A Millennial, on Millennials
“How the Best and Brightest Millennials Live, Shop and Dream” –Adweek
“How Millennials Consume TV Depends on Which Stage of Life They’re in” –Adweek
“What Millennial Women Value Most in Terms of Work, Money and More” –Adweek
The subhead of that last one reads, “Brands need to know they’re not all the same,” and ain’t that the truth!
I’m fascinated by the fascination with millennials. Fast food restaurants are revamping their images. Hotels are adding budget lines to compete with Airbnb. Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGo are replacing cable. Companies, schools, churches, parents, teachers, and especially advertisers all want to be inside the head of millennials, and they should be.
Millennials will make up over 75% of the global workforce by 2025. That’s like, less than a decade away! But what you all need to know is we millennials are people just like you. And just like you, we’re all individual people who were baptized into Millennialism simply by being born between 1982 and 2004.
Do you really want to know the secret to targeting millennials? Do ya? It’s NOT stereotyping (because we’re not all tech-savvy, and we’re not all entitled, and we won’t all cause the house/car economic downfall). It’s a little thing we like to call communication. Highly recommend it.
Talk to us. If you have millennial children in your family, talk to them. If you have millennials in your office, get their opinions. Heck, use a focus group. They’re still a (relevant and helpful) thing. I challenge you to really open your mind to hear out what your millennials have to say; if nothing else, you’ll gain a new way of thinking and no one can have too many of those.
Go where we are. New hip coffee shop just opened up the street? Go hang out there while you work. Are you on social media? You need to be. Doing some interactive fieldwork, online and off, you can easily get an inside look at the Millennial lifestyle from the latest lingo being used to morals and values.
Put some trust in us. We’ve been exposed to a LOT in our short lives so far and it only continues to expand (shout out to the Internet, you the real MVP). Yeah, we make mistakes, and we learn from them (or we Google them to avoid them). You may have us beat on Earth years, but look who we get to learn from…wise ol’ you! Just like you learned from the generation before. We’re individuals with brains and hearts and motivation and skills (and iPhones).
As I mention the above articles with a giggle, I also do so with love because they’re great reads full of valuable info. Here’s the closing excerpt from a particularly spot-on AdvertisingAge article titled, “The ‘M’ Word: Why I Don’t Hire Millennials” (go read it):
“Every generation has something to offer. The need for clear thinking, good creative ideas and strong people skills remains constant, especially when technology is at its most disruptive.
So even if you’re of an older generation, don’t underestimate your own experience.
Meet others with openness and respect, and they’re more likely to do the same. Believing in your own value, unique skills, voice and knowledge — while remaining humble and open to what you don’t know — is a powerful way to stay relevant for generations to come.” -Martha Hiefield
*AFFIRM millennial fun fact: millennials make up 40% of our staff!*