Dream A New Dream
Many millennials have already been confronted with the fact that that the American Dream their parents preached about and taught them to aspire to, no longer exists.
A recent study conducted by economists from Stanford, Harvard and UC Berkely, shows that the percentage of children earning more than their parents is in steep decline, when the cost of living and inflation continues to rise.
Table by The Equality of Opportunity Project.
What does this mean? It means Millennials are living in, and shaping, a different world and businesses need to adapt. Each generation reacts to the one before. The Great Depression Era was spendthrift and valued fixing something when it broke and making things last. Baby Boomers that grew up watching their parents scrimp and save, aspired to have more and amass things to display their wealth and success. Millennials who grew up perhaps seeing all of the "things" didn't make their parents happy and being strapped with student loans and a crummy job market have made the most of what they've been confronted with and see they have opportunity to choose differently.
Millennials watched their parents put their time in and toil with companies they intended to retire with, only to watch those companies merge, collapse, outsource and downsize. As a result, some have lost their pension, life savings and/or retirement. The long hours, the missed time with family, thinking they had job security only to learn there is no job security when you work for someone else.
In response, and with the down job market, Millennials are pursuing more of what makes them happy, since they may not be getting paid well or at all when entering the job market. More are willing to work at non-profits and they are looking to connect with their community. In real estate, we are seeing young people returning to the urban areas where community and culture are cultivated. They are getting by with less... less stuff, less space. Their values are different so their brand loyalty is different. Understanding your customer, their needs and values is the key to connecting and keeping that client.
Don't just take my word for it, watch the business documentary "Millennial Dream".
What does this shift mean? Why should you care? What it means is there are new challenges and opportunities in marketing and advertising to reach and engage Millennials. You may need to rethink your time-tested strategies that are now producing waning results. Innovation and adaptation are the keys to long term business success. Many digital branding and marketing agencies will provide a free brand analysis to make recommendations for opportunities you may be missing; whether because you aren't aware of the opportunity or because you can't take time away from your business.