Love us or hate us, we have arrived.
In our work for our clients, we are often asked to “reach the millennial,” and with many on the Brunet-Garcia team who fall within that generational range (widely acknowledged to be those born in 1982-2000), we seem like the perfect agency to ask. But what we Millennials want you to realize is there are facts and data that apply to us, and then there are generalizations.
Generalize the millennial generation, and you typecast me. Perhaps that is a trait of Millennials in and of itself – we don’t like to be typecast. I, too, am trying to separate the facts from fiction. So far, I have a few figured out:
Fact: Millennials are the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S. population (according to the Census Bureau). There is a reason that many companies and businesses are trying to target Millennials. We are their bread and butter, their organization’s financial future. Tap into the hearts and minds of the Millennials, and you will almost certainly prosper.
Not so factual: Millennials are self-centered and disloyal employees, casually jumping from job to job. Most of the Millennials at Brunet-Garcia have been working here for an average of 5 years. Maybe this stereotype isn’t as much about the millennial as it is about the company?
Fact: Millennials prioritize wellness. According to research released in July by marketing firm Deep Focus, Millennials are worried about our healthcare system, and are therefore more likely to yearn for initiatives and benefits that center around a healthy lifestyle.
Not so factual: Millennials are a generation of hipsters with an ultimate goal of destroying what generations before us have worked for. The term “hipster” refers to independent thinking, counter-culture, and progressive politics. In the history of our country’s youth, this doesn’t seem quite so extraordinary. I am convinced that each generation has said – and will say this – about the generation to come. Millennials themselves are sure to say it about Generation Z eventually.
Fact: Millennials have been shaped by technology. Ok, you got me. This is true. But can you blame us? We had access to an entire World Wide Web of information throughout our educational careers. So you’ll just have to look for us where we are. Online.
Not so factual: MIllennials are in constant need of recognition (trophies all around!). IBM’s business consulting arm recently conducted a survey (captured in a Washington Post article), which reported that Millennials are, in fact, less likely to feel entitled to recognition than their Generation X counterparts. In other words, we’ll take the trophy, but only if we deserve it.
I hope to spend my next few blogs breaking down these facts and myths (among others) to determine if any have legs or whether Millennials are actually the most misunderstood generation (I know, I know, perhaps that is a stereotype as well).
In the process, maybe we will find that the answer to reaching the biggest up-and-coming generation through marketing lurks somewhere in the gray area between the generalizations and the proven statistics.
To know us is to love us (and to reach us).