Millennials – born between 1980 and 2000 – are both the 20th century’s last generation and its first truly digital one. We spoke to eight millennials from across the UK and boiled down what they told us to 5 key things.
- They are time poor – living away from friends and family (but trying to keep up with them) and working for companies that don’t give them flexibility (which generations behind them will demand as they come of age), Millennials are struggling to fit it all in. Companies would do well to recognize this. As a generation, millennials are conscientious and given trust/flexibility, will deliver for their employers.
- They are financially stretched – living with mortgages and lifestyles to keep up with, they are more stretched than the generation above (cheaper lifestyles) and below (no desire to own property). This impacts their ability to live out their values. So, while they might talk the climate change or human rights walks, they aren’t all walking the walk.
- Though they have a strong sense of the world’s problems, they feel inert to solve them – probably because of points (1) and (2) above – time and money. This leads to feelings of guilt, compounded by worry that the generations above and below them don’t share their ethical and environmental values.
- Brands and organisations could benefit from this complex sense of inertia, guilt and social conscience by making it easy for millennials to behave ethically. Removing some of the burden of solving the world’s problems with products and services that can help them do the right thing, could prove financially and socially rewarding.
- Whilst marketers are quick to invest in social media, they need to ask themselves whether it is always the right channel for reaching millennials. Many millennials are scathing about social media and marketeers should approach with caution.