As the oldest members of this oft-discussed group prepare to turn 40, the future of Millennials will have a significant impact on the global marketplace.
Although they haven’t suffered from a lack of media attention in the past decade, Millennials are worth another look simply because of their significant impact on the future. For example, they are currently overtaking Baby Boomers as the largest adult generation and approaching their Boomer parents in their share of the US electorate heading into the 2020 Presidential election. And in the past few years, they surpassed Generation X as the largest generation in the workforce.
Millennials may also be the first truly global generation. Technology has broken down geographic boundaries, and these young adults are the product of not just their native cultures, but the tumultuous time during which they came of age. A second look at Millennials uncovers three key lessons that will be essential for engaging with them meaningfully in the future.
Future of Millennials as parents
Millennials are now the focal points of families and leading households that look quite different than those headed by previous generations. For example, GfK Consumer Life research shows that Millennials today are about as likely to be parents, but less likely to be married, when compared with Gen Xers at the same age in 2003. With Millennials leading more non-traditional households (e.g., single parents, unmarried couples), messaging needs to evolve to encompass these different types of families.
Even more interesting is the marked difference in the way that Millennial moms and dads approach parenting today. In contrast to the Boomer tendency to raise “latch-key kids,” and Gen X’s “helicopter” parenting approach, Millennials have their own unique take on the parent-child relationship. Research from GfK Consumer Life shows that they reject “over-scheduling” by reducing the amount of time their children