Didn’t do so well in history at school? No worries.
Here’s an historical fact that’s easy to remember. Millennials are the largest generation in both Canada and the US. Ever. Even larger than the Baby Boomers. In Canada, those born between the years 1980 to 2000 number over 9.5M¹ and in the US, 92M.² These numbers dwarf the generation before them: Generation X at 7.2M in Canada and 61M in the US.
When you’re talking about nearly a third of the population of North America, it would seem that anything related to this group is going to have an effect on the rest of the population and the future.
Here are a few examples:
- Millennials prefer to get married a bit later than their parents. (Will they also delay having children?)
- Millennials prefer car sharing vs. car ownership. (What does this mean for the auto industry? For the environment?)
- Millennials have an affinity for technology and information. (What “traditional ways of doing things” might fall by the wayside?)
- Millennials are big on health and wellness. (Will this generation live longer than previous ones?)
It’s interesting to speculate and predict what may occur in the future, but what effects are happening now? Well, for one, if you’re a Millennial, you may have noticed that companies have been shifting aggressively to meet your needs.³ Simply put, if a company doesn’t have a website or an app that a Millennial can dig into, it’s probably not a company you’ll be investing any time or money in. This may be a driving force behind the technological advancements companies have made in the last decade – Millennials need, want, and use technology. All. The. Time. This means that whatever matters to you as a Millennial, companies may have no choice but to listen, take note, and innovate.
If you’re either in business for yourself or work for a company that’s planning to stay viable for the next 20-30 years, it might be a good idea to pay attention to the habits and interests of this massive group (if you’re not already). The Baby Boomers are already well into retirement, and the next wave of retirees will be Generation X, which will leave the Millennials as the majority of the workforce. There will come a time when this group will control most of the wealth in Canada and the US. This means that if you’re not offering what they need or want now, then there’s a chance that one day your product or service may not be needed or wanted by anyone. Perhaps it’s time to consider how your business can adapt and evolve.
Ultimately, this shift toward Millennials and what they’re looking for is an exciting time to gauge where our society will be moving in the next few decades, and what it’s going to mean for the financial industry.
¹ Norris, Doug. “Millennials: The Newest, Biggest, and Most Diverse Target Market.” Environics Analytics, 2015, http://www.environicsanalytics.ca/docs/default-source/eauc2015-presentations/dougnorris-afternoonplenary.pdf?sfvrsn=6%20.
² “Millennials: Coming of Age.” Goldman Sachs, 2018, http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials/.
³ Ehlers, Kelly. “May We Have Your Attention: Marketing To Millennials.” Forbes, 6.27.2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2017/06/27/may-we-have-your-attention-marketing-to-millennials/#409e42331d2f.