NEW YORK — They are 77 million strong in the United States — on par with baby boomers — and account for 24% of the country’s population. Enter the millennial generation. Their incomes may still be on the rise but this group’s size and age range equates to impressive purchase power in the long term, which is why retailers and suppliers are wise to stay on their radar. That’s according to new research by Nielsen.
The new Nielsen report, dubbed Breaking the Myths — “No Strings Attached” Generation, will be the topic of a webinar to be held March 25.
“While the millennial generation founded the social media movement, having been born (1977 to 1995) directly into a new era of technology, their interests, backgrounds and aspirations span well beyond what's listed on their Facebook pages,” Nielsen stated. “This generation's digital tendencies, however, mean that marketers and brands need to step up their games in order to keep up and engage with them.”
Key highlights from the study —
- Diverse, expressive and optimistic: Millennials are characterized by more than just their age. As a group, they’re more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation. They value self-expression and artistic pursuits. They’ve been hard hit by the recent turbulence in the economy, but their high education levels and optimism foreshadow their potential future success.
- Driving a social movement back to the cities: If they’re not still living with mom and dad, millennials are fueling an urban revolution looking for the vibrant, creative energy cities offering a mix of housing, shopping and offices right outside their doorstep. They’re walkers and less interested in the car culture that defined baby boomers.
- Struggling, but they have an entrepreneurial spirit: They’ve been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession. They’re dealing with high unemployment, low income and high student loans as they try to establish themselves. However, invention is the daughter of invention and some millennials have hit it big by investing in startups and following the own entrepreneurial pursuits.
- Deal shoppers and desire authenticity: Given their small paychecks, they are savvy shoppers always on the lookout for a good deal. millennials put a premium on authentic, handmade, locally produced goods – and they’re willing to pay more for products from companies with social impact programs. Getting a good deal is a priority, but they won’t compromise on quality. They want to feel good about what they buy.
- Connected and want the personal touch: Technology defines millennials. They sleep with their mobiles and post status updates from the bathroom. When interacting with companies via social media, they value authenticity – they want to feel like they have a personal, direct interaction with the brand – and in return, they’ll advocate and endorse that brand.