We hear constantly that millennials are entitled, lazy and obsessed with social media. There’s even a daffy video about what it’s like to interview a millennial.
However, from a business perspective, you must realize that those dreaded millennials are your next, if not already current, generation of customers. Make a good business decision to reject “millennial” and all of its negative connotations this year.
Here’s why we’re ditching the word in 2018 — after this blog post, of course:
1) It restricts your ability to understand this demographic as a client or customer.
The oldest millennial or Generation Y-er is at least 35, and the youngest is nearing 21. That’s a big difference. Older Gen Y-ers are reaching an age at which we share many concerns of the previous generation — mortgages, other loans, kids, careers, etc. Pausing to understand this can help older brands connect with this audience in a significant way.
2) It creates communication barriers inside and outside your organization.
Internally, you miss opportunities to retain and effectively transfer knowledge from baby boomers, Generation X and Y. The more the millennial myth is perpetuated, the more that division is created. Externally, you miss reaching us through, dare I say it, social media.
It’s not news to you that social media is a cost-effective way to reach the masses instantly. Many of us have been on Facebook for over a decade, and we are the first to try the latest social-media crazes. So we know how to use these platforms and how to communicate with our peers.
It’s easier to implement an effective social-media campaign when you aren’t accusing your audience of using social media too often.
3) You miss opportunities to recruit and retain top talent.
Believe it or not, some of us awaken before 6 a.m., work very hard and understand the full suite of Microsoft Office. When going into an interview or meeting with a Generation Y-er don’t let preconceptions about them keep you from finding the right person for your organization.
4) You risk becoming a Blockbuster in a Netflix world.
No industry is exempt from disruption. Generation Y-ers understand complex technologies that help brands to produce more in less time. Many create these technologies on their own.
Members of one generation will always talk about differences between its predecessor or successor. The truth is that all generations have similar values but express them differently.
Don’t let the myth of the generation gap keep you from connecting with your future customer base or effectively communicating, recruiting and retaining top talent. You also don’t want to become a Blockbuster in a Netflix world.
We share these reasons for ditching “millennial” so you or your organization can begin connecting with people, not phrases. Generation Y-ers aren’t as big a mystery as some people might think. If you don’t fall prey to the millennial myth, you can connect with them (and eventually Generation Z) in a way that benefits both of you.
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