A Millennial by any other name would still smell as sweet to a brand
Born between the early 1980s and 2000? Remember Italia ‘90 or USA ‘94 as your first soccer World Cup? Born in a time when mobile phones replaced landlines as the phone of choice? Let alone could access the internet, or fit in the pocket of your jeans; and when Jurassic Park was about as advanced as cinema got? Well then you, dear reader, are a Millennial. But maybe you don’t identify with such a label? Perhaps you are familiar with ‘Generation Y’, the obvious follow-up to ‘Generation X.’ Or maybe in your country you are familiar with another bucket term.
In perhaps the least catchy iteration of this category of people, McKinsey research has identified the ‘Generation 2’ or ‘G2’ segment in China. By comparison, the naming convention of ‘The Peter Pan Generation’, a cash rich, time poor, fun loving tribe of 25-40 year olds determined to wring every drop of opportunity out of the capital before considering marriage, mortgage and a family of their own is perhaps a more romantic iteration, although not widely adopted. The localization of these naming conventions to essentially describe the same group of people is even more apparent in Europe.
Following the European financial crisis of 2007-2008 a number of names entered the mainstream media lexicon to describe the disenfranchised youth with limited employment and career prospects. Greece went with ‘The Generation of €700’ to describe their marginalized Millennials that receive the minimum allowable base salary of €700 when they can’t find work. In Spain, the ‘mileurista’ – denoting €1000 – is parallel to ‘The Precarious Generation’ in France and ‘The Generation of €1000’ in Italy.
Whatever term you use, the issues that impact Millennials are broadly the same: their attitudes are largely in sync, and as the economic recovery continues the disillusioned are finding enlightenment and spending power. The spending power of Millennials is estimated to be $170 billion per year according to comScore.
With this comes a realization that Millennials define new rules of engagement between the individual and brands. This focus largely exists around the fair exchange of data that an ever-connected and technology device driven world has brought about. Millennials are always on and so their habits, beliefs, behaviors, motivations and expectations are shaped accordingly. Brands that realize the mind-set of a Millennial and approach them in a targeted manner will be able to reap the rewards of the massive market opportunity.
SDL has released an infographic that illustrates the results of custom research into a North American Millennial community. The research explores how Millennials dictate the relationship between brand and consumer in what represents a rapid departure from the traditional model of unilateral brand based broadcasts, and where optimization and localization of communications must be relevant, engaging and of value to the Millennial end user.