Pew Social Trends (pewsocialtrends.org) defines millennials as people born between 1980 and the year 2000. But, it’s how you were raised, and your familiarity with the culture into which you were born, which truly defines whether not you’re a true millennial. Yes, you have to be born between 1980 and 2000 to fit in to that demographic, but the other traits shared by millennials are important too.
They Grew Up with the Internet
Well, at least what they can remember. The oldest millennials didn’t come into this technology in mass numbers until high school or college, but the rest – it’s just always been there. It’s no different to them than having running water or a TV with 100 channels with nothing on. It’s just always been part of their lives and they expect it to continue.
They Love Their Mobile Devices
These gadgets have grown and improved during their lifetime. An iPhone today has more memory and use than their dad’s old computer from the 90s. But, they take them with them everywhere, even to bed. They look up everything, watch videos while waiting in line and always have a lot of input and activity going on at all times.
They like Transparency
Not only do they want it from any one they do business with, they will offer it too. To them complaining is not a bad thing. They just think it’s being honest and truthful. So, if a business oversells something and it doesn’t live up to expectations, they’ll complain loudly and more than likely return it.
In the old days, if you missed a movie at the theater it was gone. Today, you can watch thousands of movies online and you can buy books online and have them delivered instantly. No more shopping several bookstores to find the book. You can even get two-day shipping for groceries. Waiting for anything seems passé.
They’re into Equality
You might think everyone is, but not like millennials. These people do not care about labels, even labels that define gender. They are into “equal” and what that means and what that stands for and they eschew gender roles and norms. On the whole, they are progressive and don’t care if people are gay, straight, bi, or trans – what’s more, they won’t ask because they really don’t care.
Reality over Fantasy
One reason reality shows and YouTube shows have such big stars, is because to them reality is a lot more fascinating than fake. Even if some of the reality is fake, it’s okay – because overall it’s real and that’s what matters to them. That’s why they really like TV shows that are more reality based than not.
If you really want to appeal to millennials, you’ll need to be real and transparent, and your products need to work. If they don’t, they’ll tell all their friends. And since most of them have far more social media friends than “real life” friends, that could be a disaster.