According to Nielsen Millennials are 77 million strong, on par with Boomers, and they make up 24 percent of the U.S. population. This represents significant opportunity for brands that understand who Millennials are, where they live and what they watch and buy. In order to truly understand Millennials, however, they must be put in the context of the other generations.
- Diverse, Expressive and Optimistic: Millennials are characterized by more than just their age. As a group, they’re more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation. They value self-expression and artistic pursuits. They’ve been hard hit by the recent turbulence in the economy, but their high education levels and optimism foreshadow their potential future success.
- Driving a Social Movement Back to the Cities: If they’re not still living with mom and dad, Millennials are fueling an urban revolution looking for the vibrant, creative energy cities offering a mix of housing, shopping and offices right outside their doorstep. They’re walkers and less interested in the car culture that defined Baby Boomers.
- Struggling, But They Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit: They’ve been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession. They’re dealing with high unemployment, low income and high student loans as
they try to establish themselves. However, necessity is the daughter of invention and some Millennials have hit it big by investing in startups and following the own entrepreneurial pursuits.
- Deal Shoppers and Desire Authenticity: Given their small paychecks, they are savvy shoppers always on the lookout for a good deal. Millennials put a premium on authentic, handmade, locally produced goods – and they’re willing to pay more for products from companies with social impact programs. Getting a good deal is a priority, but they won’t compromise on quality. They want to feel good about what they buy.
- Connected and Want the Personal Touch: Technology defines Millennials. They sleep with their mobiles and post status updates from the bathroom. When interacting with companies via social media, they value authenticity – they want to feel like they have a personal, direct interaction with the brand–and in return, they’ll advocate and endorse that brand.