Their numbers increase day by day. And ladies and gentlemen let’s get one thing across; they aren’t going away anytime soon. Of course, I’m talking about millennials. As each day ends in the world of business, the influence and power of millennial customers and consumers in today’s modern economy and market increases the littlest bit. A millennial is someone who was born between the years of 1982 and 2004. As a group, millennials are considered to be the largest and most ethnically and racially diverse cohort in human history and, according to a Dun and Bradstreet report, contribute one trillion dollars to the U.S economy. Millennials are the next generation in line to become the main targeted “customer-generation” in the business world. However, if businesses are going to succeed when this shift in consumer power occurs, businesses must adapt to the behaviors and distinct characteristics of millennial purchasing and use of products.
The biggest and most key characteristic of millennial consumers is that the internet and online content are the primary forms of media being used. In the generations before millennials (Generation X and baby boomers) the dominant form of media was television. Internet didn’t exist at this point! Television was the prime spot for companies to advertise and market their own brands in order to increase the amount of consumer awareness of their businesses. However, fast forward to the beginning of the millennial generation in 1982, and the computer has already begun making its own mark. In fact, in 1982, the year that marked the beginning of the millennial generation, the personal computer had made such an impact in American society that TIME Magazine altered their annual “Man of the Year” honor into “Machine of the Year” in order to give the award to the personal computer. In 1987, by the time first year millennials were just turning six years old and getting ready for their first days of school, the movie Tin Toy made headlines as it became the first ever computer-animated film to win an academy award. Fast forward again to the modern day of 2017, and one can see the everlasting effects that the rise of computer technology and the internet over the years have laid upon us. Now, EVEYTHING is going online. Due to millennials soon becoming the front-runners of the consumer world, businesses have already begun to change their old- traditional methods to more and advanced ways of online communication and tactics between each other and customers. From communication between a group of people (social media, email, GroupMe) to even paying for items at a store (Venmo, Apple Pay), everything is shifting towards the internet and being on the Web. This shift has affected peoples’ everyday lives so much to the point to where everyday items that were deemed “necessary” to have before (credit cards, cash, Television) seem to be shifting more and more to unnecessary, nonessential items. Also, this shift towards the online is the cause for the extreme popularity in On-Demand content services such as Netflix or Hulu. Now, instead of a family or a group of friends waiting every week to watch a certain show’s new episode at the exact same time, people are waiting for seasons to be added to on-demand sites where they can individually watch as much of the show as they please at any given time. Even further down the road, when yet another shift takes place between generations and the Web becomes even more of a focused form of media, television will ultimately become an antique, an outdated form of media. Why have the need to pay for cable when you can subscribe for just the shows you want at a cheaper rate?
Millennials and their impact are definitely present in today’s society. However, as each day ends and the beginning of another takes place, the shift towards millennials and their impact on the consumer world increases. This is the generation that grew up with technology from the very start, the generation that grew up with computers and opened its arms wide to the Web and its endless possibilities. It’s time for your business to do the same thing.