Millennials will soon surpass Baby Boomers as the largest living generation according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That gives us good reason to learn about them and figure out their needs and expectations as they shift our nation into a new era of technology. Research shows that by 2017, their generation will have the largest online presence and more buying power than any generation that has come before it.
Being a millennial myself in my early 20’s, I understand what it is like to think like a millennial. What I find amusing is how other people from the earlier generations view us. I was once told that I live in a generation of 140 characters where everything must be delivered to me in bullet points for it to matter. We are typically viewed with the stereotype of being narcissistic, lazy and entitled which I think is more of an association with 18 – 34 year old’s rather than millennials as a generation. We are unable to keep our eyes off our smartphones and often lack communication that is not social media based. I think the biggest reason that the millennial generation is often associated with these stereotypes is due to the fact that they were the first real generation to grow up with technology. Seeing as how the World Wide Web has only been around since the 90’s it kind of assimilated itself into our lives.
That makes us a vastly different market than our predecessors. We want to be able to do everything online from the comfort of our desk or even our palms. We constantly say things like, “Oh, I’ll just buy it on Amazon” or “Just Venmo me”. That’s how ubiquitous tech is in our generation. We are particular though due to the fact that we know how to make our way around things. We typically never use something that is poorly created or gives us a bad user experience, which means nothing buggy. If we use your technology often, we expect you to have a mobile application. I mean can you imagine not getting emails on your phone. As millennials we are “always on”.
Being able to understand what millennials expect from technology and what they value helps prepare ourselves to create and market products for them. The impact this generation will make in different industries may vary but their presence in technology is very evident. Being more likely to be early adopters for things like tablets in 2012 and wearable technology today, catering to this generation becomes increasingly important. What is your company doing to accommodate the millennials in the market or even in your office? How is this generation innovating your designs and creations?