Millennial Madness

It seems our industry and probably most industries are obsessed right now with the Millennial generation.  I have noticed over the past few months that I can hardly open an eyewear magazine without a Millennial topic of some sort being prominently featured.  New books are popping up regularly, classes and forums related to the topic are happening regularly at Vision Expo, and new players who identify as ‘experts’ on this group are starting to appear as guests on business focused podcasts.  I heard two such experts recently in the same week on weekly podcasts that I listen to.

To be sure there is good reason for all this attention.  Headlines were made earlier this year when the Millennial generation grew to outnumber the Baby Boomer generation, and it was as if the world was put on notice.  That notice proclaimed that it is time to understand and learn to work with this emerging group.  Many among them are entering their peak earning years, and business has taken notice of their newly acquired buying power.     

As consumers, the individuals of this generation have a different outlook in how they respond to the marketing efforts of businesses. Many of them are very cause oriented and are looking for authenticity.  They like to support brands that support a cause they can feel good about.    

Do not try to lump all of this generation into one basket though.  It is large and with most large groups there are sub-groups that behave in unique ways.  According to author Jeff From there are six distinct segments: Hip-ennial, Old-School Millennial, Gadget Guru, Clean and Green Millennial, Millennial Mom, and Anti-Millennial.  If you want to dive in and dissect this generation I recommend reading his book “Marketing To Millennials.”    

Don't fret if you haven't yet created a plan for them, but it is certainly time to begin the process.