Mindset of the New Millennial

With close to 75 million people and a projected spending power of $1.4 trillion by 2020, understanding the mindset of the Millennial generation is more than important for brands today – it’s mission-critical. Yet getting through to this generation of independent, critical thinkers is not so simple. Yes, there is a lot of information about how much time they spend on the Internet, and how fixated this generation of 18- to 34-year-olds is with its mobile devices and all the ways to self-express and stay connected via technology.

But beyond knowing how they spend their time and communicate with friends, marketers need to understand the most important aspect of this group of consumers: How they think!

When we understand how this increasingly powerful generation thinks about themselves, their world and their relationships with brands, we can create equally powerful brand experiences and customer relationship programs to capture their immediate attention and secure lifetime value.

Some insights:

According to Cone and AMP research, the top ways Millennials see themselves are (opens as a PDF):

  • Open-minded: 81 percent
  • Intelligent: 80 percent
  • Responsible: 73 percent
  • Thoughtful: 73 percent

Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) study on Millennials shows that they see their generation as having the following personality traits (opens as a PDF):

  • Rebellious
  • Arrogant and Self-Centered
  • Funny, Humorous
  • Hip and Snarky
  • Risk-taking but Lazy

Put those traits together (sans lazy) with entrepreneurialism and you can see why 160,000 businesses started up in just one year were founded by Millennials.

Other research from various groups such as Edelman and Neilsen shows us that Millennials align with organizations and brands that reflect their values.

And those values according to BCG, Neilsen, Edelman and just about any other research firm include:

  • Charity and community
  • Fitness
  • Optimism
  • Excitement
  • Status and Professional Success
  • Adventure
  • Self-expression
  • Connectedness to others

Because for years, consumer research has shown that we consumers most trust people who seem to be just like us when it comes to guiding our choices and purchasing decisions, we marketers have the difficult challenge of trying to incorporate all of the above into one persona and marketing appeal. But it can be done.

Author: Jeanette McMurtry

Jeanette McMurtry is a psychology-based marketing expert providing strategy, campaign development, and sales and marketing training to brands in all industries on how to achieve psychological relevance for all aspects of a customer's experience. She is the author of the recently released edition of “Marketing for Dummies” (Fifth Edition, Wiley) and “Big Business Marketing for Small Business Budgets” (McGraw Hill). She is a popular and engaging keynote speaker and workshop instructor on marketing psychology worldwide. Her blog will share insights and tactics for engaging B2B and B2C purchasers' unconscious minds which drive 90 percent of our thoughts, attitudes and behavior, and provide actionable and affordable tips for upping sales and ROI through emotional selling propositions. Her blog will share insights and tactics for engaging consumers' unconscious minds, which drive 90 percent of our thoughts and purchasing attitudes and behavior. She'll explore how color, images and social influences like scarcity, peer pressure and even religion affect consumers' interest in engaging with your brand, your message and buying from you. Reach her at Jeanette@e4marketingco.com.

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