Miruna Codeanu

Being rational about millennials

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

Millennials as an audience, millennials as a target, millennials as social media users, bla bla bla. Millennials bla bla bla bla millennials. Millennials, what’s the thing about them? Why are they any different from any previous generation. Their “being different” isn’t more different than the way hippies were different.

It is generally acknowledged that the first millennials were born in 1983. Millennials aren’t social media users. Millennials are the social media. They didn’t adapt to it, they grew up with it. Zuckerberg is a millennial. Millennials grew up online and that has implications.

There is a widespread opinion that millennials are like something you haven’t seen before. Well, there were no cellphones before 1983, right? Because some smart guys had to invent some things before the cell phone existed. La meme chose for the milleninnials. Millennials needed generation X in order to exist, which needed a previous generation and so on from the beginning of time. For information regarding “the hen or the egg” please visit another blog more concerned with the matter. Millennials are different like any generation before them different. Like our grand-grand parents our outraged by Elvis’ hip dance and bare arms. As the human kind went pretty naked before them and nudism isn’t yet legal in public, there were was any further nudity to approach.

Millennials seem to be the scarecrow of marketers. Let’s see what makes millennials scary. They are more liberal. Hmmm…yes…whatever…like any other generation when compared to the one before them. They don’t really care about politics. Yes, I mean that they don’t really have clear view on how “things should be”. So, political values don’t appeal to them. They don’t really care about religion. They seem quite irreligious. Nope, nor do religious values appeal to millennials. Their values and beliefs are actually quite mixed, their access to information and technology giving them the opportunity for form more segmented groups of cultural identity than any other group before them. That’s why it is important they get more personalized messages. And another thing: they are quite commonly unemployed or looking for a job, or changing jobs. Oh, they are also commonly identified as Peter Pan generation, the generation that takes longer to grow up.

What is really different about Generation Y? Open-mindedness? Nope, more open minded than the previous generation? Yes. like any other generation. Wide spread access to technology? No. So, did their parents. Unemployment? Well, it could be the first major economic crisis since the rise of consumerism society. Late adulthood? Nope, we now live longer than at any other point in history. It is only normal, life stages take longer. It seems that from the matter identified as major traits for millennials, one is really different: the economic crisis and social implication. Don’t know if you agree that there is an economic crisis, don’t care, it can be as well as a mental mass illusion, as long as the effects exist, it is real. So, driven by the lack of jobs, social instability, higher life expectancy, millenials are an immature people with a voice on social media. I beg your pardon, what are you scared about? They don’t fit the pattern? Oh well, my dear marketer, you have to adapt, which is essential in this business.

In order to sell sunflower seeds to the person who is very likely to eat them you should know the average sunflower seeds consumer, don’t care if you like him or not. You should know he is much more likely to buy your sunflower seeds if by doing so he can win a gold pendant. One more problem with the Y generation I’ve been talking about since the rise of social media: they are not one. Generation Y is not a massive organism you communicate with, it doesn’t work like that anymore. It is not survival of the fittest, it is survival of the most adaptable, and it applies to marketing too.

PS: Takes one to know one.


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