For Dads and Moms: These Are Millenials

What do we, who grew up on torrents and youtubers, really want? Why are we so special?

Many people pointed out that marketing Moms and Dads have nothing left to do, just organize conferences about millenials and talk there about how to sell us stuff. Because we won’t tell much about ourselves. We, generation Y and Z. Millenials. Born between 1980 and 2000. So, here you go. The message from a millenial about who are we indeed. Plus I present you further a gadget how to create your own, millennial marketing personas. The Maximums of Millennials.

But first and most important thing is, we are special. Firstly the fact that all the names like Babyboomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Z have come to use in the Millenials era. We are special to you, because you make us special yourselves. Thomas Hyllland Eriksen says, in Tyrany of the Moment, that 21st century started in 1991. We are special especially for you, Xs, because we jumped from you in the field of our hobbies and technologies much faster than you from your parent’s generation. The Tyrany of the Moment talks about a peculiar question — why is it harder and harder to find out some breakthrough idea, to do huge amount of work or to create something big, when the little everyday things take more and more time? Shouldn’t it be easier with technologies? The exponentially growing curve of information, inovations, technologies and their „revolutionarism“ — the rate how much they overrun the former technologies — , causes the amount of difference, which is significantly (exponentialy) bigger between the Millenials and X than between X and Babyboomers. First radio broadcast from Metropolite Opera in New York was in 1910, to make it to TV it took another 30years (1947), we got to teletext in 1970 and already in 1991 WWW firstly ran in Cern labaratories and in year 2006 could anyone above the age 13 join Facebook.

In 2012 first virtual reality glasses Oculus were released on Kickstarter and in 2014 we could buy glasses controlled by voice and connected to the internet (Google Glass). In year 2016 Elon Musk said he could get us to Mars and he thought we were living in virtual reality already.

We are also special because we think we are. I will pursue the point of view of the Millienal in a post-socialstic country, because all the facts mentioned above and below this can’t be fully related to the Millenials in US, East Asia or Latin America. We are the first generation that experienced the life without Iron Curtain, we are the first generation that lives in freedom since we were born. Unfortunately we are, specificaly in Czech Republic, the generation that didn’t fully experience the enthusiasm and oportunities of 90' (we were too young for that), but lives the adolescence and adult life in free country with all the responsibility and inconvinieces that bring capitalism and free society. And because we feel the world is hard to handle, we depend on the thought that every single one of us will be special. That we will be better than the others, because otherwise it would mean we were born into screwed up life. We have a feeling that social differences don’t exist and anybody can have (achieve) what they want. Even if it was only in virtual reality.

More about why are we that special

The contrast between the desire of being special, significant for surroundings and desire to make your ideal world in virtual (paralel) reality leads me to the necessity to look at the target group’s behaviour differently and how to divide it. Just look at some instagram accounts of your colleagues and you will find out how much it differs from from the real life and their real appearance.

In last 20 years marketing made huge steps, of course. We have learned almost everything about the customer and comunication behaviour of humankind — we know how we perceive different colours, cleverly combine them into corporate identities. We made up brand archetypes to which we can visually match different shapes and geometrical relevances for the logotype to reach the right people. We can find out what shelves do we lay our eyes on firsty and for the longest period of time in supermarket, we know where to place call-to-action on the product package to reach our goal. We understand the human behaviour. But how much do we understand how the Millenials behave?

You could say we are not that special after all. „Don’t lose your sh*t just because of the Millenials for God’s sake“. But we are twice as different as you and your parents used to be. And while Generation X and Babyboomers used to be more or less homogeneous groups, Millenials are sorted in many clans. Look at the music trends- 50', 60', 70', 80¨and 90' had their own, absolutely dominant genres that influenced the whole pop-culture scene. But can you name any major genre in pop after 2000? Softened R’n’B? Minecraft song? O Millenial whoop?

So anyhow we react to the same colours and logo shapes, anyhow we will look at the same spots as you in the shelves, we have signigicantly different behaviour and above all, very different expectations towards the product or the brand. As I said I will try to make a Millenial’s serie of maximums. Nine scales, five points each, where you can put together the psychological profile of your target, millenial group.

Why to aim the Millenials acording to mindset?

Nine maximums of a Millenial

Maximums of millenial serve as a gadget to make up a mindset of your target group.

In each scale you should chose one or two values your Millenial identifies with. Merge of two Millenial’s groups — Generation Y (1980–1990 and Generation Z (1991–2000) consequenses with huge idea-disunity. That’s why the scale is sorted into five options, were the edge ones are almost oposing each other. The result should help you set together the communication strategy and create unique target group personas. Don’t forget one thing: all the values below are more expressions of Millenial’s desire than reality. Take it as exagerration and consider your model as an extreme expression of your target group’s desires.

How do we consume movies?

Pick one:

Download / Stream / HbbTV / VOD / Cinema only

When it comes to watching media, online streaming attracts them, because the content is delivered the fastest way possible. Lifestyle is also an important aspect. While you might think it is normal to watch some show when it’s being broadcasted in TV, majority of them will tend to watch the same show as soon as it is online. One part of them has it like this because they’ve decided not to have TV, others prefer to stay connected with other people watching through social media. In the TV era we waited for the repetition of episodes. Today the spectators just go and watch it on Netflix.

Millennials Prefer Streaming Content Rather than Downloading Them

The most popular kind of paid content for Millennials are movies and TV shows — 55% of them claims they paid in last year in order to download, hire or stream movies or TV shows on iTunes, Netflix or another paid services. Another 23% use these services and have them paid by somebody else (parents, employers, partners…) In this point of view it’s the biggest amount of people using some service paid together or paid by someone else. And 20% claim they do not use any forpaid service for watching movies or TV.

American Press Institute: Digital lives of Millennials

What do we want to spend our money on?

Pick one:

Minimalism / Veganism / Slow fashion / Ikea life-weekend shoppers / Golden summit

When it comes to trash, my grandma used to fill one little bag (the milk used to be packed in those bags that time) once a week. That was all her trash. Everything else from kitchen went to compost or for animals. That was my childhood. We could hear that in Zero Waste conference from Tomáš Hajzler, founder of publishing house Peoplecomm and zero waste propagator.

Full stocked shops just make us stressed (czech only)

Can you believe the human desires are endless? Even if you have two iPads, the children want another, better, more expensive one. They are artifically endless. The needs have end, but not the desires and cravings. Children, desire, adveritesement — pressure has different shapes and it’s up to you how you will handle it. You can work even more and buy the third iPad for children. Or you can try and offer them yourself instead. Buy nothing and be more present at home. You know it would be right to do it this way. Just look at any movie and when you’ll find something where the accusation, that parents have no time for children due to their work, is absent, let me know. If our civilization constantly points out that it itself makes something nobody really needs, if we do not have any time for our children and still making movies about it, there’s probably something seriously wrong.

Golden summit, robots and digital habitat (czech only)

„Man is constantly under the pressure of advertisment to buy as much as possible. So I hoard the clothes, but yet I didn’t have anything to wear.“ Says Eva Urbanová in ČT documentary Slow Fashon. She found out the concept of slow fashion that is friendly to people and environment.

Generation What (czech only)

How we want to work?

Pick one:

Employee / New benefits / Lean approach / Startup / Freelancer

I told a story about Nina and Jackson in our leadrship training meeting. Managers reacted very differently. About three quarters of them said: „That’s a great story about millenial. I have few young people like these in my team. They work hard, but they also dare to say much more than we did in their age. It is completely new era. Those kids know where are their strenghts and weaknesses.“ The rest of managers weren’t pleased about the story. „I can’t believe that Nina, the boss of the company, lets Jackson talk to her like that!“ they said. „He is an employee, the lowest rank employee. He should do what he’s told. It’s his problem, when he doesn’t want to. It is his job!“

Forbes: The Truth About Managing Millennials

And then, few days after, he noticed that Mr.Pavelski tweeted link to Medium, well known blog platform, where most people write cathartic, personal essays. In the post named How To Become Crazy And Start To Build A Bunker On a Tree wrote Pavelski about his feelings of burnout at work and how he decided to bulid his childish bunker on a tree as a therapy. The article started with: „At work I said I was going to a funeral, but I lied.“

New York Times: What Happens When Millennials Runs The Workplace

Where do we think the goodwill can be generated in a company and who is responsible for that?

Pick one:

Commercial sector / CSR / Non-profit sextor / Me (act local) / Community / Public institutions

In the young people’s perspective there is some kind of intuition about fragility and inequality of the world. Overall insecurity, fear of inssuficient education and the problem with getting a job — that are the real fears in becomming independent. It’s not a surprise. The market system brings the only receipe for similar risks: everything needs to work as a company. The country and the individual. Everybody needs to be his own manager. Every person trasforms him/herself into the company: there is a need to compete, profesionally organize own performance and eficiency and maximalize „human capital“. In their field, in personal and intimate life.

Generation What (czech only)

What do we consider as luxury?

Pick one:

Ostentatious richness / Feeling safe / Healthy food / Space for living / Being offline

Respondent B shops luxurious items only. Handbags, clothes or cosmetics, he always prefers luxury. He likes professionality of service, trusts his favourite brands and he likes to come back to them, because the product of this brand withstands for ages, he believes in the quality and the price is not an issue while shopping. On the other hand, respondent D almost never purchases luxurious brands. He likes quality things, but he doesn’t find it reasonable to spend so enormous amount of money only for the brand. He perceives the difference between quality and non-quality jacket, but not between quality one and luxurious one. Luxury becomes the synonym for overpricing. Even though the author says that the desire for quality, originality and some kind of standard in clothing show that the respondents are fully aware they belong to upper social class and they want to be distinguishable from usual consumer.

Fresh Eye (czech only)

Can you believe the human desires are endless? Even if you have two iPads, the children want another, better, more expensive one. They are artifically endless. The needs have end, but not the desires and cravings. Children, desire, adveritesement — pressure has different shapes and it’s up to you how you will handle it. You can work even more and buy the third iPad for children. Or you can try and offer them yourself instead. Buy nothing and be more present at home. You know it would be right to do it this way. Just look at any movie and when you’ll find something where the accusation. that parents have no time for children due to their work, is absent, let me know. If our civilization constantly points out that it makes something nobody really needs , if we do not have any time for our children and still making movies about it, there’s probably something seriously wrong.

Golden summit, robots and digital habitat (czech only)

How do we perceive news and opportunities?

Pick one:

Multichannel entertainment / Instant experience / Procrastination / New knowledge / Never stop exploring

And then, after a day full of fun, something shocking hapened. Isabel Oakenshott, journalist from Daily Mirror, who has written that biography together with Lord Ashcroft, stepped up and said on the TV she is not sure if her huge and scandalous article tells the truth after all. Under pressure to show her evidence to that sensational statement she admitted she didn’t have any.

The Guardian: How Technology Disrupted The Truth

How do we see the future of our relationships

Pick one:

Marriage and children / Partner and wedding / Partner and children / Partner / Friends with benefits / Singles

We talk and chat, snap and do sexting. We waste time and drink, go for coffees and beer — all these things we do only to find the real date. We send private messages to meet and talk for an hour just to go home again and continue in talking online. We avoid any possibility to reach the real connection by playing games with each other that has no winner. We compete for titles „The most indifferent individual“, „The most pathetic one“ or for being the best in „Emotional unattainability“ which all ends up in winning the game of „The loneliest one“.

The Huffington Post: We Are the Generation That Doesn’t Want Relationships

Alejandra is not a sexual worker. She does not have an sexual intercourse with peple for money and she doesn’t stand on the corner waiting for clients. But recently she spent half an hour having sex in exchange for free internet. Her paycheck is simply not enough for all the things she wants — marble table, expensive bottles of whiskey, washing machine or wi-fi. And Alejandra, of course, likes sex — only if she can choose her partner. She and growing number of Mexicans merge two things — desire for sex and for stuff they cannot afford.

Vice: Inside the Secret Facebook Groups Where People Exchange Sex For Services

How important is sex to us?

Pick one:

Every day / Occasionally / As a confirmation of relationship / One night stand / Straight edge

Nobody knows how beautiful life really is until you experienced the drought season. There’s something about that statement, that the period of unintended celibate and loneliness shows you your existence very sharply and vvidly. That’s what Josh Harnett tried to say in 40 days, 40 nights. But times are changing and we see the news that teenagers under 18 are drinking less, taking drugs less and smoking less. Basically they are becoming the group of nimble forty-year olds before they reach their 25.

Vice: What It’s Like to Be a Millennial in a Sexless Relationship

The study from August, by publishing house Springer reveals higher numbers of sexual non-activity between Millenials. In contrast to medial image of „one night stand generation“ it seems that widely spread online dating is not as succesful as we thought.

What do the social network give us?

Pick one:

Image / Self-realization / New information — entertainment / Stalking / I don’t care

Adam works as freelance consulting marketer based in Prague, focussing on brand developement, marketing strategy and srategic communication. This article has been published originally in Médiář, more can be found at www.adamkontra.cz