Generation We

Appeal to a Mindset, not an age bracket.

Wikipedia explains millennials – “Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.”

But who are Millennials really?  A lot of research has gone into trying to figure out what they want and what makes them tick. A quick Google search will lead you a multitude of articles claiming to uncover the mysteries of the Millennial mind.

Here’s what I found:

10 Millennial Personality Traits That HR Managers Can’t Ignore”

  1. Millennials Are Motivated by Meaning
  2. Millennials Challenge Hierarchical Structures
  3. Millennials Want a Relationship with Their Boss
  4. Millennials Are Tech Savvy, To Say The Least
  5. Millennials Are Open to Change

And the list goes on. Out of these five it would seem to me that every age group wants these and are motivated by the same things. The only one that stood out as different was number 4 - Millennials Are Tech Savvy. Are they tech savvy because of their age or because they have more time to play with tech then their older counterparts who have many more obligations?

This list didn’t do it for me. So here’s the second list I found:

“8 Millennials' Traits You Should Know About Before You Hire Them”

Millennials are…

  1. Multitaskers
  2. Connected
  3. Tech-Savvy

Millennials want…

  1. Instant Gratification & Recognition
  2. Work-Life Balance & Flexibility
  3. Collaboration
  4. Transparency
  5. Career Advancement

Don’t we all want these things, no matter our age? Why do these “wants” belong only to Millennials? It seems to me that there isn’t a great explanation here.

But there is and it’s different than you think.

In their book Pendulum, Roy H. Williams and Michael R. Drew examine 3000 years of history explaining that our mindset swings from an individualistic "Me" culture to a civic-minded "We" and back over an 80 year cycle. According to this captivating book, we are swinging up into a "We" cycle now. Which means that we’ve moved from believing in heroes and perfect men to wanting reality and authenticity above all else, even if the truth is ugly and painful.

See we’ve been exposed to so much advertising that we just don’t believe anything we hear unless it is backed up by reality hooks. Reality Hooks are the details that allow our minds to believe what you are saying.

Last week in Texas, along side the Great Roy H. Williams and wonderfully funny Manley Miller, I had the honour of teaching to 30 of the most brilliant business owners in North America on how to market to Millennials.

Manley taught the class many great things. One of them was about the fact that Millennials want vulnerability, not just transparency. His explanation had the class laughing so hard that I’ll leave his explanation here for you to listen to on your own. It’s very funny and definitely worth your time!

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner