What do Millennials really like? – A Letter from a Millennial

Everyone already knows what our generation wants: the perfect Instagram photo, life hacks from viral videos, new Spotify playlists, the latest iPhone, and avocado toast. Aside from these things, we aren’t interested…right?

Millennials, also called Generation Y, are associated with the sleek, quick, and easy. Born between 1981–1996, millennials have grown up alongside the explosion of technology. While most of us may seem to take technology for granted, we’re just glad that we don’t have to hear the AOL dial tone anymore.

Growing up with technology made us reliant on it. It’s easy to connect with our family, friends, and even businesses online. Contacting customer service via Twitter’s Direct Message system or a live chat window on a website is less frustrating than listening to muffled hold music over a phone speaker.

Convenience is important. Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay® and Samsung Pay®, offer the convenience of one less physical item to carry around. Millennials prefer to use debit cards for quick transactions, with a large percentage of the demographic opting out of cash altogether. You may not find a credit card in our wallets either, as many Millennials have begun to ditch them. We often associate credit cards with debt and would rather use them for emergencies.

We remember the global financial crisis that made us afraid of the word “debt.” Many children of this generation opted to attend college, accruing expensive student loan debt. A report published

by Young Invincibles, a group established in 2009 to amplify young people’s concerns about healthcare, states that young adult workers earn 20% less than their parents did at the same age1. Debt and lower salaries have made our generation cautious when it comes to important life events such as buying a home (which is why we’d rather rent an apartment, condo, or townhouse). We prefer to save large sums of money to pay off our current debts rather than making future plans.

It’s easy to attract Millennials, and even younger generations, with free gifts, sleek designs, and pretty colors. It’s even easier to attract us with quick service and convenient products. But what is often overlooked is what we really want: security.

Yes, adventurous and wild Millennials want financial security. We like budgeting tools and smart ways to save money. We like convenience so we can get on with the “hustle.” We want to work hard to earn more so that we can save. Showing empathy and support in your marketing messages will grab our attention as quickly as a clever headline or funny image.

It’s important to know that our financial institution is there for us through the ups and downs; from renting to owning, spending to saving. If there is heart in the message, not only will it capture our attention, it will capture our hearts.

A Millennial

1Financial Health of Young America: Measuring Generational Declines between Baby Boomers & Millennials. (2017). [online] Young Invincibles, p.6. Available at: younginvincibles.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/FHYA-Final2017-1-1.pdf.

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