6/19/17 / Greg Hornback
Is anyone else tired of talking about millennials? Millennials have seemingly been on everyone’s mind, with many worrying over their spending habits, charitable giving, large debt, voting behaviors, and other things. Why do we care so much about this generation? Don’t they already have a problem with entitlement and being all about “me me me”; we probably shouldn’t feed into that, right?
Pictured: Gregory (myself) the Millennial
Fun fact: depending on where you draw the line, 70% of Corona staff are classified as millennials.
As annoying as it might be, there are some very good reasons to focus on the millennial generation. The baby boomer generation is now on the decline and currently there are 11 million more millennials. It is estimated that millennials will comprise over a third of adult Americans by 2020, up to 75% of the American workforce by 2025, and currently account for over one trillion dollars in consumer spending in the U.S. Despite this, millennials have less money to spend and are encumbered with greater debt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the conclusion is that millennials are important because they are the new money – they are very quickly becoming the largest group of consumers and are therefore greatly impacting all businesses and organizations.
The millennials, as a generation, share some commonly seen characteristics:
- For starters, they like to think they aren’t influenced by advertising – or at least advertising does not make them trust a brand more.
- Co-creation is important to millennials as they want to be involved.
- Ultimately, they do tend to be brand-loyal, however they do expect brands to give back to society.
- Millennials overwhelmingly preferred desirable experiences or events over things, and they want more of them.
- Given the above, it’s unsurprising that millennials are attending about 1.75 cultural activities per month, the highest of all other generations (Culture Track ’14)
… and the facts don’t end there. If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to pour over some of the linked materials to familiarize yourself with this impactful generation. If they haven’t yet, millennials will be disrupting your organization sometime in the near future, and it’s inescapable that we all need to adapt.
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Not sure why Millenniala get such a bum rap (I am not one, BTW). Every article I read about them mentions their (alleged, in my view) “me, me, me” mentality. I find them enthusiastic, engaging, confident, young people who truly, more than any other generation, seem to have their life priorities pretty straight.
Could it be that their refusal to kowtow to a sometimes overly oppressive and authoritarian work ethic/environment, their resistance (and skepticism) of wanton consumerism, and their insistence on a fair value/exchange for the time and money they spend in the marketplace be a confusing mix to previous generations who have been bought and sold by the “American Dream?”
I just think that the Millenials are, overall, a pretty savvy group that’s not going to fall for the same games. It’s refreshing, and gives me hope for the future.