Do You Really Understand Millennial Consumers...and Associates?

Do You Really Understand Millennial Consumers ... and Associates?

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A Gallup study – entitled “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” – begins with this overview of the impact of Millennials: “People often ask Gallup, ‘Are Millennials really that different?’ 


The answer is yes – profoundly so. Millennials will change the world decisively more than any other generation. Millennials will continue to disrupt how the world communicates – how we read and write and relate. They are disrupting retail, hospitality, real estate and housing, transportation, entertainment and travel, and they soon will radically change higher education. Millennials are altering the very social fabric of America and the world. They’re waiting longer to get married and have children, and they’re less likely than other generations to identify with specific religions or political parties. Millennials change jobs more often than other generations – more than half say they’re currently looking for a new job. Millennials are changing the very will of the world. So we, too, must change.”


In the United States, there are roughly 73 million Millennials – by definition, those born between 1980 and 1996. Many of your customers – and, perhaps, a significant percentage of your associates – are Millennials. Based on that, it is important to understand how to better engage with Millennial associates – and to more effectively relate to Millennial consumers.


MERCHANDISING TIP OF THE WEEK. These nine observations from the Gallup “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” study highlight the mindset of Millennials in the workplace – and as they visit your stores.


“Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workforce.” (From the Gallup survey): “Only 29% of Millennials are engaged, meaning they are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company. The majority of Millennials (55%) are not engaged, leading all other generations in this category of workers. Not engaging Millennial workers is a big miss for organizations. Many Millennials likely do not want to switch jobs, but their companies are not giving them compelling reasons to stay. While they can come across as wanting more and more, the reality is that Millennials just want a job that feels worthwhile – and they keep looking until they find it.” 


“Millennials are on the lookout for new jobs.” (From the Gallup survey): “Gallup data reveals that 21% of Millennials report changing jobs within the last year, which is three times the number of non-Millennials who report the same. Gallup estimates that Millennial turnover costs the U.S. $30.5 billion annually.


“For Millennials, performance management requires a constant focus on feedback.” (From the Gallup survey): “Millennial workers are more engaged when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback. 44% of Millennials who report that their manager holds regular meetings with them are engaged, while only 20% of Millennials who do not meet regularly with their manager are engaged. Unfortunately, only 21% of Millennials and 18% of non-Millennials meet with their manager on a weekly basis.”


“Millennials are the most wired generation.” (From the Gallup survey): “Millennials get the vast majority of their information and news from the Internet. But Millennials rely on the Internet for far more than news and information. For instance, at least 80% reported using it to manage their finances, pay bills, shop online, and watch or listen to online content in the past 30 days.”


“Millennials are least likely to say religion is important to them.” (From the Gallup survey): “A majority of Millennials (55%) say that religion is important to them, but this falls far below the 65% of Gen-Xers, 70% of Baby Boomers, and 76% of traditionalists who say the same.”


“Millennials are most likely to identify as politically independent and moderate.” (From the Gallup survey): “The entire population of Millennials has now reached voting age in the U.S., affording this generation the potential to wield tremendous political power.”


“For Millennials, consumer experience misses the mark.” (From the Gallup survey): “Only one in four Millennials are fully engaged – meaning they are emotionally and psychologically attached to a brand, product or company. What is more discouraging is that Millennial customers are also much more likely to be actively disengaged than any other generation of consumers.”


“Spending – for Millennials – lags behind 2008 levels.” (From the Gallup survey): “In 2008, Americans ages 19 to 35 were spending an average of $98 per day. Among that same age group, spending has now fallen by $13. Among older Americans, spending is on par with 2008 levels. Perhaps because of their lower wages and higher amounts of student debt, Millennials are unable to catch up to pre-2008 spending levels, while older generations are less likely to have those constraints. That difference in spending, it is estimated, costs the U.S. economy at least $949 million each day.”


“Millennials spending and saving behaviors show contradictions.” (From the Gallup survey): “On the thrifty side of the ledger, around seven in ten Millennials have gone online to compare prices (71%), The percentage of Millennials purchasing generic or store brand goods has increased, while declining by 3% among older generations. Millennials are much more likely to have purchased used goods than members of the other generations. However, Millennials are much more likely to go shopping for fun, to have made an impulse purchase and to have made a major purchase that cost at least one week’s pay. Impulse purchase and big-ticket purchases have notably increased among Millennials.”


Success, in this new year, could be dependent upon the ability to better understand your Millennial associates – and to appeal to Millennial consumers. While the information shared above does not necessarily describe every Millennial, the trends are undeniable. Happy Selling! 






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