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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Millennials

What or who are the Millennials? They are the generation that was born between 1982 - 2000 and they just starting to come into their own. My youngest daughter belongs to that group.

I first heard that term in the CBC radio interview I talked about in July.Then today I received a newsletter from Fire Mountain Gems and they had a link to an article from the Jan/Feb Issue of Crafttrends magazine where they interviewed Millennials to help them understand their shopping habits and what makes them tick.

Here is the part I found most interesting about who the Millennials are and what makes them tick:
"A few years ago no one really paid too much attention to the Millennials -- the 73 million Americans born between 1982 and 2000. But they are now: by the year 2010 the Millennials will outnumber both Baby Boomers and Generation X. And if you think you know all there is to know about the Millennials you'd be wrong. They are too mercurial to pin down.

Millennials believe they can do it all and do it very well. They do not believe that just because they are young they are less capable of holding a job Boomers and Xers worked long and hard to get. Millennials are teamplayers; they play to win and they are not afraid to let you know that. And they want what they want -- right now.

We were all pretty complacent, thinking we could handle the Millennials when the time came, but we were wrong. Their elder statesmen are out of college now and they are wreaking havoc in the workplace. Our phones have been ringing off the hook the past few months as businesses of all kinds call to book our Millennial-Think programs.

See, the Millennials believe that the rest of us should change to accommodate them, not the other way around. And they are not budging. You want them to work on a weekend when they have other plans? Good luck. Friends and family come first. Think a training session, classroom style, is a good idea? Not anymore. Video games and interactive Web sites are a huge part of a Millennial's world; they tend to learn better when things are interactive. Millennials prefer instant messaging and text-messaging over e-mail. But don't get excited about the prospect of advertising via text-messaging: texting is for friends and family only. And forget about voice-mail. That's way too old school for them.

We asked which television shows and/or magazines influenced our panelists. They like The View, The Rachael Ray Show and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Oprah and Martha, not so much. Their comments included, "Martha's too old and too much of a perfectionist" and "Her projects cost too much."

Millennials tend to watch DIY programs that help them with decorating. And because these shows highlight color and fashion trends, they use them as crafting and scrapbooking resources.

At the end of the program we asked each of them to tell us one thing that would make them choose one store over another. Here's the condensed version of what they said:

* Do it better.
* Respect me. See me as a customer, not as an age.
* Offer carts and strollers.
* Be kid-friendly.
* Put in a play area.
* Offer more things digital.
* Offer incentives.
* Hold upbeat classes and not just baby, vacation, and holiday themes.
* Stay fresh! Change it up often so I won't get bored and want to go somewhere else.
This is just a small part of the article and I strongly suggest that you read the whole one. If you are in the business of selling to young people, this is a must read article.


Unknown said...

What an interesting article? I had not ever thought of the "millennials". :)

Sara Hardin

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment. I am happy that I could offer this article