Who are Millennials?

small-milleennialsI’m by no means an advocate for generation identification, however there does seem to be some validity in the descriptions of generations which can assist marketers in their decision making.

So we’ve all heard of the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and now it’s Millennials.

Marketers have been talking about them for a while now, some of the BIG brands are taking notice but there are still many businesses yet to understand this generation.

There is a great deal of information available about Millennials, however to make it easy, I have developed a comprehensive list of characteristics of Millennials below.

Who are they?

  • In October 2004, researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss called the next generation “Millennials”
  • They are born in 1982, ending in 2004 (overlapping with Generation Y)

What are they like?

  • Family and community minded
  • Less likely to work while in High School compared to other generations
  • Most ethnically and racially diverse cohort of youth in history
  • The first generation in human history who regard behaviours like Tweeting, texting along with websites like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Wikipedia as part of their everyday social lives
  • More likely to take advantage of the health care system than previous generations
  • To be continually learning without compromising their work or lifestyle
  • They are optimistic, pragmatic and overtly confident
  • They are politically progressive
  • They don’t want to be shackled to tradition or location
  • Less likely to be homeowners than young adults of previous generations, opting to stay at home longer or rent
  • Like to travel the world
  • Seek adventure
  • Tend to get married later and less often than previous generations
  • More women are working with school aged children than previous generations

What do they want from a brand?

  • Brands that will make their life better
  • Brands that stand for more than just their bottom line
  • Brands to entertain them
  • To participate in the co-creation of a brand
  • To be able to provide feedback on their experience with a brand, both good and bad
  • No cool, hip, chic brand talk

Some reports boldly state that Millennials are the next greatest generation since the baby boomers. I think with all information on generations that is made available, caution and judgement should also be taken into account when comparing people. We should take every assumed aspect of the Millennial generation as a barometer of wider, shifting and often completion social values as a guide instead of the fixed characteristics described above in our decision making toward marketing your brand or service.

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Lynda Schenk

An energetic and strategic marketing professional with over twenty years’ experience in industries ranging from wine, not for profit, transport, logistics and manufacturing. Lynda founded Purple Giraffe Marketing Consultancy in 2014 offering an end to end marketing service that draws on her proven ability to formulate brand strategies and marketing communications plans that build brand equity, growth and profitability.

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