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  • 7 Things You Got Wrong About Millennials

    The Millennial market is one of, if not the most important consumer segments to marketers right now. They represent a tremendous shift in the way consumers interact with brands, mostly built off of the growth of the internet and social technology over the last 10 years. For years marketers have been relentlessly searching for the best ways to market to Millennials; however, a new study conducted by my company, Mr Youth and Intrepid, is showing that perceptions of what Millennials want are different than we had originally thought.

    [Disclosure: I am employed at Mr. Youth]

    Take a look at some of the findings from our study, Millennial Inc., which shed some new light on old perceptions.

    It’s not always about price

    It used to be thought that price was the ultimate driver of purchases, but now research shows that longevity is a stronger concern. Millennials don’t always have the most disposable income, but they are willing to pay extra for a product that will last.

    Green shmeen!

    I’ve felt this way for a long time, but it’s taking some time for marketers to realize that Millennials don’t care that much about being “green”. This generation is definitely concerned about the environment, but you can’t sell products that way. In fact, only 20% of respondents in the international study were concerned about the effect their lifestyle has on the environment.

    Celebrities are not good spokespeople

    If it was the 90’s I’d be all for celebrity endorsements, but it’s 2010 and you’re not going to get Millennials that easily. Celebrities have great pop image value, but they don’t have the same impact they once did in marketing – not even Robert Pattison.

    Uncertainty is no big deal

    Millennials don’t have the employer loyalty that Boomers have. The average college graduate only stays at their first job for around a year, while many others are willing to wait to find the right position. The research shows that 37% of Millennials sought out their last job because they “just needed a change”. As Millennials age it will be hard to find 20+ year company veterans.

    They’re not as lazy as you think

    Millennials, especially those younger on the spectrum, have a notorious reputation for being lazy. Most participants in the study said that they prefer to work in a challenging work environment while also stating that they would like their work to be rewarding, interesting, exciting and relaxed.

    Everyone doesn’t hate “The Man”

    Although the Millennial generation was the group that made Facebook in to what it is today, only 1% of participants in the research study cited Facebook as a company they aspire to work for. Other low-ranking companies include MTV, Red Cross, Apple and Pixar while the highest ranked companies were Google and Microsoft.

    The Internet is not the only source of information

    Most marketers seem to think that Millennials live and breathe by their internet connection and that they consume all of their information online. As it turns out, Millennials rank word of mouth as their #1 source of information, followed by TV and webpages.

    For more information and findings from the research study visit www.millennialinc.com


    David Trahan is currently working at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York where he works to develop innovative marketing campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands. He has previously held positions with the Ad Council, Goldman Sachs and others, and is a graduate of the Pace University Lubin School of Business where he received many accolades through his co-op work and on-campus leadership.  David is now a mentor in the Alumni Mentor Program at Pace and is a member of the AD Club of NY Young Professionals Steering Committee. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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    Posted in gen-y, Marketing
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    3 comments on “7 Things You Got Wrong About Millennials
    1. avatar
      Stacy Reeves says:

      Awesome article. As a Millennial myself, I’m sick of hearing the Gen-Y stereotypes from the “experts” that don’t fit me or any of my friends. My friends are far more driven, intelligent, and accomplished at 25 than any generation before us, in my opinion. My favorite tidbit (found on the study’s site) is that “Millennials look to technology to make products more human.” I was just telling this to Dan Schawbel on his post about Twitter. Social media has given businesses a chance to have a public personality, and Millennials not only embrace that, we *expect* it! If a product doesn’t have character and personality, we’re just not that into it.

    2. avatar

      Great Article. Well worth the read.

    3. avatar

      Wow, I’m surprised people said they wouldn’t want to work for Apple or Pixar.

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