What are millennials thinking about?

I am a participant in the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey Summer Institute for Educators. We’ve officially been in session a week, and it is very interesting to network with local businesses, tour facilities, and sit down with both public and private sector companies to identify what skill-sets are sought. And one major theme centers around millennials.

Millennials (as defined by Destination Maternity during their presentation) were born between 1982 and 1993. Right now (as of this writing), millennials are between 18 and 32 years old. At about 77 million strong, millennials are about 3 times the size of generation X.

The theme of thoughts and trends of millennials is being discussed throughout the business world. And millennials are, as a group (for which I can speak, because I’m a member), diverse in tastes, but united in a few fundamental ideas.

Millennials are focused on:

  1. Equality for people
  2. Fast, Responsive Results
  3. Information that is mobile-based and readily accessible
  4. Caring for the planet and others
  5. Flexible in work/life balance.

Let’s take each of these thoughts.

One of the major trends (which you haven’t been able to get away from in the news recently) is the focus of equality of people. Millennials believe heavily in equality for all. This isn’t something that is going to go away, either. Technology has allowed like-minded individuals to get their messages to a wider audience.

Fast, responsive results are desired by millennials. In the millennial head, time is one of the most important factors. It needs to get done now. Communication must be instantaneous, with an affinity towards instant messaging, email, and text messages compared to picking up a phone.

Along with the above point, millennials use their phone as the point in which they receive most of their information. For Generation X and the baby boomers, it was the television (and before that, the radio). If you’re a brand targeting millenials, look at mobile-first in terms of layout. Lower barriers on mobile to purchasing directly via the phone. A lot can be said about having your own app.

Caring for the plant and others seems to be the millennial message. This includes sustainability and trying to fix systemic issues in society. The focus is really to leave the world better than when it was found. Millennials want to create meaning in their unique experience as humans.

Last, but not least- Millennials want to be able to balance life and work. The job can get done in a variety of areas, especially as our connectivity increases. Working at home or on the go is often ideal as millennials try to “have it all.”

What trends are you seeing with millennials?