Generational Marketing: The Millennials

by | Nov 2, 2015 | Marketing | 0 comments

characteristics of a Millennial

Millennials are the largest generation by population size. Bigger than even the baby boomer generation at 77 million. This is a large and important demographic

There is a lot of marketing buzz these days about Gen Y or as they are often referred to “Millennials”. Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000. Some people call them the “Selfie Generation”. Others call them the “Everybody Gets a Trophy Generation”. Whatever you call them they simply cannot be ignored.
At 92 million, Millennials are the largest generation by population size. Bigger than even the baby boomer generation at 77 million. This is a large and important demographic. And if they are your target market, knowing how they “think” and what makes them want to purchase a product or a service could be the key to your company’s success.
Generational Marketing is a term used based on the premise that marketers must understand the underlying drives associated with different generations and how those generations interact with each other to be able to effectively market to them. It assumes that each generation shares a characteristic set of values and behaviors. It might not be everything you need to know in order to market effectively to this demographic, but it does provide a cultural foundation and helps avoid the mistake of thinking that all generations are alike.
Why are millennials so important right now?
The reason for the focus on Millennials now is that they are approaching their peak spending years in important consumer categories like apparel, restaurants, consumer staples, and household products. In the next five years Millennial spending will increase by 15% while Baby Boomer’s spending will decrease by 10%.
What are the main characteristics of a Millennial? 
They Are Connected
This is a generation that’s really grown up connected. Over 80% of Millennials have mobile phones, and over 75% have social media profiles. Even the oldest Millennials have had internet access from at least high school.
They Get Along with Their Parents
Millennials get along with their parents better than previous generations. According to researchers, teenagers today get into fewer fights with their parents than their parents did with theirs as teens. According to authors Joeri Van den Bergh and Mattias Behrer, 85% of teens name one of their parents as their best friend, rather than naming a peer. And more than a third of millennials of all ages say they influence what products their parents buy, what shops and restaurants they visit and what trips they take.
They Are Staying Home Longer
A growing number of Millennials are choosing to live at home with their parents increasing from 26.9% in 2005 to 29.9% in 2010. Experts agree that most Millennials have not entered the housing market as soon as previous generations partially due to the financial crisis of 2007–08. But some experts say that due to their sheer size, and the generations desire to settle down in the future there could be a surge in home sales in the near future.
They Are Health Conscious
For Millennials, wellness is a daily, active pursuit. They’re exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They’re using apps to track training data, and online information to find the healthiest foods. And this is one space where they’re willing to spend money on compelling brands.
They Have Different Life Stages
They know they have a lot of alternative options for what adulthood looks like. Unlike other generations, Millennials have always had a lot of information available to them. Katie Elfering, a CEB Icon culture consumer strategist says: “This generation has been raised in a world of choice and knows that they have lots and lots of options in all aspects of their lives. They don’t see just see one path available to them—they see limitless possibilities. “
They Like to Co-Create
Millennials enjoy the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands, as long as they believe their say matters. Alex Castellarnau at Dropbox, the popular file transfer service says “Millennials are a generation that wants to co-create the product, the brand, with you. Companies that understand this and figure out ways to engage in this co-creation relationship with millennials will have an edge.”
They Are Optimistic and Idealistic
Millennials are reinterpreting traditional values for their times and are committed to living by them. They believe in earnestness and idealism, and they believe in heroes and have a desire to make a difference. This is the ‘optimism’ that Obama’s campaign of ‘hope’ captured so well. They have given thought to their values and are determined to live by them.
They Value Authenticity
Having lived through the destruction of the Great Recession and the mania of two tech booms, Millennials have their eyes wide open.
They Are Cautious Spenders and Disciplined Savers
Straddled with college debt and healthcare costs, Millennials are disciplined savers. Skeptical of traditional investments, they’re cash-rich and prefer to invest in. And while they’re aware that their current situation is kind of bleak, most of them believe they’ll be more successful and financially stable than their parents.


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