Millennials Become an Important Market Force

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Millennials Become an Important Market Force

Various experts place the birth dates for the oldest members of the Millennial Generation, also know as Generation Y, as early as 1979, while others place the birth date for the youngest Millennials as late as 2004. For psychographic segmentation purposes, theTrends editors define Millennials as people born between 1984 and 2002. Using this definition, there are more than 76 million Millennials, compared to only about 60 million Generation Xers. And, regardless of the specific definition, it’s fair to say that this generation has never known anything but seemingly boundless prosperity.

Video games, VCRs, DVDs and PCs have been a part of their lives from the beginning. The World Wide Web has been around for most of their lives. In fact, they are the first generation for whom digital technology has been embedded into their daily lives from early childhood. That’s why the members of Generation Y, sometimes called Echo Boomers, consider such things as cell phones, iPods, and portable electronic games to be “essentials of everyday life,” not luxury items.

The studies that have been done on them show that:

  • They were often the offspring of indulgent parents. They are idealistic, involved, and impatient.
  • They are focused on building relationships and a social fabric.
  • They live in a world of hyperspace that includes blogs, text messages, and a presence on MySpace, Facebook, or other networking sites.

They shop online frequently, but they typically spend their parents’ money. At this point, they have not joined the ranks of those who save or do much other banking. Most will have credit cards before bank accounts. And, those who have begun to choose such services show a marked preference for convenience.

Their world is an “on-demand world.” Millennials are used to getting exactly what they want exactly when and how they want it. The tend to live in a time zone that is defined as “whenever they’re awake.” Millennials have always had access to nearly everything at the touch of a button. Because of the extremely rapid advances in technology since the 1980s, Gen Y has always known hundreds of channels of television, instant access movies through DVDs, and the Internet.

They have a very low tolerance for being lied to or tricked. As pointed out in the magazine American Banker,1 Millennials seem to have already developed goals and expectations. And, they are moving rapidly toward achieving them...

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