Sometimes market researchers classify a generation based on their characteristics to help understand how that generation is going to have an Impact on the world.
These sorts of classifications mostly comprise of young teenagers to young adults who are in their early 30’s. This is because most teenagers and young adults will have an Impact on companies and the economy in the future.
To understand the characteristics of this generation will be beneficial for whoever is involved in dealing with them.
Around the 1950’s the ‘Baby Boomers’ were a generation that was touted to be the most impactful in America’s history. There was truth to this because Steve Jobs was and Bill Gates is from the baby boomer generation.
Who are the Millennials?
The Millennials (Generation Y) are the next generation of young adults who will have an Impact on the world in the near future. The Millennials are estimated to spend close to
$200 Billion by 2017! And over 10 Trillion in their lifetimes
What does this mean?
This means you need to gear your entire business and point it towards the Millennials. Your marketing, the platforms you choose and everything about your product and strategy should be focused on catering to them.
They are different and these are their qualities.
- They have been part of the growth of the Internet
- They do not think twice before trying something new
- They are the Social-Media generation
- They have the FOMO(Fear of Missing Out)
The Characteristics of Millenials
This is the generation that was born when the Internet was born, like a pet, they grew together and have seen the Internet evolve.
They’ve seen Floppy Disk transform into a Compact Disc, which transformed into a Pen-Drive, which transformed into the Cloud.
They have seen phones change from brick phones to smartphones just in a matter of years.
Their adaptability says something for businesses. Millennials because of their upbringing with technology will be more open to better and greater performing technological products. This makes them a great consumer for super Innovative companies.
Most Millennials are more open to trying new things because all they’ve seen in their times are new things taking over their lives.
The baby boomers, because of the world war were taught to pursue a life that was structured and stable. This meant buying a house, buying a car and ownership of day-to-day objects. The Millennials are slightly different, they are looking to rent and not own.
Businesses like Uber have thrived because of millennials mentality. This is true for even very personal products like clothing where millennial women are renting clothes instead of buying them.
The recession took a big hit on the Millennials opportunities. The unemployment rate is higher and they are looking at cheaper and reliable services that will help them. Ownership is not high in their agenda. Apart from the recession, the choice for Millennials is high, there is too much competition with varied value propositions. They don’t want to commit to one product.
From the Goldman-Sachs report are not very surprising numbers. The use of Social Media by the Millennials are much higher than that of the Baby Boomers(Obviously). This says a lot about this generation, they are more open to sharing things about themselves and focus on having a stronger Identity.
Narcissistic Personalities and Extremely Social
The Narcissistic personality is almost 3 fold in the youth (College going Millenials ) of today than it was in 1982. Although, this is a bit negative, but personal Apps and Apps that boost the self-do really well. Selfie apps and fitness that make one look better and healthier are the rage.
Millennials respect brands that have a very strong social presence. Being active on social and being effective is considered a sign of a good company according to the people of this generation.
This also suggests that they are more willing to share Interesting content and promote companies that seem interesting without anyone asking them to. This is useful for companies in the fun space and viral campaigns change the face of a company and bring in millions of dollars in business just because of a few shares.
Facebook has been an effective platform for the Millennials to express themselves and feel validated among their peers. Social platforms that have Interaction and “shareability” enabled in their systems perform much better than the ones that are not.
Apps like Quizup have risen meteorically because of taking the quizzing aspect and connecting it with the social aspect. Even games like Clash of Clans have friends and strangers competing and Interacting with each other. This was not the case many years back where Individuals played most games against computers.
FOMO and Early Adopters
Fear of Missing out is basically the mentality of this generation who see their friends do something and feel like they shouldn’t miss out on a similar experience. It can relate to traveling, owning a product and other experiences. This is good for businesses.
Businesses look for Early Adopters. The ones who will try out new things and be the first to adopt a technology or a style. In the famous ‘Crossing the Chasm’ diagram, the product flow is described with ‘Innovators’ who start the product and the ‘Early Adopters’ who experiment with the product and tell their friends which is the ‘Early Majority’. The advantage for companies now is, the Millenials are filled with early adopters who experiment with new products and brands and always are looking out for the next new thing.
Instagram had 36,000 users on the day they launched. More and more companies are growing at a much faster rate than ever before. This can be seen from the fact that the youngest billionaires in the world are around 24 years old.
They are Mobile-First – The Younger Millennials
The younger Millenials (1990-1998) have had access to mobiles at an earlier age than any other generation (Except the future Generation Z). This makes them comfortable in using the Mobile as their main tool for every single activity. Snapchat is a popular social network focused only on Millenials, with over 37% of their users falling under the 18 to 24 age group and their next highest group is from the 25 to 34 age group. This says a lot about how Millenials only have driven the success of this startup which has become a $ 15 Billion behemoth.
This is the reason Mobile Apps are a craze and the Millenials are more open to discovering new Applications that keep them engaged.
The baby boomers were a useful set with their steadier lives of home-ownership and focus on forming a base and following a set structure. But the Millenials are the ones who are going to change the way society behaves. Companies started by millennials will Impact society with their bold decisions and their non-adherence to the status-quo.
This is a generation that will push humanity to the cusp of a better future. And not too far from now a new breed of humans will arise that we call the Generation Z. Their rise will mark the supersonic growth of humanity.