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The Millennial Mindset: Connecting with Tomorrow’s Leaders

Like many organizations, yours may be asking the question, “How can we connect with younger audiences?” You’re probably specifically concerned with reaching Millennials.

Today’s 15-30 year-olds represent a unique demographic with very distinct attributes.  Older generational groups often misunderstand the Millenials’ DNA or wiring. By truly understanding what has defined Millennials, we can authentically connect with their world and their expectations.

PURPOSE Millennials want to be inspired, to belong, and to be a part of something that makes a difference and makes life better for others.

MEANING Millennials are searching for deeper meaning. They understand that spirituality is a key component to finding meaning and they’re less inclined to believe their parents’ “religion.” They want to learn it and own it for themselves.

LOYAL Millennials are very savvy when it comes to brands they like. In addition to expecting brands to represent themselves well, it’s paramount that brands stand for something Millennials believe in and can invest their lives in.

EXPRESSIVE They are known as the “look at me” generation because their world is transparent to everyone. Reality TV, YouTube, and Facebook have demonstrated that one’s life should be shared with others as it unfolds. While parents have little understanding for their transparency, Millennials see it as a comfortable norm.

CAUSE Millennials are a doing generation. They are less interested in predictable organizational programs and more intrigued by “getting their hands dirty” for a noble and worthy cause. This generation truly acts on its passion and desire of making the world a better place.

More qualities of Millennials…

+ Forever impacted by 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq/Afghan War, Columbine, and Virginia Tech, presidential election of 2008, and the mortgage/economic meltdown of recent years.
+ World catastrophes, such as the Haiti earthquake, have heightened their commitment and hands on involvement to humanitarian causes.
+ Social networking is essential to their existence and community. 76% belong to a MySpace/Facebook equivalent.
+ Wired… more so than any other generation. 97% own a computer, 94% own a cell phone, 60% own an iPod or media device, 76% use instant messaging services.
+ Corporate America spends billions annually through product development and marketing because of their savvy purchasing power as a new consumer group.
+ Known as the over stimulated generation because of their insatiable appetite for media and constant connectivity to their computer or cell phone.
+ Social networking sites have created an online journal of their daily experiences, which makes this generation the most outwardly expressive generation to date.
+ Overly saturated marketing and product creation has fueled their passion and loyalty for the anti-establishment or counter culture brands. Mac instead of PC, Indie music downloads instead of radio stations, alternative merchandising instead of mainstream brands.
+ Their empowerment as a generation has created a spirit of over achievement and a desire to truly change the world. Millennials have even watched their peers create highly successful business ventures and fund raisers as teenagers.
+ Everything is viewed as a larger than life experience. Media and marketing has created a sensationalized expectation through video games, reality shows, and products.
+ Millennials are the most outwardly expressive generation and commonly see themselves as self-made brands.

This is a mere snapshot of what’s shaped the Millennial generation. But, by gaining a deeper understanding of them, it will facilitate making genuine connections to their world. We do know this generation can spot feeble attempts to speak their language and nothing is more intrusive and offensive to them than that. They’re skeptics. They’re finicky. And it’s not enough to communicate to them through safe, canned, or predictable methods. They’re ready to be channeled and challenged. They’re ready to help you make a difference in this world.

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One Response

  1. […] grew up with the Internet and cell phones. From birth, they have had strong parental involvement and as a result, they expect strong, active […]

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