Guest Contributor – Veronica Hunt
Millennials are the most targeted audience with estimated $200 billion purchasing power in 2017. Naturally, it is the main reason why most of entrepreneurs strive to understand the psychology of these big spenders. Big companies generously fund Gen Y studies to be the first who get competitive data.
Of course, there are some myths that characterize millennials as the Me Me Me generation with narcissistic features and pocket-vibration syndrome. Being a millennial myself, I do regard such claims built more on stereotypes and formed bias than real facts. You have to understand the millennial’s mindset and not just focus on separate negative features every generation obtains.
So, being tired of all accusations about millennials’ laziness and disloyalty, I’ve decided to involve psychology and the most recent studies on Gen Y profile.
1. Accept the change of Gen Y’s priorities
Even though millennials purchasing power is measured in billions, Gen Y faced lower employment levels and huge student loan payments. Just have a look at the data from Goldman Sachs infographic:
According to this chart, an average postgraduate will have to spend 25 years paying his student loan. Which is why millennials changed their priorities and instead of leaving their parents’ house and buying their own houses or other luxury goods, millennials spend more money on their health, eco-friendly clothes, food and gadgets. It helps them stay socially connected.
2. Do not regard all millennials narcissistic
A new Emory University research debunks a popular myth about millennials’ annoying narcissism. It might be difficult to believe after reading The Time’s article “The Me Me Me Generation ”. Yet hard economic times and high unemployment rates actually tempered millennials’ egos and made them less narcissistic later in life. However, it affected more men than women whose identities are supposed to be less achievement-oriented. Thus, accusing all Gen Y representatives of selfishness is another stereotype born in our society.
3. Study the best practices to market to millennials
The best way to understand psychology of millennials is to focus on famous brands’ marketing strategies. You can see some of them in the chart above. Gen Y made a real marketing revolution ignoring the intrusive methods of outbound marketing and spurred big brands to start their charity programs. Besides, among all generations, millennials are socially committed, environmentally responsible caregivers. Thus, such a positive feature of millennials encouraged the majority of companies to create products with substantial benefits for society and environment. Another big brand UBER ride-sharing service used the Gen Y’s tendency to sharing economy. It is Gen Y’s reluctance to carry the burden of property or cars which distinguishes millennials from other generations.
4. Be more patient to anxious millennials
If you were irritated by Gen Y’s anxiety to any issue, then you should ask a millennial how much hours he or she has slept. As a 2013 study showed Me generation has the worst sleep deprivation statistics. Besides, millennials worsen their anticipatory anxiety using lap tops and phones before going to bed. Inability to relax and get enough sleep makes millennials so impatient, irritated, stressed, and inconsistent.
5. Support the idea of healthy eating and exercising
It’s almost surprising how millennials focus on their healthy habits neglecting sleep. They do not save money on expensive athletic apparel and eco products. Millennials also refuse from bad habits of their ancestors such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs. Yes, it irritates much when another girl clutters Facebook newsfeed with her selfies in the gym or displays a plate of broccoli and home-made cheese. But you should realize that social expression is the part of their identity and almost necessity to stay ahead in the race to success.
About the Author:
Veronica Hunt is an edtech expert and an experienced blogger from Philadelphia, PA. As a blogger, Veronica sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of marketing, social media and psychology. Apart from work, she adores travelling and yoga. Contact Veronica on Twitter @VeronicaHuntt or Facebook.