Boomer-Breed Millennials

Written By:
Nancy Trent, president of Trent & Company, Inc., Marketing Communications
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As a boomer, I didn’t realize I have the millennial attitude. Not the way we communicate, work, learn, play and spend, but how we are wired to try new things, break boundaries, push limits, change tradition and set new rules. It makes sense; millennials were raised by boomers!

I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Youth Marketing Strategy, put on by Voxburner in New York City and I was completely blown away by what I learned about the generation of adults born between 1972 and 1997.

The pending questions is, as it was with my generation – “How do we get your respect?” Boomers fight hard for what they believe in and work hard for what they earn. How do we tame the irreverent attitudes of millennials and tap into the great potential they have to offer? One boomer of a panel of millennial ambassadors asked, “How do we get your respect?”  The response one millennial ambassador offered was,“You respect us, and we will respect you.”  It was that simple and it clicked.  

Jane Gould, senior vice president of consumer insights and research at MTV chaired and opened the event with insightful research. 

Hackers: Gen Y will get in there and repurpose it, open it up, make it better, make it more useful and they don’t ask permission.

Hustlers: Millennials don’t want jobs; they want careers. They are always on the lookout to beef up their resumes and always have a side-hustle going on. Willingness and ability to hustle is more valuable to them than an MBA. Millennials believe you can Google how to be a CEO.

Inventors: Creativity is their language. They are always innovating. 70% surveyed believe that “creativity will save us.”

In a presentation by Joeri Van den Bergh, co-founder of InSites Consulting, Gen Y expert and author of How Cool Brands Stay Hot, I learned the following:

Kids just want to have fun: Labels have less influence. User experience is how to win over this crowd. 

Party all the time: Joeri introduces us to the concept of “Party-cipation." Millennials are social. They want to be where the action is. They want to do what their peers are doing. Peer-to-peer communication is key. 

Stay real: As in real help in real time. Youth today want to look online and find an expert to interact with in the moment.   

During Andrew Au’s session, the president of Intercept Group, I picked up some great statistics.

Be fast and furious: You have between 15 seconds and 15 minutes to appeal to the attention span of a Millennial. This generation does not want to be marketed to. They are skeptical and not impressed with celebrity endorsements. They would rather know what their friends think. They want to be the brand evangelist.  

Where the money comes from: It doesn’t matter who is paying, the millennials are deciding. Every dollar spent by Gen Y directly influences another $3.50.

Try again: This crowd likes to experiment, but if they like a brand, they are more likely to stay loyal.

These social and daring kids are entering the workplace and I can’t wait to see how they run it. WF

# # #

Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm.  Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives.  A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at nancy@trentandcompany.com.  You may also visit www.trentandcompany.com.

 

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, July 10, 2014

 

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