The millennial generation is a force of nature that cannot be ignored by any brand. They are the proverbial “economic curve ball” businesses need to catch. Their mindset is vastly different than previous generations and that’s why marketers and strategists struggle to engage this consumer segment. The largest generation yet, millennials are game-changing the way we do business, for good.
- Baby Boomers (1946-64) focused buying decisions on their long-term-needs
- Generation X (1965-80) was about medium-term goals
- Millennials (1980-2000) live in the now. They focus on their short-term wants.
Disruptive Forces Behind the Millennial Mind
Millennials, now age 16 to 36, are the product of volatile times. Economic and political turmoil and rampant technological change are their norm. They’ve learned to embrace disruption, and guess what? They like it!
Unfortunately, they live in a financial conundrum. The most educated generation to date, they earn less than previous generations, have lower employment levels and carry more student debt. However, Millennials are embracing the new economy and many are making a career out of their mastery of social channels.
What’s Different About Millennials?
- Debt is their lifestyle
They satisfy their short-term desires but forgo big-picture purchases like homes and vehicles.
- Social is their influence
All social and only social. They crowdsource opinions before making a buying decision or standing for something.
- Sharing is their way
It’s not only cars and music anymore. Millennials now share designer clothing, designer handbags, and apartments (Airbnb).
- Too soon for marriage
Commitment is on the back-burner while they get their lives in order.
Tips on Reaching Millennials
- Businesses must position themselves to catch this giant economic curve ball now or stay in the dugout.
- Get into what Millennials are into. Take an interest in their interest in social media, sharable and authentic content, and social responsibility.
- Make it social. Make it about them. They ignited the share economy – so participate in it in a way that fits with your brand.
- Millennials don’t need to buy everything. They just want access to it. The brands who succeed give them what they want.
Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research