By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. http://geoffdeweaver.com/
The largest generations in history is about to move into its prime spending years and have the clout to become the powerhouse and dominate cohort of the Digital Age. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will revolutionize the world as we know it. Just look at their numbers on this ‘Generational chart’:
Almost a quarter of today’s active workforce are Millennials. And, look at the Tsunami following with Gen Z.
In fact, by 2020, fifty percent of the world’s workforce will be Millennials and that number will expand to 75% by 2025. So, if you don’t immediately start doing a ‘deep dive’ into the mind-sets, habits, culture, ambitions and dreams of Millennials, your business will be disrupted and impacted harshly. And, hot on their heels are Generation Z, the true ‘digital natives’ currently <18 years old.
Let me start by clarifying the word ‘Millennials’, so we can all get on the same page and understand the group this article is about. Whether you’re a marketer, business executive or observer, this has to be the most important demographic and psychographic cohort of the Digital Age.
The Millennials or Generation Ys are the demographic cohort followed by Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X. They are the generation born from the early 1960s to the early 1980s.)
There is also an additional group following which will have a profound impact on the world – Generation Z who were born after Generation Y (from 1995 to present) They are currently under 18 years of age and waiting in the wings. But let’s just look at the Millennials & Gen Z’s now:
Most researchers and media and academic commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s for Millennials. I have specifically singled this group out, because they are digitally connected and poised to reshape the global economy. This massive cohort will disrupt and transform business and brands. They are a tidal wave which will change the way we should be doing business in the Digital Age!
The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge. Importantly, they have high expectations, diverse in thoughts and technology immersed.
Millennials have come of age during a time of massive technological change, globalization and digital and economic disruption and transformation. Importantly, that’s given them a hugely different set of skills, behaviors and experiences than their parents.
In fact, when Millennials are asked what makes their generation unique, the rank ‘Technology Use’ first at almost 25 percent, followed by ‘Music & Pop Culture’ 12% and being more ‘Liberal & Tolerant’ at almost 10%. In contrast, Baby Boomers ranked ‘Work Ethic’ as their most defining characteristic for their generation! (What a difference over one generation!)
Millennials’ affinity for technology is currently reshaping the retail space. With product information, reviews and price comparisons at their fingertips, Millennials are turning to brands that can offer them maximum convenience at the lowest cost. As the first generation of digital natives, their affinity for technology helps shape how they shop. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews. In fact, most of them use their smartphones to do their comparative shopping!
MILLENNIAL FACTS: ACCESS, NOT OWNERSHIP
- They have been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music and luxury goods. Instead, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what’s being called a “sharing economy.”
- They are the first to come of age with cable TV, the Internet and smartphones, so technology is essentially baked into every Millennial’s DNA.
- Given their fluency and comfort with technology, Millennials have more of a positive view of how technology is affecting their lives than any other generation. More than 74 percent feel that new technology makes their lives easier, and 54 percent feel new technology helps them be closer to their friends and family.
- Perhaps that’s why they’re always glued to their smartphones or the other devices they use more than any other generation. Just how inseparable are they from their devices? An astounding 83 percent say that they sleep with their smartphones, and they’re more than 1.5 times likely to own an iPhone.
DON’T CALL, FRIEND ME or SKYPE ME
Being hardwired to their smartphones and other devices means Millennials can connect their two worlds: one real and one virtual. They are also heavier Internet users than their older counterparts and most view Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, as the face of the generation. That said, Facebook is the platform of choice for 72 percent of this generation, a trait which means their lives are an open book for all to see.
There’s no such thing as too much information with this group. Thirty-two percent of the younger half (age 18-24) use social media from the bathroom and 51 percent of the older crew (age 25-34) take time out of their work day to do their social networking at the office—more than any other age group.
Access to technology and devices is fueling the Millennials’ ability to stay social 24/7. It’s also interesting to note that the Younger Millennials access social media sites more on their laptops than mobile devices, while Older Millennials log in more on mobile apps. Regardless of device, both groups are ‘checking in’ socially between 20 and 21 hours each month.
Millennials have been slower to marry and move out on their own. They have also shown different attitudes to ownership that have spawned what’s being called a “sharing economy.”
Finally, they are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising and eating right. Their active lifestyle influences trends in everything from food and drink to fashion.
For them, wellness is a daily, active pursuit. They’re exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They’re using apps to track training data, and online information to find the healthiest foods. And this is one space where they’re willing to spend their money!
In conclusion, with the first cohort of Millennials in their early thirties now, most are at the beginning of their careers and have become an important driver of the economy AND they will continue to be so in the decades to come. They are the first generation to have had access to the Internet during their formative years. Approximately 61 percent of adult Millennials have attended university or college, whereas only 46 percent of the Baby Boomers did. Millennials are now the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S. population and will shape the future and destiny of the US and world’s economy for decades to come.
So now you understand more fully why, Millennials are the most transformation generation ever. It is their relationship to technology that makes this generation so unique.
Stay passionate; capitalize on this connected group and play to win!
More about Geoff De Weaver:
Hailing originally from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the globally experienced entrepreneur and marketer, technology disruptor, trend hunter, transformation expert, author, keynote speaker and CEO of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.
Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:
‘When Action Meets Passion and Compassion, Lives Change’ ~ Geoff De Weaver