ONCE A MONTH, I’LL ROUND UP SOME LINKS TO POSTS FROM AROUND THE INTERNET ON OUR CULTURE TOPIC OF THE MONTH. HERE’S THIS MONTH’S READING LIST FOR YOU ON GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES.
First of all – if you want actual data on Millennials – go to Pew.
This is a great article that collects a lot of data sources in one place, debunking a bunch of Millennial stereotypes in the process.
“Part of what makes people go bug-eyed when it comes to millennials is that they’re so incredibly hard to pin down. Instead of focusing on millennials-at-large, it is critical for entrepreneurs to look more specifically at audiences and their particular need. Instead of trying to get x% of millennial adoption, focus on specific groups with specific pain. The best products are loved by a small audience before they’re liked by a larger one.
So, before assuming millennials are lazy, ill-informed narcissists, get to know your customers as deeply as possible. Understand the challenges and opportunities related to coming-of-age in today’s society. Understand the differences between being fresh out of college, looking for a more challenging job and settling down to start a family.
These realities are so different, yet they all get bucketed into the same stereotype. By looking a bit closer, you may be pleasantly surprised by the diversity and passion coming from today’s young adults. As the data shows, they are some of the most competitive, altruistic and educated people this planet has ever seen.”
The “Millennials are Coming” (CBS News)
This was written in 2007. And everybody (except for the article I linked to above) is still saying the same thing. This made me laugh. Read it and weep.
“It’s graduation time and once again we say “Stand back all bosses!” A new breed of American worker is about to attack everything you hold sacred: from giving orders, to your starched white shirt and tie. They are called, among other things, “millennials.” There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they’re rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60.
They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. And if you persist in the belief you can, take your job and shove it.
As correspondent Morley Safer first reported last November, corporate America is so unnerved by all this that companies like Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young, and scores of others are hiring consultants to teach them how to deal with this generation that only takes “yes” for an answer.”
Move Over, Millennials, Here Comes Generation Z (New York Times)
Bored of hearing about Millennials all the time? Don’t despair, the articles on the next generation have already started.
“But what about “Generation Z,” the generation born after millennials that is emerging as the next big thing for market researchers, cultural observers and trend forecasters?
With the oldest members of this cohort barely out of high school, these tweens and teens of today are primed to become the dominant youth influencers of tomorrow. Flush with billions in spending power, they promise untold riches to marketers who can find the master key to their psyche.
No wonder the race to define, and market to, this demographic juggernaut is on. They are “the next big retail disrupter,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. They have “the weight of saving the world and fixing our past mistakes on their small shoulders,” according to an article on Fast Company’s Co.Exist site by Jeremy Finch, an innovation consultant. Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson, calls them “millennials on steroids.”
But wait! You cry. What about all of us Gen Xers? Well, nobody cares about us and here’s why.
“Last year, CNBC analyzed a large sample of companies’ earnings calls with Wall Street analysts. In 17,776 transcripts reviewed, companies mentioned Generation X just 16 times. While executives gave millennials plenty of love, the network noted, “companies do not seem to pay much attention to Gen X at all.” The question is, why don’t brands seem to care about Gen X? As it turns out, there are several reasons.”
Have any other interesting articles on generation and culture to share?