Why being obsessed with Millennials is smart for business.


The other night, over dinner with my husband, I was sharing what I considered, an interesting fact about Millennials. Or, I should say: “another” interesting fact. When it comes to Millennials – their attitudes, passions, lifestyles, curiosity, you name it – I’m a little obsessed.

And why wouldn’t I be? As a mom of three Millennials, a marketer and entrepreneur there’s a lot to be fascinated about. I get to witness first-hand the largest and most diverse population change our world. Who wouldn’t be obsessed?

But let me take a step back: Who are Millennials?

  • They were born between 1981 and 1997, making them between 18 and 34 years old in 2015.1
  • Nearing 80 million strong, Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S.1 That’s right: they are even bigger than the sought-after Baby Boomer generation.
  • In 2015, Millennials will become the single largest generation in the U.S. workforce.2
  • By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of our modern workplace.2

1 Pew Research

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections

Trying to learn as much as we can about Millennials has become one of our nation’s favorite pastimes, with frequent articles focused on their buying power and economic impact, webinars and conferences on how best to engage, hire and retain them, research papers, corporate and government reports … the list goes on. In October 2014, The White House released The 15 Economic Facts About Millennials,

The report “is modeled after a listicle typical of Buzzfeed or BoredPanda—and it comes with an accompanying infographic full of … emoji.” Clearly, The White House is taking notice on how Millennials like to receive information.

We’ve all heard the common complaints about the Millennials… the “me” generation, lazy, apathetic, entitled, etc. And, how Millennials are unattached to political and religious organizations, yet attached to their parents, leaning on them more than any other generation. On the flip side, we are told that Millennials will save the planet; they value creativity, authenticity and buying local goods and care about philanthropic causes.

Here are a few more little known facts:

  • Millennials are more burdened by financial hardships than previous generations, but they’re optimistic about the future. (6 new findings about Millennials, March 2014, Bruce Drake, senior editor at Pew Research)
  • One-fourth of Millennials in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. (US Census Bureau)
  • Millennials are avid researchers and want to be empowered. They are looking for the best information available to make decisions to improve their lives. (2014 US. News & world Report 2014 – Millennial Report)
  • Millennials are a social generation. The most surprising group they socialize with? Their parents. (Forbes, 2015 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: 5 Key Traits These 80 Million Consumers Share)
  • 64% of Millennials would rather make $40,000/year at a job they love than $100,000/year at a job they think is boring. (Intelligence Group study, reported in The Columbus Dispatch, 3/30/14)

Not everyone in business needs to be obsessed with Millennials, but everyone in business – especially marketers, HR leaders and entrepreneurs – need to take this group seriously and gain a basic understanding of who they are and what makes them tick.

Today, Millennials are not only changing the workplace, but our country. Not paying attention to this group will leave you and your business behind. Consider this, according to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2015, only 28% of Millennials feel their current organizations make use of their skills. Furthermore, in a recent study led by Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding, 80% of Millennials surveyed would consider leaving their jobs and creating their own companies in the future.

To catch up on your Millennial knowledge I suggest visiting NPR’s New Boom series. There you’ll find a series of articles and audios on a range of topics, like: How Do You Market to Millennials? and Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail.

As I told my husband, being obsessed with Millennials is just smart business. Let me know what you learn…

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1 Comment
  1. Thanks for the interesting post Tammy. I learned some things about Millennials, especially under the “few more little known facts” (are their parents REALLY the group they socialize the most with??)

    I have 3 millennials and 11 baby boomers in my organization. I love having them in the group and need even more of them if they are going to carry on the legacy of the boomers who are on the verge of retirement. Bridging the gap between the two groups is essential.

    Information like that you posted is helpful.

    Comment by Dave
    — June 4, 2015 — 12:52 pm

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