USA Today recently shed light on a study published by the American Psychological Association that analyzed two surveys, University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future and UCLA's American Freshman, both of which position Millennials as more focused on ourselves than anything else. While there is some truth to this, many of our moms told us the “S” on the tag in the back of our shirts is for Special versus Small; perhaps the cultural shift in young adults requires further review through a different lens.
It’s not about suddenly disregarding what many thought was unique and positive about Millennials and shifting the focus to future generations for hope in the welfare of our world. It is about taking the characteristics that people deem Millennial-ish and finding ways to use them in a positive way.
Brands should think about the impact, really the benefits, of a more individualistic group of people on their business internally and externally. Such people are doers. We want to be challenged, empowered, acknowledged, and, to be honest, it would not be so bad to be rewarded.
Consider our motives (us); use us to your advantage for our advantage … just don’t abuse. Be honest about it, and we will do the same. Here are some ways to leverage what we are already doing:
Millennials like to take action
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) informs us that, because our generation is populated with overachievers, there’s a need to feel our actions are making a big impact on the organization. Per SHRM’s report on findings from The Learning Café’s “Engaging a Changing Workforce: A Study of Four Generation,” Millennials:
Millennials like to talk … about you
According to Bazaarvoice’s “Talking to Strangers” infographic, the majority of Millennials believes that other consumers care more about their opinions than companies do – and that’s why they continue to share their opinions online.
Millennials like to innovate/be innovative
According to the Nationwide cell phone and landline survey by Young Invincibles and other partners, Millennials are passionate about starting their own business and recognize entrepreneurship is the key to reviving the economy. (Maybe even your personal economy and ours, too.) But, Millennials face many barriers including money, access and business know-how in fulfilling their dreams.
Still feeling Millennials deserve the cold shoulder? Here’s another log to fuel your fire, according to NYSE Magazine’s essay, “What Millennials Want,” keep in mind there are a lot of Millennials to do a lot for you. “Numbering nearly 80 million Americans with $1 trillion in spending power, they are the future of every U.S. company: the generation of teens to thirtysomethings known as the Millennials.”
So, warm up to some ways to merge Millennials wants and needs with yours.