Jeff Fromm: Why Millennials Aren’t Who You Think They Are

Jeff Fromm: Why Millennials Aren’t Who You Think They Are

Brands need to understand the mindset and attitudes of the ever changing generation to be successful in their branding and advertising.

Jeff Fromm, FutureCast
  • 30 june 2013

A Quick Recap of The Facts

The word “Millennial” almost seems like a buzzword these days instead of a generational moniker. They’re all over the place, and you probably feel like you’ve heard all about Millennials by now. Barkley partnered with Boston Consulting Group and SMG to study the trends in a report called “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation.” If you know many of the trends then this short video isn’t really that bitchin’ so skip it.


Myth #1: Millennials Are a Homogenous Cohort

Our research led us to break down the Millennial cohort into six segments.  The six segments include: Hip-ennial, Millennial Mom, Anti-Millennial, Gadget Guru, Clean and Green Millennial and Old School Millennial.


Myth #2: Millennials Aren’t Influencing Your Sales Growth Today

The Millennial generation is comprised of 80 million people in the United States alone. As such, Gen Y already accounts for 21 percent of consumer discretionary spending. In other words, Millennials are pumping $1.3 trillion into the economy, according to Christine Barton from the Boston Consulting Group. And that number doesn’t even include the influence Millennials have on other generations when it comes to their purchases from technology to travel to restaurants and more.

Myth #3: Millennials Will Be Just Like Older Generations Once They Get Married

Millennials are more comfortable than earlier generations with marriage being a bond between two people—any two people. The latest research from Pew Research shows that 70 percent of Millennial support same-sex marriage.

However, the cohort is waiting longer to get married. The average age for getting married is now 28.6 for men and 26.6 for women. Adding onto that, 44 percent of Millennials think marriage is obsolete.  Only 35 percent of Boomers feel the same way.

We can draw a couple of conclusions from all of this. First, don’t assume that Millennials are getting married anytime soon. Second, when you’re showing them couples and families in your marketing, keep in mind that Millennials are comfortable with a lot more permutations than advertising has traditionally shown.

Myth #4: Brick and Mortar Stores Are Dead

Do Millennials love technology? Of course. In fact, Millennials are more than 2.5 times more likely than other generations to be early adopters of new social, mobile and digital technologies. But do they want to do all of their shopping online or on their mobile phone? Not at all. According to research by the Urban Land Institute, 48 percent of Millennials say they enjoy shopping in stores. However, going forward it may be important to connect the digital and the physical worlds in order to draw in Millennials and keep them coming.

Myth #5: The Traditional Drivers Of Brand Value Hold True

Not at all.


Millennials created a Participation Economy. In the Participation Economy, the definition of brand value has expanded to include “participative benefits.” This means that Millennials want to co-create the products and services you sell, the customer journey and the marketing and social media.  Too many brands only focus on the marketing and social media.

Further, Millennials want to share with their friends, many of whom are online. One of the top ways to get a Millennial to share their brand with others is to make them feel good when they buy it. Two of the most likely ways to create shareworthiness are either to disrupt the status quo and or to have a purpose.  Millennials love brands whose purpose (or “why,” if you prefer) inspires them.  The next Billion Dollar idea is likely in the upper right quadrant of the graph below.


Copyright© 2013 by Barkley. All rights reserved.



Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Related Expert

Salman Khan

Social Good, Online Education, Accessibility

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs Yesterday

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Yesterday

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Yesterday

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Technology Yesterday

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better

Travel Yesterday

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

No search results found.