OMG OMG The Millennials Are Coming! What do they want now?!?!?!?!?

Any consultant or organization that is trying to tell you What Millennials Want is full of hot air, or, I suspect, a much more odiferous solid.

Millennials are a myth. And we have proof.

Oh sure, the word millennial is a handy term for a group of people born between 1982 and 2002 or thereabouts (they can’t seem to agree on a definitive timeline) but that’s where the usefulness of the term comes to a screeching halt.

Millennials do NOT all like avocado toast, or flex days, or facial hair, or Netflix, or skateboards, or me-time, or living in their parents’ basement.

Millennials are NOT all commitment-phobic, spoiled and entitled, unbearably smug or self-centered.

I realize this is bad news for every consultant and advisory group out there that is leveraging their in-depth knowledge of the Millennials to help clients figure out how to appeal to a new and exotic species of consumers/employees.

The fact is we must not try and change our products, services, brands, policies, institutions or ideas for the Millennials because they only resemble each other 15% of the time. In other words, Millennials disagree on everything 85% of the time. They are not even aligned enough to be considered a group.

Basing decisions of any sort on a group with so little in common is like slapping a clown with a noodle: it’s absurd, ridiculous and a huge waste of time.

How do we know? Along with a sociologist from a leading university, we designed and administered 60,000 social-science surveys across Canada and the United States. We included as many as 340 questions in survey waves, and set quotas that statistically represent the populations of both countries.

The questions were adapted from the World Happiness Index, the Bhutan Gross Domestic Happiness index, and other proven social-science tools. We studied this immense data pool for close to two years, and two startling facts emerged.

First, age-based cohorts of any sort, including Millennials, disagree on pretty much everything pretty much all of the time.

Age is irrelevant. As an example, across all 340 variables, Boomers only agree 13% of the time. Generation X scored an 11% agreement across all 340 metrics. And the Millennials? Well, as mentioned, they agree with each other just 15% of the time.

With results like these, how can we even consider them to be a group? We can’t. We can’t and we shouldn’t be running about changing things for a group that can’t even be defined as a group beyond the one rock-solid-ish fact that we know for certain more-or-less; which is when they were born, kind of, roughly.

The second startling fact our survey uncovered?

As much as the use of age-based demographic groups is a really horrible way to profile the wants, needs, or expectations of any age group — including the so-called Millennials — the use of shared values is a remarkably effective way to cluster people for the sake of creating market segments or audience profiles.

We call this Valuegraphics, instead of demographics.

Based on our 60,000 surveys, across those 340 questions we asked, valuegraphic groups are aligned as much as 89% of the time. And age doesn’t matter, not even a bit.

The age of age is over.

Age cannot be used to define the wants, needs or expectations of any target audience. Our shared values can however, because our values are what motivate us most.

Valuegraphics are the new science of mass market motivation.

Want more info? Just google #Valuegraphics and you’ll find a lot to read. And watch for the book, We Are All The Same Age Now: Valuegraphics and the New Science of Mass Market Motivation, due out in the spring of 2018.

David Allison | Marketing Expert, Author & Pioneer of Valuegraphics

David Allison’s research has led to a discovery that will change the way you work, and the way you think about the world. Data from a staggering 40,000 surveys proves that demographics are dead, and that shared values, or ‘Valuegraphics’, are a far more powerful way to motivate target markets. Valuegraphics disprove outdated ideas about age, income, and gender, and will multiply the effectiveness of every marketing dollar as much as 700%.

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