MILLENNIALS! Are you sick of the word? Do you feel like you've read everything there is to know about this generation of people? Do you get irritated simply at the concept of generalizing an entire generation of people?
If you raised your hand, that makes two of us.
The reason I'm even writing about this subject is because of two reasons: 1. I am a Millennial (yet I feel and act like a grandma sometime) and 2. In my meetings, I have heard the phrase "Millennials aren't our target market" more times than I can count.
And it just blows me away. I think there's a lingering sense among certain circles that Millennials are these self-absorbed teens who just sit at home and surf the internet.
I am a wife and mom of 3. I'm a super busy soccer mom and a professional in my prime spending years. And I'm a Millennial!
So, I want to address the fact that there is a broad swath of people who qualify as part of this demographic and there are certain trends you can't ignore, because they will affect your business.
Bigger Than the Boomers
Millennials range from age 18-35. This means, you have high school kids to young parents, like me, in this group. Maybe you don't think you need to market your business toward Millennials? I'm here to bring some facts about why this generation will affect your business, who you hire, and who you market to.
Millennials are a massively-sized generation. If you thought the Baby Boomers were big, just wait. In fact, the Millenial generation is going to surpass the Baby Boomer generation this year. According to the Census Bureau, by the year 2050 the Millenial population is projected to be at 79.2 million.
How Millennials Will Affect Your Business
This generation is getting ready to move into it's prime spending years. What does that mean?
They might be getting ready to buy their first car or home, or to buy nicer things. This means businesses should be shaping buyer personas around Millennials, and to do that you need to understand who they are and what they want.
It's important to keep in mind that Millennials are also coming with an increased level of debt (student loans) and with less income. This will go away because they are interested in getting out of debt faster than previous generations. They're very entrepreneurial and determined to have a better lifestyle than their parents.
But ownership and luxury items may not be their thing.
It's more important for Millennials to have access to things as opposed to owning them. Therefore, they're reluctant to buy luxury items and are more likely to purchase services in a rapidly growing "sharing economy."
In fact, in 25 years, it's projected that car sharing will be the norm. Are you thinking of how this will effect your business? Your products and services?
Millennials will also be the first to blast you in social media if you do something wrong. And 57% of Millennials are comparing prices while they're in the store.
How Millennials Will Affect the Workforce
Millennials are very much into wellness as a daily pursuit, as well as the data surrounding that. They want environments that continue to help them with their active lifestyle like standing desks or areas where they can stretch. If you ignore these things, you won't be attracting these people to your company to work.
Millennials also have a different definition of diversity inclusion than other generations. For Millennials, it's more about collaborative environments and being viewed as an asset to the team. They are 71% more likely to focus on teamwork.
Millennials aren't company-loyal. This means, that if you don't meet them halfway on their needs, they'll find a company that will. They're more loyal to companies that allow them to be heard and valued.
It's a mistake to dismiss these trends or to ignore them. The Millennial generation will change the nature of our economy, similar to the large number of Boomers who changed (and still are changing) how we do business. They're a big group and they're going to be around for a long time, so take the time to cater to them, both in selling to them and in hiring them.