The Millennial Takeover Continues: We’re Now the Largest Generation in the U.S.

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

We’ve been expecting this for a long time; what we once thought was decades away is finally just around the corner. A new era will alter our market even more. What is so transformative you ask? 2015 will be the year the millennial generation becomes the largest generation by population size in the United States.

Millennials have been affecting consumer trends for some time, but as their population size grows, so too does their influence. A look into some of the top millennial trends will give us more insight into what we can expect from this generation in the years to come.

Trend 1 – Experience drives loyalty

14437303498_b6ce5fde86_zMillennials are an extremely experience-oriented generation. Think about all the bad press millennial receive as a result of their selfie-taking nature. While this behavior may seem narcissistic and selfish, in reality, millennials value the opportunity given to them to share the experiences they’re having. In fact, this is an extremely un-selfish action – they want to include others in their experience and share the moment with their networks. For a millennial, any experience worth doing is worth sharing and the brands that enable millennials to fulfill this shared-experience desire will receive the greatest brand loyalty.

Trend 2 – Co-creation inspires participation

Let’s think for a moment about everything that stands in between you and your consumers: the message, the channels, the brand experience, the marketing, the social communication and even the product itself. All of these pieces of your brand ecosystem are something that millennials want to be involved with as your brand partner instead of your target audience. Your brand partners want to be included in the creation process of every part of their brand journey from conception to the moment they walk into the store (or login to the site) to make a final purchase. The more engagement points there are throughout this process, the more your consumers will participate and interact with your brand.

Trend 3 – Privacy is traded for perks

Consumer data is one the biggest golden nuggets any brand can have. While capturing this data used to be similar to a goose chase, now millennials are more than willing to trade their personal information for perks that benefit them. The brands that are experiencing the most success are the ones that provide perks with long-term value (Starbucks gold member anyone?). This has led to a new model of strategic message development that is based on actionable consumer insights and data as opposed to hunches and whims of CMOs.

Trend 4 –Pragmatism redefines millennial parent population

While millennials in general are becoming the most powerful generation to date, millennial parents are earning more market share every day. This new generation of 14434106320_6a0e0b1a55_zparents acts in an entirely different way than every generation before them. Their new mindset is founded in large part on a new refreshed version of American pragmatism. Millennials parents are looking for brands that are useful and help make their lives easier, more efficient and faster (check out our full report on our millennial parent segments here!)

Millennials have long cornered the most tech savvy and social generation titles for some time and now we can tack on largest generation to their growing list of accolades. To keep up, we can’t forget what we’ve learned in the past and be prepared to reimagine what the potential is for the future.

Photos via Flickr: Andrew Fysh and Michael Coghlan

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.