The Millennials Shall Inherit The Earth
With the baby boomers – People born in the 60s, retiring in droves and with technology and trends spiraling over the struggle to be more innovative in the race to catch up to people’s needs, the focus has shifted to arguably the most powerful group of people in the world – the millennials – those born between the 80s and 2000s or the generation Y. A poll taken by an independent consulting firm in 2015 confirms that: 49% of current brand targets on earth are millennials, 37% of America’s work force and 43% of the Global work force are millennials, friends and family are sources of information before search engines and 23% of the latter group – millennials. They’re simply everywhere.
The decisions of the millennials, their brand preferences, trends, needs, career choices and even lifestyles, dictate global trends and the general direction of innovation. ComScore noted in 2014, that 43% of the iPhone users are between the ages of 18-34, with 57% of iPad users under the age of 40. It was also reported that the world is currently seeing younger managers and older board members. The facts are there, the signs are no longer just signs and the truth, if nobody has bothered to sing it to you over the past couple of months, is as obvious as ever – the millennials are here to rule the world.
The sharp-witted and clever traits which are attributable to millennials only means that brand developers now have their work cut out for them, as more questions would be raised and emphasis on User experience and User interface are heightened. Basically, the average millennial isn’t just content with a product because it satisfies the test of age-long use. He or She would want an improvement over time and is definitely not afraid to switch brands without fuss when faced with a better choice. This is unbelievably different from the norm, whereby parents stuck to a detergent mostly because they had used it all their lives and were not keen on switching to something that solved an extra problem. Companies with baby-boomer workforces are overhauling departments and systems to meet with the 21st century speed, speeds which may prove a bit too hasty for the average 40-year-old manager. Millennials are quicker to take the “everything in the air” decisions; they think when something isn’t going right repeatedly…it needs to be overhauled. The older managers are likelier to ride out the storm till the last minute.
Recent trends and business direction, including product design, already show that the religion of the Millennial is king, from shapes and sizes, to speed and experience, from taste and colours to ingredients and sensitivity, everything is gradually being shaped to suit the new cool.
Branding and shorter/wittier forms of passing messages across to consumers are all innovative techniques influenced by the millennial. Study shows that the average human now has an attention span, slightly shorter below 8 seconds. So a continuous 8-second loop of interest needs to occur in every minute of your message. Things are simply beyond the business as usual form that most people are used to, and with the growing importance of social media to socio-economic respiration, the battle for attention via innovative means is being driven by the thought process of the millennial.
By 2020, millennials will take over half the work place, with baby boomers inching towards retirement. The current trend sees builders – 70s and 80s, slowly becoming extinct in the boardroom and cluster areas as millennials are entrusted more with spot on decisions and snappy calls. The ferocity of the markets may no longer require the slow thinking steady hand (half clutching a walking stick), but a quick-witted, fast paced business with enough fluidity to withstand drastic/forced changes in the business environment. The people for the job are here…and growing, fast – the millennials.