Millennials are increasingly becoming more financially independent, and as their purchasing power continues to grow businesses will have to take notice and change. They are the generation of children born between 1982 and 2000 and are at times referred to as Generation Y. Most of them are now at the age range of between 18 to 30. People in this generation are generally not committed to any religion and most of them are in no hurry to get married. Since a number of them finished their college education just when the great recession started in 2008, they are burdened by debt and tend to distrust people. Despite this, they are very optimistic about their future and share their experiences heavily on social media. They are also the most racially diverse generation. They are unlike any generation that has ever been before them and many people find it hard to understand them. Below are things businesses need to know about this generation:
It is the biggest Generation of customers. They are the biggest generation of customers in history numbering over 80 million. They are also the most demanding when it comes to quality and will not hesitate to question something that they feel is wrong. They have different tastes from their parents and choose carefully before they purchase something. For instance, studies show that they are very inquisitive and are careful about what they eat. Some have linked this to the decline of the McDonalds fast food chain. Other quick service restaurants like Chipotle are slowly but surely gaining more respect from Generation Y for the diverse and healthy nature of their menu.
They are technologically savvy. They grew up at time when many technological revolutions were taking place. Thus, to them being connected to the internet and owning a smart device is as basic as having a blender or owning a refrigerator. This means that a number of the are tech savvy and are equipped with the latest technology like smartphones, tablets and laptops. With these devices, they stay online from day-to-day and are always looking for new fads and other things trending online. They share a lot of things on Facebook and Twitter, including their experiences in business establishments that offer poor services. According to Dan Schawbel, a Forbes contributor, this generation is very defensive about the internet. They successfully protested against SOPA and PIPA acts led by Alexis Ohanian, a Reddit.com co-founder.
They are generally independents but vote democrat. This means that they generally hold very liberal views when it comes to politics. For instance, many of them support marriage equality, marijuana legislation and so on. Thus, millennials may be less likely to associate with businesses that support views that go against their liberal convictions.
They are the most racially diverse generation. Racial diversity is a trend driven by the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have been coming to the U.S. for the past century, and whose U.S born children are now aging into adulthood. A study by Pew research shows that half of the newborns in America today are non-white. This is the highest share of any generation. According to the Census Bureau, a majority of the full U.S. population will be non-white by 2043.
These are some of the things that any success oriented business should put in mind when they serve or employ millennials. Some businesses have taken advantage of their love of tech and are creating responsive websites that can be accessed using different devices. Other establishments are adopting mobile payment systems and opening several social media accounts to interact with Generation Y. It is an exciting moment for businesses that understand and engage this generation.
By Michael Obunga