a result of immigration. 14% of Millennials are first generation, and have strong ties to their roots. 20% of all youth in America are Latino, many of whom are bilingual. Due to their background, Millennials are much more receptive of other cultures. 71% of Millennials appreciate the influence of other cultures on the American way of life vs. 62% of Boomers. Coca Cola knew exactly who they wanted to reach with their Super bowl ad – “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages.
Millennials are inspired by people they can relate to.
Millennials are most receptive to messages that use celebrity endorsements or relatable characters/themes. A fellow successful millennial is a lot more likely to inspire them than someone from an older generation. (Yet, most commencement speeches are given by well accomplished but totally unrelatable individuals.) Millennials love music, creativity, and care about social causes. They may not be writing the big checks yet, but they will spend a little extra with a brand who is aligned with what they care about – whether that’s an artist or a cause.
Millennials are connected but not tethered.
Whoever said Millennials don’t enjoy face to face time? The majority live in urban areas and the migration from suburbia to cities continues for most Millennials. They love being able to walk to their favorite places, and are not nearly as car obsessed as past generations. For the first time since the 1920s, growth in U.S. cities outpaces the growth outside of the cities. Millennials love to be connected – offline AND online – but they hate to be tethered. Millennials make up 50% of no-TV households, relying on laptops and smartphones to watch content. When Millennials do watch broadcast TV, they prefer shows with participation such as Master Chef, Hells’ Kitchen, and American Idol.
Millennials love a good deal.
Millennials may not have a huge paycheck yet, but they are well positioned to be your best customers in the future. This is the most educated generation in history, with over 23% holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher. (Want more on Millennials, education and their preparedness for the word place? Check out Bentley University’s groundbreaking Preparedness Project.)
And, while they aren’t cutting coupons from the Sunday’s paper, 31% of their shopping dollars are spent on deals. If you do try to lure Millennials dollars with discounts, proceed with caution, they aren’t hoodwinked easily by fake deals. Authenticity plus a good deal is what gets you this shopper.
In summary, this is the most self-expressive, diverse, and connected generation of its kind. And, regardless of what we think of them, this generation is the future.