“We’re targeting millennials with our mobile-ready, design-heavy, super retro widget that does everything in the blink of an eye!” – If this sounds like you, please take a step back.
The whole attitude towards aiming a product or service at a group of individuals is misguided; ‘millennials’ are simply a badly designed group. Because in reality, today’s young people are not that unique when you consider the groups of young people from previous generations. They’re just young!
Some characteristics are undeniably true: for example, today’s young people have less money than older people did at the same age. They are also getting married later, having children at an older age (or don’t), and are also known in some circles as ‘Generation Rent’ due to the challenge of buying a home post the 2008 financial crash, unless they inherit.
They are also much more tech savvy than before and have high expectations from the brands they interact with, but as a rule, the millennials are simply far too large to be a real group. For one, how can someone born in 1980 (36-37) can have anything in common with someone born in 2000 (16-17)? Age aside, when people are young, they’re striving to find themselves, identify with subcultures, develop their own interests and habits etc. Believe it or not, not all millennials check social media every waking minute, or love your brand just because it’s buzzy right now!
Young people are also typically early adopters of new technology, but this is not exclusive to this generation whatsoever – again, it’s just being young. They lose interest when the older generations latch onto what they did earlier in the adopter model. Today’s teens are supposedly leaving Facebook, arguably because it’s not ‘theirs’ any more, with their Generation X parents now largely signed up. Once the late, older majority join in (or laggards), the early adopters move on to something else. On the other hand, we have this mind-blowing reversal of old tech becoming ‘cool’ – I never thought I’d see the day when CDs were considered old hat.