Millennials are born from 1981 to 1996 and are defined as a generation with an "elevated usage of and familiarity with the internet, mobile devices, and social media." The interest for the Millennials is, in my opinion, totally misunderstood - because the term Millennials, for many, seems to be a denominator for behavior, consumption of goods/services, and language, culture, values, etc. But think about it - in the printing industry, we focus on personalization, individualized print. The denominator is not age or consumption, but way more where you live, your social background. I belong to Generation X, and I would be offended if I should be grouped with people where only denominator is age. I am independent, and I hate when grouped - and something that most people dislike. Many often refer to a generation gap between the generations in discussions, but do you really believe that there is a universal gap between generations? I work with Jan (filmer), and he is a Millennial. Do we share values - yes and no? He has ideas that I don't agree with, and I have ideas that he probably disagrees with. The fact is, however, that being open-minded and work with people across generations enrich everybody. When we, Generation X, refer to Millennials, we just hope that the industrialized mindset from our youth can be replicated - I don't think it can.
The very fact that most people today belong to multiple tribes and not one tribe makes it almost impossible to address any group of people one way - anyway. In the book "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson, he talks about how the industrial mindset was driven/limited by space - the physical space. He argues that when things can go digital, space becomes an obsolete measure since megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes have close to no cost. Moore's law doubles processing power capacity every 18 months, and digital gives us more and more capabilities in computing. Does this have anything to do with Millennials - sure, yes. I simply don't believe that age is the denominator in anything. Therefore, dear marketer, you will still need to look into the demographics in detail as you have always done, and dear Millennial - you should be considered precisely as unique as your parents and the kids you will soon give birth to. I hope that someday humans will stop seeing people as marketing- and sales opportunities, but you should respect them as individuals! What happens now is that sometimes the boomer generation is laughed and joked at, and sometimes the Millennials say "no access for boomers" - and that simply, in my mind, drives things in a wrong direction. Humans are social beings, and though each generation can be very different in consumption, in values, in everything - we can still learn from each other in ways that strengthen humanity - I believe!