Millennials are often seen as irresponsible, phone loving and keen to share things on social media. Well, my children are considered as Millennials as they were born in 1986. Both are entrepreneurial and running their own businesses creating new opportunities in a changing world.
The above description is apt but they also have some fine qualities. As part of society, they are becoming more influential as consumers and investors, and it remains to be seen whether the recent positive trends in their spending patterns will continue, especially in a recession. They are not afraid to share their opinions and there appears they have electoral clout, which should enable them to better defend their own political interests. 70% of the Millennials voted to “remain” at the UK referendum vote in 2016, and this created many an argument between families. In the recent Italian elections, the rise of the Five Start Movement and Northern League have pushed ahead of expectations and the traditional parties lost votes in a changing political environment.
In my days of youth, we were influenced by our parents, our employers and we believed in the politicians. How things have changed!
Today, the Millennials have access to the wide world web and social media platforms. They are better informed and they formulate opinions based on commentary and social interaction on their phones. They are more comfortable with technology than previous generations, having grown up in the era of high-speed internet and more likely to travel and be more receptive to new experiences.
Following the banking crisis 10 years ago university graduates found themselves compelled to take jobs for which they were overqualified to do but they did it! They learnt to compete as well as work hard in a tough environment and they can only be a benefit from these harsh lessons in early adulthood. These individuals will become the next “movers and shakers” and businesses who want their custom, will have to adopt new strategies to entice them to spend their wealth. This is very noticeable in the retail sector as they want fast, cheap deliveries, and this has created a complete new change forcing retailers to match online leaders such as Amazon. The likes of BHS, ToysRus and Maplin failed to deliver this service and now in administration.
As they are consumers of online media, the likes of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google have benefited during last year as their share values have rocketed. Advertisers will no doubt try to incorporate more ads into the consumption of digital media attracting new millennial consumers.
These individuals are becoming savvier in how they use their money. My daughter lives in central London and has ditched her BMW, as it is cheaper to use her Oyster card or if she needs a car, she can hire it for £4 per day. Sharing platforms such as Airbnb, have proved very popular with Landlords and I learnt the other day that a French company Zilok is sharing out equipment such as skis and tents. Customers can rent high-end designer fashion items online and return them via smartphone-enabled self-service scanners at physical shops.
Other traits can be witnessed – comfort with technology, financial conservatism, a willingness to participate in sharing platforms and rely on online peer reviews – are also reshaping the banking and asset management industries.
Simply offering an online service is no longer enough for companies hoping to help millennials manage their money; a user-friendly smartphone experience is essential, so we have adapted our approach to capture these future clients to our business.
Whatever your business, you would be best served to listen to your new audience, as this is your future client base.
Just to show you my age “People try to put us down,” were the immortal words sung by Roger Daltrey of The Who from their hit single “My Generation” when I saw them at the Roundhouse in the sixties. I think those lyrics are so appropriate for today’s Millennials.
Cert PFS, Dip FA