Overcoming Millennial Fatigue (They Really Are Different)
There seems to be a new movement — rejecting the idea that Millennials are any different at all.
For the last few years, we’ve watched our news feeds and conference sessions fill up with the subject of marketing to Millennials. At first they were approached as some sort of odd new creature that needed to be studied and poked to understand. Then, people got more confident and began making recommendations on how to “handle” this generation. Now, there seems to be a new movement — rejecting the idea that Millennials are any different at all.
As a Gen X marketing professional with 20 years of experience, I am sympathetic to Millennial fatigue. To spend our careers in an endless discussion of Millennials can seem to be feeding the narcissism we branded them with. If only they really were like everyone else so we could continue to do what we’ve always done in marketing and research. But, to do that is to accept your own obsolescence.
In my company’s years of researching Millennial shopping behaviors, Millennials act in decidedly new ways from Generation X and Boomers. Take the way Millennials (18-34 year olds) and their younger cousins of Generation Z (under 17 years old), — let’s call them Digital Natives — “watch television.” It isn’t actually on a television and they aren’t watching what’s on cable. They are watching PewDiePie and Smosh.
Or, just look at a few of their most well-known revolutionary business ideas: Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Tumblr, Mashable, and Snapchat. All of these businesses have changed not only their product or service category, but the way society now communicates or deals in goods and services.
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