Millennials are an interesting subculture, they are changing the way that companies are driving their businesses since they have a very different habits than other generations. Millennials’ demographic, geographic and psychographic cultures are interesting, they are expected to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest generation in America in the next years and that is why companies must be aware of how to deal with them. It is important that companies understand who they are, their purchasing habits, what they value, their motivations, and how they will affect businesses in the future.
The reason why Millennials are a subculture is because they share elements of an overall culture that is unique to their particular generation where their attitudes, values, and purchasing decisions are very similar. Millennials are people born between 1982 and 1996. They are expected to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest and crucial generation for businesses in America. Millennials currently are 71 million and Baby Boomers are 74 million, but Millennials are expected to be 73 million in 2019 and 76.2 million in 2036 while Baby Boomers decline to 72 million in 2019.
The growth in Millennials are mainly due to young immigrants while the decline of Baby Boomers is because of the number of deaths (Fry).Millennials’ demographic in the United States is very young and they are connected to each other especially in social medias. They make up about 23% of the population and most of the them live in the largest areas. Those are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston (Carmichael).
The way that millennials shop can be very tricky since it is expected that they do all of their shopping through their smartphones, tablets or laptops when in fact they rather make their purchases in a physical store. Only 16% of millennials make purchasing decisions through a mobile device. This can be logical because women tend to buy more fashion things and they prefer to see it in physical and try them while men tend to buy more hard goods which they also like to see it in physical, so they can evaluate the product quality. There is also a difference between old millennials, ranging from 32 to 35 years old, with young millennials, ranging from 20 to 23 years old, and that is that old millennials are actually more likely to make purchases through a mobile device and young millennials make them in physical stores (Kestenbaum).
There are some principles that any business must consider when targeting millennials and those are the following:
They are consumers based on an ethic of collaboration: that means that they enjoy the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands.
They are hyper social: This means that they are a sociable generation and that is expressed in real life as well as online where they make feedbacks about customer service, product and service satisfaction
They expect technology to work all the time and hope it is easy to operate: Because they have growth with technology, they see it as their main tool to operate in their everyday lifestyle.
They value experiences, discoveries and excitement: They view every opportunity to connect with people or businesses as a way to get experiences that can help them growth as a professional as well as a person. When they shop, they expect that the environment of the store is exciting or when they dine out, they search for something out of the normal and expect to get a great discovery and experience from a new kind of food.
They are values-driven and seek for authenticity: They try to look for a company or brand where they can relate their beliefs and feel supported from this company or brand. They also care about the uniqueness or authenticity of a product or service because they believe that tells the company’s honesty or truth (Solomon).
Other important things to know about Millennials is that they are more caring, political involved and liberal than the previous generations, they are also very optimistic about not only their future but the world in general and they have a higher education level than the previous generation in the United States.
Understanding what their habits and leisure activities are is also important. Some facts that we can find about them is that 51% of them have an Instagram account and 42% use Snapchat, 31% post on Instagram on a daily basis while 29% tweet every day, and 72% plan to travel for leisure as to compared with 48% of Baby Boomers. They also prefer to get the news through the TV or the Internet rather than on newspapers or magazines.
Millennials believe that career success is driven by a meaningful work, a high payment and a sense of accomplishment. They do not care too much about how challenging the work is, if there is a high level of self-expression and of responsibility. Other things that they really care about is being a good parent, having success in their marriage and help the people in need (Ayyar).
Marketers need to get a better understanding of how to connect with millennials, they cannot do the same marketing campaigns that they were doing with previous generations because they already know that millennials have a different point of view and thus, a different reaction to any kind of campaigns. Some of the ways that they can connect with millennials are the following:
Advertising needs to be: Brief, entertaining, funny, fresh/new, unique, informative and relevant to who they are. This is because this generation just do not look at the ads, but they also seek to connect themselves with what is being advertised so they can share it.
Understand the Millennial Mindset: Millennials question whether the company truly knows how to get their attention, they touch multiple devices daily, they are aware and accept that personal information will be collected, they want to connect with companies in social media to get discounts, they are more likely to engage with trusted brands, they want to discover content through social networks, they expect to engage with their preferred language, and also, a fast response and instant gratification from the company that they are spending their time or money with.
Who they are and what do they really want?: Research shows that millennials influence their parents purchasing behavior and they prefer to shop in: drugstores (91%), consumer electronic stores (68%), apparel stores (80%), department stores (84%) and in discount/mass merchant stores (83%). It is expected that by 2020 millennial spending in the United States will represent the 30% of total retail sales, that being a grow to $1.4 trillion annually (Gray).
As known, millennials will have an enormous impact in businesses in the future and it is a key to success that all companies are aware of that. Millennials will cause an economic growth in the United States’ average GDP and they will change consumer spending. They will cause a boost to the education and housing industry. In education because the US’ college enrollment between 2000 to 2011 climbed by 30% and it is expected to only go up for the next ten years or until all millennials are past college age. They will boost the housing industry thanks to the improvement in economy which will drop unemployment rates that along with an educated workforce will result to more estate being purchased around the country. They will favor socially responsible brands that are trustworthy and go with their beliefs, and they will embrace technology in every way (Ayyar).
Overall, Millennials are a subculture that all companies should be paying more attention and try to focus their marketing strategies, products and services to them or at least make a future plan when Millennials overtake Baby Boomers. The reason why companies should be paying attention to this generation is because they are very different than the previous ones, they care more about the environment, they seek for authenticity and trustworthiness, they share their feedbacks online where everyone can see it and they will have an important impact in the United States’ economy and industries.
Ayyar, Rohan. Here Come the Millennials! Who They Are and How They Affect Your Business. 07 August 2014. 01 December 2018. .
Carmichael, Matt. Where the millennials are. 10 March 2011. 01 December 2018. .
Fry, Richard. Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. 01 March 2018. 01 December 2018. .
Gray, Chloe Mason. Marketing to Millennials: 6 Studies & Reports You Need to Read. 14 July 2015. 01 December 2018. .
Kestenbaum, Richard. This Is How Millenials Shop. 14 June 2017. 01 December 2018. .
Solomon, Micah. For Small Business Week: All About Millennial Consumers And Millennial-Friendly Customer Experiences. 03 May 2018. 01 December 2018. .
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